Kaymer is Laureus Award winner

Martin Kaymer has been voted ‘Breakthrough Sportsman of the Year’ at the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony.

Martin Kaymer has been voted the World’s top ‘Breakthrough Sportsman of the Year’ at the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony in Abu Dhabi.

This on Monday night when Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal took home the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award, US downhill skiing star Lindsay Vonn was voted World Sportswoman of the Year and Spain, the USA and Germany were the night’s big winners.

Kaymer, won the US PGA Championship, becoming the first German in history to do it, and, from there, went on to win the Race to Dubai and claim the European golfing crown for 2010.

He has already won again this season – two weeks ago at Abu Dhabi – and right now, as the World No 2, is shaping up as a distinctive threat to Lee Westwood, currently the World top-ranked golfer.

Kaymer, was, in a way, a double winner on Monday night.

Laureus Spirit of Sport Award was presented to the European Ryder Cup Team to mark their emotional win over the United States in October in a match which demonstrated great sportsmanship and the highest levels of skill – and Kaymer was a key member of the European team

Along with him, the night’s other German winner was the visually impaired skier and biathlete Verena Bentele who was a popular winner of the Laureus Disability Award after capturing five gold medals in the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Nadal, his sport’s World No 1, was the clear cut star of the tennis world last year, winning three of the four Grand Slam events and it was no surprise that Spain’s second big winner was their football team who were the highly acclaimed winners of last year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Along with Vonn, who claimed her Laureus Award on the strength of a stellar year in which she secured her third straight skiing World Cup as well as the Olympic Downhill gold medal, the other winner from the USA on Monday was surfer Kelly Slater.

Slater received an exceptionally warm reception when he was presented with the Laureus Action Sports Award for the third time after winning a record tenth World Surfing Championship in 2010.

The Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award went to Italy’s super competitive seven-time motor cycle world champion Valentino Rossi, who returned to the track just 41 days after breaking his leg.

French football legend Zinedine Zidanen received the Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his remarkable career.

Members of the Laureus World Sports Academy who were present at the glittering function were: Giacomo Agostini, Franz Beckenbauer, Boris Becker, Sergey Bubka, Bobby Charlton, Nadia Comaneci, Marcel Desailly, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dawn Fraser, Tanni Grey-Thompson, ‘Marvelous Marvin’ Hagler, Mika Hakkinen, Tony Hawk, Kip Keino, Franz Klammer, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Alexey Nemov, Gary Player, Morné du Plessis, Hugo Porta, Monica Seles, Mark Spitz, Daley Thompson and Steve Waugh.

And during the ceremony it was announced that Australian five-times motor cycle 500cc world champion Mick Doohan and five-times Olympic rowing gold medallist Steve Redgrave had been elected to join the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year – Rafael Nadal
Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year – Lindsey Vonn
Laureus World Team of the Year – Spain World Cup Team
Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year – Martin Kaymer
Laureus World Comeback of the Year – Valentino Rossi
Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability – Verena Bentele
Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year -Kelly Slater
Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award – Zinedine Zidane
Laureus Spirit of Sport Award – European Ryder Cup Team
Laureus Sport for Good Award – May El-Khalil, founder of the Beirut Marathon.