Sergey Bubka with Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Radcliffe and Bubka are Athletics’ winners at World Sports Awards

While Swiss tennis stars Roger Federer and Justine Henin became the World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the year last night (18) at the Laureus World Sports Awards which were being held in St. Petersburg, Russia, the sport of Athletics also had two notable winners.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ukraine Pole Vault legend Sergey Bubka, the retired World record holder for the event, who became senior IAAF Vice-President last summer.

Also, honoured was Britain’s Paula Radcliffe whose victory at last autumn’s New York Marathon on her major competitive return to the sport after maternity leave was acknowledged as the World Comeback of the Year.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the only global sports awards honouring the greatest sportsmen and women across all sports each year.  The winners are selected by the ultimate sports jury - the 43 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, a collection of the world's greatest sportsmen and women.  The living legends of sport honouring the great athletes of today. 

The Awards were presented in seven categories. The winners were:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year: Roger Federer

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year: Justine Henin

Laureus World Team of the Year: South African Rugby Team

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year: Lewis Hamilton

Laureus World Comeback of the Year: Paula Radcliffe

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Esther Vergeer

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year: Shaun White

There were three special Awards: The Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ukraine pole vault legend Sergey Bubka, while Dick Pound, who retired after eight years as Chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency received the Laureus Spirit of Sport Award.  American brothers Brendan and Sean Tuohey were the recipients of the Laureus Sport for Good Award for their work in founding the PeacePlayers International project.

The members of the Laureus World Sports Academy present were: Giacomo Agostini, Marcus Allen, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Sergey Bubka, Nadia Comaneci, Marcel Desailly, Kapil Dev, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Marvin Hagler, Tony Hawk, Mike Horn, Miguel Indurain, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Edwin Moses, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Mark Spitz and Steve Waugh.

Laureus