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MacArthur on course for global award

MacArthur: World Sailor of the Year 2001  

LONDON, England -- British yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, tennis players Lleyton Hewitt and Jennifer Capriati are all strong contenders to be nominated for the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards.

All four athletes have starred on the global sporting stage over the past 12 months and could be among the nominations submitted by a selection panel of more than 1,000 sports journalists from 75 countries.

MacArthur was the youngest competitor ever to finish the Vendée Globe yacht race when she came second last year and only the second person to sail round-the-world solo in under 100 days.

She was named World Sailor of the Year by both the British and International Sailing Federation in 2001.

Round-the-world sailor Ellen MacArthur tells CNN her theory on why she is so popular.

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Germany's Schumacher confirmed his greatness on the track by securing his fourth Formula One world title in eight years during 2001, while Australia's Hewitt won the U.S. Open last September before ending the year as the youngest men's world number one in tennis history.

American Capriati won the first two Grand Slam events of 2001 before going on to retain her Australian Open crown this January.

Five nominees will be announced in each of seven categories for the third Laureus World Sports Awards at a media conference at the New York Athletic Club on Tuesday.

Nominees will be announced by members of the elite World Sports Academy including Boris Becker, Bobby Charlton, Sebastian Coe, Kapil Dev, Emerson Fittipaldi, Kip Keino, Edwin Moses, Nawal El Moutawakel, Robby Naish, Ilie Nastase, Morne du Plessis and Daley Thompson.

Golfer Tiger Woods, another genuine contender for honours in 2002, won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award in 2000 and 2001 while athletes Marion Jones and Cathy Freeman won the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award in 2000 and 2001 respectively.

The eventual winners of the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards, as voted upon by the World Sports Academy, will be unveiled during a television ceremony staged in Monaco's Grimaldi Forum, in the presence of HRH Prince Albert of Monaco, on the night of May 14.

The Laureus World Sports Awards were established in 1999 by Founding Patrons DaimlerChrysler and Richemont, who are represented through their premier brands Mercedes-Benz and Cartier. The awards honour the achievements of the world's greatest sportsmen and women on an annual basis.


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