Tennis star Novak Djokovic was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for the second time at an awards ceremony on Wednesday.
Djokovic ended 2014 as world number one having collected his second Wimbledon title and emerged victorious at the ATP World Tour Finals for the fourth time in his career.
“This is probably the crown of my 2014 season that has been highlighted with winning Wimbledon, regaining number one in the world and becoming a father,” he said. “It has probably been my best year so far in my life.”
Ethiopian athlete Genzebe Dibaba scooped the prize for World Sportswoman of the Year for her efforts in breaking three world records in different events in the space of two weeks, while the team award went to Germany’s World Cup-winning football team.
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff, who collected the prize on behalf of the squad, commented: “At the final whistle we were together on the pitch, the coaches, players, team staff members, it was such a connection amongst us.
“For the coaches and some of the players and me it was a 10-year project. And we were so happy at this moment.”
Schalk Burger’s return to rugby after recovering from meningitis earned him the Comeback of the Year gong, while Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo was recognised for his breakthrough year in Formula One.
Other winners included wheelchair athlete Tatyana McFadden for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, and retired tennis star Li Na, who claimed the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award.
The Laureus World Sports Awards are voted for by a panel of 50 of the greatest living sportsmen and sportswomen.
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