Nigeria’s 100 metres hurdles World Record holder, Oluwatobiloba Amusan, has been nominated for the 2023 Laureus World Sports Awards (World Breakthrough of the Year category).
She is the first Nigerian male or female athlete to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus Award.
The petit barrier sprint star who set a new world record of 12.12 seconds last summer at the World Championships in Eugene, USA, was shortlisted in the World Breakthrough of the Year category alongside five other contestants like tennis stars, Carlos Alcaraz and Elena Rybakina; semi-finalist at Qatar 2022 World Cup Atlas Lions of Morocco; American figure skater Nathan Chen; and American professional golfer Scott Scheffler.
Amusan’s nomination for the World Breakthrough of the Year award is not unconnected to her impressive performance on the track in 2022. She won every trophy available in the sport in addition to erasing American Kendra Harrison’s world record of 12.20 seconds set in 2016.
Amusan’s beautiful season saw her defend her 100 meters hurdles title at the African Championships in Mauritius with a time of 12.57 seconds before heading to Eugene, Oregon in July (2022).
After accomplishing winning the gold and world record at the Worlds, Amusan went to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham to successfully defend her title, winning her second consecutive gold medal in the 100 meters hurdles with a new Games Record of 12.30 seconds. She also helped power Nigeria’s women’s 4 × 100 meters relay team to gold.
She competed in her specialist event at the Lausanne Diamond Race meet later that month, finishing second with a time of 12.60 seconds, behind reigning Olympic champion Jasmine Camacho-Quinn.
She capped her very successful season winning the 100 meters hurdles event at the Zürich Diamond League final event with a 12.29 seconds performance to retain her title.
For all these achievements in one calendar season, Tobi Amusan was rewarded with a National honour alongside Long Jumper Ese Brume.
For the main Laureus World Sportsman of the Year Award category, Argentina’s 2022 World Cup winning Captain, Lionel Messi will again battle his PSG teammate, Kylian Mbappe for the top honour. Despite scoring a hat trick in the Argentina versus France World Cup final, Mbappe missed the chance to lift the trophy back-to-back. France won the title at Russia 2018.
Other contestants in the six-man shortlist include, NBA star, Stephen Curry, legendary tennis player Rafael Nadal, Formula 1 star, Max Verstappen, Pole Vaulter, Mondo Duplantis.
Manchester United midfielder Christian Eriksen was nominated for Comeback of the Year following his return to football after having a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020.
Kazakhstan’s Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is shortlisted for World Breakthrough of the Year award, as is fellow tennis player Carlos Alcaraz after the Spaniard won the US Open and became the youngest ever men’s world number one.
First held in 2000, the Laureus World Sports Awards honours the greatest and most inspirational sporting triumphs of the year and showcases the work of Laureus Sport for Good.
BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR
- Carlos Alcaraz (Spain) – Tennis
- Tobi Amusan (Nigeria) – Athletics
- Nathan Chen (USA) – Figure skating
- Morocco men’s football team
- Elena Rybakina (Kazakhstan) – Tennis
- Scottie Scheffler (USA) – Golf
SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR
- Steph Curry (USA) – Basketball
- Armand Duplantis (Sweden) – Athletics
- Kylian Mbappe (France) – Football
- Lionel Messi (Argentina) – Football
- Rafael Nadal (Spain) – Tennis
- Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Formula 1
SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
- Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) – Athletics
- Katie Ledecky (USA) – Swimming
- Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (USA) – Athletics
- Alexia Putellas (Spain) – Football
- Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) – Alpine skiing
- Iga Swiatek (Poland) – Tennis
TEAM OF THE YEAR
- Argentina men’s football team
- England women’s football team
- France men’s rugby team
- Golden State Warriors (USA) – Basketball
- Red Bull Racing Formula 1
- Real Madrid (Spain) – Football