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Pearson and Wright nominated for Laureus World Sport Award

17 January 2018

Australian track star Sally Pearson has been nominated for a prestigious Laureus World Sport Award following her emotional gold medal win at the world championships last year.

Pearson is one of two Australians included in any of the eight categories, with surfing world champion Tyler Wright also acknowledged for her second world title last year.

Pearson, nominated for the Comeback of the Year award, completed one of the most remarkable fightbacks in Australian sporting history by winning the 100m hurdles in London.

After claiming Olympic gold at the London Olympics in 2012, Pearson suffered an endless run of injuries over a three-year period that threatened to end her sporting career.

She made a triumphant return to win her second title on the same track in August last year, and stake her claim as the nation's best-ever track athlete alongside Cathy Freeman.

Pearson is in a hotly contested category that includes Brazilian football team Chapecoense following their tragic plane crash, and Roger Federer's successful return from a knee injury.

FC Barcelona, who fought back from 4-0 to score a remarkable 6-5 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi and men's 100m world champion Justin Gatlin are also shortlisted.

Cathy Freeman congratulated Pearson for her nomination.

"For me Sally is one of the bravest athletes in the world. Overcoming long-term injuries is a mental and physical nightmare for a full-time athlete," Freeman said.

"Sally hadn't competed in a global championship between 2013 and 2017. Yet she didn't lose faith. Her reward was the 100 metres hurdles gold medal in the World Championships in London last August, the same track where she won the 2012 Olympics gold medal.

"That's class, Sally. Congratulations. You're my kind of athlete."

Wright gains her second straight nomination in an Action Sportsperson of the Year field that also boasts men's surfing champion JJ Florence, skateboarder Nyjah Huston and French sailor Armel Le Cleac'h.

Snowboarders Anna Gasser and Mark McMorris have also been recognised.

British distance runner Mo Farah, F1 driver Lewis Hamilton, cyclist Chris Froome, Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal, Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and Federer have been nominated for Sportsman of the Year.

For the Sportswoman of the Year award, Americans Allyson Felix (track), Katie Ledecky (swimming), Mikaela Shiffrin (skiing), Serena Williams (tennis) are in contention, along with South African runner Caster Semenya and Spanish tennis star Garbine Muguruza.

The winners will be announced in Monaco on February 27.

AAP

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