KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, February 26. MISSY Franklin will represent aquatic sports next month at the prestigious Laureus Sports Awards, nominated in the Sportswoman of the Year category. Three swimmers will compete for the World Sportsperson of the Year With a Disability award after strong performances at last year’s world championships.
This is the second consecutive year that Franklin has been nominated for this award, dubbed “The Oscars of Sports Awards.” She lost last year to British track star Jessica Ennis, the Olympic champion in the heptathlon. Franklin’s accomplishments at the FINA world championships last summer helped her gain this nomination, as she won six gold medals in six events in Barcelona. That made her the most successful female swimmer at a single world championships and continued to raise her profile around the world.
Franklin faces tough competition for the award. German soccer player Nadine Angerer, Jamaican track star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, Slovenian skier Tina Maze and American tennis ace Serena Williams are also nominees for Sportswoman of the Year. Williams and Fraser-Pryce were also nominees in 2012; Isinbayeva was last nominated in 2005.
A swimmer has a good chance of winning the World Sportsperson of the Year With a Disability award this year, with three of the six nominees racing at the IPC world swimming championships last year. Sophie Pascoe of New Zealand had a perfect record at worlds in Montreal, winning all five of her events. Sarah Louise Rung of Norway won four gold medals in five tries, and Ukraine’s Olga Sviderska won seven gold medals – five individual and two relay. Also nominated in that category are wheelchair racers Marcel Hug of Switzerland and American Tatyana McFadden, as well as French skier Marie Bochet.
No male aquatic athletes appeared to impress the Laureus voting committee this year. In the Sportsman of the Year category, many of the names are familiar to sports fans, including Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Lebron James and Rafael Nadal. Also nominated in that category are soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo and race car driver Sebastian Vettel.
Winners will be announced at a lavish ceremony on March 26. Franklin is likely to attend, as the event comes a few days after her debut at the NCAA championships.
View the announcement event in the video player below: