Vinesh Phogat becomes first Indian to be nominated for Laureus World Sports Awardhttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/sport-others/vinesh-phogat-becomes-first-indian-to-be-nominated-for-laureus-world-sports-award-5543624/

Vinesh Phogat becomes first Indian to be nominated for Laureus World Sports Award

Vinesh Phogat had a stellar 2018 in which she won gold at the Commonwealth Games, a silver in the Asian Championships in Bishkek and a gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

Vinesh Phogat becomes first Indian to be nominated for Laureus World Sports Award
Vinesh Phogat had a stellar 2018 after spending much of the previous two years recovering from an injury sustained at the 2016 Olympics (PTI)

Star wrestler Vinesh Phogat on Thursday became the first Indian to be nominated for the prestigious Laureus World Sports Award. Vinesh has been nominated in “Laureus World Sporting Comeback” category for the year 2019 and will be competing for the award with golf great Tiger Woods, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, American alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn, Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Manyu, and Dutch para-snowboarding star Bibian Mentel-Spee.

Vinesh had a stellar 2018 in which she won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a silver in the 2018 Asian Championships in Bishkek and a gold at the Asian Games in Jakarta.

She was one of the favourites to win a medal for India at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but a horrific knee injury forced her tournament to an end at the quarter-finals. A former member of Vinesh’s entourage said the injury was virtually a ‘death sentence’ for her career.

Vinesh steadily worked her way back to fitness and the first true sign of her return was when she followed up her CWG gold with a victory at the Madrid Grand Prix. In 2016, she had lost the Olympic quarter-final to China’s San Yanan. Her 2018 Asian Games started with a repeat of the fixture and Vinesh went on to win the match 8-2.

ALSO READ: Cut above the rest: Meet Vinesh Phogat, the first female Indian wrestler to win gold at Asian Games

She went on to dominate the field at the Asiad, dropping just two points and spending a little over 11 minutes on the mat en route to the final. Aged just 24, she was one of the nominees for the Padma Shri award in 2018 and is expected to be a favourite to win a medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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Football players Luka Modric and Kylian Mbappe have been nominated for the Laureus Sportsman of the Year award alongwith tennis star Novak Djokovic, American basketball player LeBron James, Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge. Nominees for Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year are American gymnast, Romanian tennis world no.1 Simona Halep, Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber, Swiss triathlete Daniela Ryf, Czech snowboard Ester Ledecka and American alpine skier Mikaela Shiffrin.