SEVILLE: Reigning Formula One world champion Max Verstappen and Jamaican Olympic sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah won the top honours at the 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards here.
Leading an illustrious group of sports stars honoured by the Laureus World Sports Academy, Verstappen and Thompson-Herah were named World Sportsman of the Year and World Sportswoman of the Year on Sunday night.
The Awards recognised the sporting achievements of 2021, one of the highlights of which was the European Championship victory by the Italian men's football team that won its second Laureus Team of the Year Award as a result.
Tennis sensation Emma Raducanu received the Laureus Breakthrough of the Year Award following her US Open victory at the age of 18.
India's star javelin thrower and reigning Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra was also nominated in the category.
Verstappen, who secured his first World Championship at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in December, said: "I was very happy, of course, but it was a lot of hard work and years of preparation."
"I'm incredibly proud. Since I was a little kid I dreamt of being on the top step and winning the championship. I said to my dad [Former Formula One driver Jos Verstappen] We did it, this is what we worked for all these years and now we are here, the two of us, all the memories, all the years of travelling all over Europe, going for that one goal and we achieved it'."
The full list of winners: World Sportsman of the Year Award: Max Verstappen, World Sportswoman of the Year Award: Elaine Thompson-Herah World Team of the Year Award: Italy Men's Football Team World Breakthrough of the Year Award: Emma Raducanu World Comeback of the Year Award: Sky Brown World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award: Marcel Hug World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award: Bethany Shriever Lifetime Achievement Award: Tom Brady Academy Exceptional Achievement Award: Robert Lewandowski Sporting Icon Award: Valentino Rossi Sport for Good Award: Lost Boyz Inc.
Sport for Good Society Award: Real Madrid Foundation Athlete Advocate of the Year Award: Gerald Asamoah and the Black Eagles.