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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:51 PM   #1
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Laureus World Sports Awards: Hingis wins Comeback of the Year

BARCELONA, May 22 (Reuters) - Roger Federer reasserted his status on top of the sporting world on Monday by again winning the Sportsman of the Year title at the Laureus World Sports awards on a big night for tennis.

Croatian skier Janica Kostelic took the women's prize after an unprecedented fourth Winter Olympic gold, while Federer's compatriot Martina Hingis won the Comeback of the Year award, a day after her first singles title success in over four years.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal, Federer's great rival, was named Newcomer of the Year after 12 months in which the 19-year-old was crowned French Open champion and became unbeatable on clay.

Formula One constructors Renault won the team award, offering some consolation to losing nominee Fernando Alonso, who became the sport's youngest-ever champion.

Along with Alonso, Federer beat off competition from seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, Brazil's Ronaldinho, two-time winner Tiger Woods, and Italian motorcycle champion Valentino Rossi, who picked up a Spirit of Sport award after three fruitless years as a contender.

Federer, who goes to the French Open on Sunday aiming to become the first man since 1969 to hold all four grand slams, also won the Laureus award in Estoril 12 months ago -- when he was the Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion.

With the Australian Open title also in his possession now, the powerful frame of Nadal is likely to be his greatest obstacle to glory at Roland Garros.

Hingis, who quit tennis in 2002 after chronic injuries and a decline hastened by the emergence of power-players like the Williams sisters, has confounded the doubters since her comeback from self-imposed exile in December and on Sunday swept to victory at the Italian Open.

"I'm very impressed. Here she is, (in the) top 15 after five months. She breaks all the records she sets herself. She doesn't just say, she does it too," Federer said before the awards were announced.

South African wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk, with a fifth straight win at the Boston Marathon, won the disabled sportspersons award.

Angelo d'Arrigo, the Italian hang-glider known as the 'Human Condor' who was killed in an air crash in March, was posthumously given the alternative sportsperson's award.

The King of Spain and Hollywood celebrities such as Morgan Freeman and Teri Hatcher rubbed shoulders with the likes of Australian cricketer Shane Warne and German tennis great Boris Becker.

In a city still suffering the hangover of Barcelona's Champions League win last Wednesday, former club player and coach Johan Cruyff was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award for his contribution to football.

Kostelic, who won the women's combined event at the Turin Olympics, beat off rivals including Yelena Isinbayeva, the first woman to pole vault over five metres, U.S. Open tennis champion Kim Clijsters, and ex-winner, Swedish golfer Annika Sorenstam.

The awards are decided by a jury of 40 of the greatest sportsmen and women of all time, from a shortlist put together by a panel of journalists from around the world.

The awards are twinned with the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charitable venture seeking to assist the underprivileged and needy around the world.


Well done Martina!!!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 06:56 PM   #2
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I'm so happy for Janica, she realy deserved it this time!!!!!!!!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:12 PM   #3
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Bit strange Martina wins it, since it is a 2005 award

(I'm not saying what she's doing isn't great, but it's rather 2006, no)
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:20 PM   #4
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martina won it for a 2 months performance in 2006?
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:23 PM   #5
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Congrats to Janica, Marti and Roger.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 07:41 PM   #6
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Kim should have won the Comeback of the year.... but well... I suppose present as more weight than last year. It's nice martina won it tho
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 09:19 PM   #7
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Well.. she was nominated.. so.. I guess cause her comeback landed so fast in the year.. but I think after yesterday.. she deserve it.. good days from Hingis fans.. maybe Kim deserve it too.. but.. both are great players.. Martina Congrats!!!... Nice from 200 or more rank.. jump places so fast.. to 2 tittles at time, today 14 in rank, seed from RG.. need more?
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 10:12 PM   #8
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It tis too soon for a martina award, she wins it for 2006 no doubt.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 10:52 PM   #9
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Hingis will continue to be successful this year, so I think they should have postponned that award win for her for next year's edition. From "February 2005 to February 2006", Kim definitely deserved it. And Justine right after her.

They should have aknowledged the great comebacks made by the Belgians. Next year it'll be Serena and Jennifer hopefully!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 11:20 PM   #10
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Congrats Martina!!!
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 11:22 PM   #11
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Well done martina! Although I really think Kim should have one!
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 12:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melusine
Bit strange Martina wins it, since it is a 2005 award

(I'm not saying what she's doing isn't great, but it's rather 2006, no)
thats what i was thinking i would have thought Kim should get this one.

but congrats to Martina all the same
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 01:55 AM   #13
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well good for her, she deserves it anyway
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 01:56 AM   #14
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Congrats, Martina! Was this really a 2005 award?
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Old May 23rd, 2006, 04:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
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martina won it for a 2 months performance in 2006?
No, Martina won it for surging back into the top-end of the rankings after a 4 year layoff.
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