After cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and wrestler Vinesh Phogat, Neeraj Chopra is the third Indian to receive a Laureus nomination.
Neeraj Chopra, India’s Olympic gold medalist in the javelin, was nominated for the coveted Laureus ‘World Breakthrough of the Year’ award on Wednesday, making him the first Indian to be included in the short-list for this category. Tennis stars Daniil Medvedev and Emma Raducanu were among those who were nominated. Chopra, 23, became only the second Indian to win an individual Olympic gold medal when he threw 87.58 metres in his second attempt in Tokyo last year. His performance elevated him to celebrity status in India, as well as international praise.
In a statement released by Laureus Academy Neeraj said “it’s a great honour for me to be recognised in the wider sporting world for what I achieved in Tokyo. From being a kid in a small village in rural India who only took up the sport to get fit, to standing on top of an Olympic podium, it’s been quite an eventful journey so far,”.
The finalists for this year’s Laureus World Sports Awards were chosen by a panel comprising more than 1,300 sports journalists and broadcasters from around the world.
Following a vote by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the winners will be announced in April.
Pedri, the 19-year-old FC Barcelona football prodigy who was named best young player at the Ballon d’Or, Yulimar Rojas, who broke the 26-year-old triple jump world record, and swimmer Ariarne Titmus, who twice beat champion Katie Ledecky at the 200 and 400 metres in Tokyo, are also nominated for the Breakthrough Award alongside Chopra. The competition for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year is heating up.