Jelena Ostapenko, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kylian Mbappe are among the six athletes nominated for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award. Joining them are Caeleb Dressel, Sergio Garcia and Anthony Joshua, all of whom were nominated after a ballot by the world’s sports media.
The World Breakthrough of the Year award is awarded to the sportsperson or team whose performance as a newcomer suggests the greatest potential for an outstanding career, or to an established sportsman or sportswoman who produces a significant step-up in class to a considerably higher level of sporting achievement. As Laureus' India partners, Firstpost brings you the nominees for the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year award (listed in alphabetical order).
— Laureus (@LaureusSport) January 16, 2018
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Basketball)
At 22, the Milwaukee Bucks playmaker became the first man in NBA history to finish in the top 20 in points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. He was named ‘Most Improved Player’ at the 2017 NBA Awards, becoming the first Bucks player to achieve this.
Caeleb Dressel (Swimming)
At just 20, he became the first swimmer to win three World Championship gold medals in a day. He finished the meet in Budapest with seven gold medals, equalling Michael Phelps record from 2007. He won individual golds in the 50 and 100 metres freestyle and 100 metres butterfly, plus four golds in relays, two in world record times.
Sergio Garcia (Golf)
Finally won a Major Championship, The Masters, at the age of 37. Over a career of 18 years, Garcia had won 31 tournaments, but in Majors had finished second four times and in the top ten on 22 occasions. However, in April, he beat Justin Rose in a play-off at Augusta to achieve his goal.
Anthony Joshua (Boxing)
Beat long-time champion Wladimir Klitschko in April to unify the WBA (Super), IBO and IBF world heavyweight titles. He followed this up with his first successful defence against Carlos Takam in October. The former 2012 Olympic gold medal winner has won all his 20 professional fights inside the distance, by KO (5) or TKO (15).
Kylian Mbappe (Football)
Aged 18, scored 26 goals in 2016-17 in Champions League and French Ligue 1 for Monaco, which led to him joining Paris Saint-Germain on loan with an option to buy, which could make him one of the most expensive players in history. Scored for PSG on his European debut against Celtic, making him the first teenager to score for two different clubs in the Champions League.
Jelena Ostapenko (Tennis)
Ranked 47 in the world at the time, she became the first unseeded woman to win the French Open since 1933. At 20, she was the youngest Grand Slam winner since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 US Open. She also won the Korea Open later in the year.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jan 17, 2018 19:53:31 IST