Tuesday March 8th, 2005
Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher, six-times Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong and men's tennis number one Roger Federer were nominated on Tuesday for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award.
The trio will be up against American swimmer Michael Phelps, Moroccan athlete Hicham El Guerrouj, and MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi of Italy, the organisers said in a statement.
Phelps won six gold and two bronze medals at the Athens Games where he broke his own world record in the 400 metres individual medley. El Guerrouj completed the first 1,500-5,000 Olympic double since Paavo Nurmi at the 1924 Paris Games.
Athletes Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, Briton Kelly Holmes and Carolina Kluft of Sweden are in the frame for the women's title, along with Wimbledon tennis champion Maria Sharapova, Swedish golfer Annika Sorenstam and Dutch cyclist Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel.
Pole vaulter Isinbayeva set her seventh world record of 2004 while winning the Olympic gold medal in Athens, where Holmes clinched an unexpected 800-1,500 metres double.
Kluft won the Olympic heptathlon title, Sorenstam lifted her seventh major title at the LPGA Championship and Zijlaard-van Moorsel, at 34, captured her fourth Olympic gold in the individual time trial.
Soccer has two nominees for the team award with Greece, who were upset winners at Euro 2004, and Portuguese club Porto who clinched the European Champions League.
Also in the running are Formula One champions Ferrari, baseball's World Series winners the Boston Red Sox, Olympic men's basketball champions Argentina and Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup golf team.
Forty sports personalities will also choose the best alternative and comeback sports people of 2004, and the best newcomer, from a shortlist for the "sporting Oscars" drawn up by more than 500 journalists from 82 countries.
The winners will be announced on May 16 in Estoril, Portugal.
Published at 12:10:22 GMT