Laureus Awards 2020: The greats line up for their big moment

Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar's 'carried on the shoulders of a nation' moment is among favourites to claim Best Sporting Moment (2000-2020) Laureus award.

Eliud Kipchoge and Rafael Nadal are frontrunners in the Sportsman of the Year category at the 2020 Laureus Awards.   -  Twitter

Eliud Kipchoge appeared to be a big favourite to win the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award when he made history by running the marathon under two hours late last year but the new developments in his running shoes story are likely to add a twist to his chances.

The World Athletics, the sport's governing body, had banned the shoes which Kipchoge wore on his under-two hours run to make the sport equal for all.

READ | Laureus World Sports Awards: Full list of nominees

The Laureus awards will be presented at the Verti Music Hall here on Monday night and Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal, who with 19 is very close to Roger Federer's all-time Grand Slam title record of 20, F1 star Lewis Hamilton, football great Lionel Messi, golf's great comeback man Tiger Woods and motorcycling star Marc Marquez are the other nominees for the men's award.

Meanwhile, two track and field moms, Allyson Felix and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who lit up the World Championships in Doha last year, footballer Megan Rapinoe, tennis star Naomi Osaka, gymnastic wonder Simone Biles and Mikaela Shiffrin (skiing) are in the race for the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year title.

Meanwhile, one hears that Sachin Tendulkar's 'Carried on the shoulders of the nation' – the scene after India's 2011 ICC World Cup triumph at home – is among the top favourites for the Laureus Sporting Moment for the years 2000-2020 with South African female amputee swimmer Natalie du Toit expected to give the Indian cricketer a hot fight. Toit became the first female amputee swimmer ever to qualify for the able-bodied Olympics in 2008 in Beijing.

The Laureus Sport for Good award was presented on Sunday and it went to South Bronx United, a project which used football to change the lives of young people and poor communities in New York.

Andrew So, SBU's co-founder and executive director, and two inspiring youngsters who benefited from the project – Mohammed Konate, who came from the Ivory Coast to the US many years ago, and Maria Martinez – received the award.

(The writer is in Berlin at the invitation of Laureus)