PHOENIX, Arizona, November 13. OLYMPIC champions Missy Franklin, Michael Phelps, Sun Yang and Katie Ledecky are just a few of the names put forth as candidates for four prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards, which will be handed out early next year in Rio de Janeiro.
Phelps and Sun are candidates for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year, along with diver David Boudia, who won gold in a nailbiter on the platform in London. Phelps and Sun were the only swimmers to win two individual gold medals in London.
Franklin is the only swimmer in the list of 12 candidates for the Sportswoman of the Year Award released by the Laureus Sports Awards Academy. Franklin won five medals in London, four of which were gold.
Ledecky, France's Yannick Agnel, China's Ye Shiwen and Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte are candidates for nominations for World Breakthrough of the Year. All four stunned the world with gold medal swims: Ledecky won the 800 free in near-world record time, Agnel won the 200 free and gave France a surprising victory in the 400 free relay, Ye won both individual medleys and Meilutyte was the Olympic champion in the 100 breast over prohibitive favorite Rebecca Soni.
Eric Shanteau made his second Olympic team in 2012, and is a candidate for World Comeback of the Year. Shanteau won a gold medal in the 400 medley relay as a prelim swimmer, three years after recovering from testicular cancer surgery.
Each category will feature six nominees when the announcement of the official shortlist is named December 13 in Rio de Janeiro. Those nominees will be chosen by a panel of sports editors, writers and broadcasters from various countries. The award winners will be decided by members of the Laureus Sports Academy. The date of the awards ceremony has not been publicly released, but the awards ceremony typically takes place early in the year.
No aquatic sports athlete has won a Laureus Award in any category in the 13-year history of the ceremony. Tennis player Roger Federer won the Sportsman of the Year Award four consecutive times, from 2005 to 2008. Tennis player Novak Djokovic and runner Vivian Cheruiyot were named Sportsman and Sportswoman for 2012.