Usain Bolt wins for the second straight time

Pomp and glamour marked the 2010 Laureus World Sports Awards held at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. The event was attended by a galaxy of Hollywood stars and famous sportspersons from across the globe.

The 2009 Formula One champion Jenson Button, who received the Breakthrough of the Year Award from skateboard champion Tony Hawk and Hollywood actor Michelle Rodriquez, said: “Wow, I think somebody forgot to tell Laureus I’m 30-years-old.

Breakthrough Sportsman!,” exclaimed Button. “In fact, 2009 was a very special year in my life. When I started the season I didn’t think I’d actually be racing in Formula One.”

The Academy members such as Boris Becker, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Monica Seles, Steve Waugh, Shaun Pollock, Ian Botham and Kapil Dev were among others who graced the occasion.

Hollywood star Kevin Spacey, who hosted the show, livened up the proceedings with his wit and humour.

The other star-attraction from Hollywood was Gwyneth Paltrow.

Sprint king Usain Bolt of Jamaica was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for the second straight time for his three gold medals (100m, 200m, 4x100m relay) in the World Athletics Championships in Berlin last year. World No.1 women’s tennis player Serena Williams won her second Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award seven years after she won her first.

Her fantastic victories in the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2009 helped her to win this prestigious award.

In a video conference from Jamaica, Bolt thanked Laureus for the award. “Thank you everybody,” he said. “My aim is the Olympics in 2012 in London.”

Serena expressed her disappointment at not being able to make it to Abu Dhabi. “I am just so delighted to win this award. I thank the Laureus Academy members who voted for me and the world media for nominating me. Last year I had my ups and downs. So to get this support is fantastic,” she said.

The winners:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Usain Bolt (Jamaica, athletics).

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Serena Williams (USA, tennis).

Laureus World Team of the Year: Brawn GP Formula One.

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Jenson Button (UK, motor racing).

Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Kim Clijsters (Belgium, tennis).

Laureus World Sportsperson with a disability: Natalie duToit (South Africa, swimmer).

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Stephanie Gilmore (Australia, surfing).

Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award: Nawal El Moutawakel (Morocco, athletics).

Laureus Sport for Good Award: Dikembe Mutombo (USA, basketball).