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Verstappen, Thompson-Herah win top honours at 2022 Laureus Awards

Euro 2020 champion Italy was awarded Team of the Year

Italy Emilia Romagna F1 GP Auto Racing Formula One driver Max Verstappen and Jamaican sprinter Elaine Thompson-Herah | AP, Reuters

Reigning Formula One world champion Max Verstappen and Jamaican Olympic sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah Winners won the top honours at the 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards.

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

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