Hampshire stars in line for top award

Romsey Advertiser: Ben Ainslie Ben Ainslie

Two Hampshire sports stars have been nominated for 2014 Laureus World Sports Awards.

Four-time British Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie, who lives in Lymington, is nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award.

Ainslie, right, was a member of Oracle Team USA which won the America’s Cup last September in one of the most amazing fightbacks in the history of sport.

The US yacht was 8-1 down in the series in San Francisco Bay, just one point from defeat, but driven on by skipper Jimmy Spithill and guided by tactician Ainslie, they rallied to produce a run of eight straight wins for a 9-8 victory over Emirates Team New Zealand.

Hook golfer Justin Rose, who finally won his first Major Championship at the age of 32, is nominated for Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year.

Laureus World Comeback of the Year nominees:

Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) Athletics – won pole vault world title in front of home crowd

Rafael Nadal (Spain) Tennis – winner of French Open, US Open and five ATP Masters event

Oracle Team USA - Sailing – 8-1 down in America’s Cup, Oracle fought back for a 9-8 victory

Tony Parker (France) Basketball – European Championship MVP after recovering from serious eye injury

Ronaldinho (Brazil) Football – at 33, led unfashionable Atlético Mineiro to victory in Copa Libertadores

Tiger Woods (US) Golf – US PGA Player of the Year after five tour victories, regained world No 1 ranking

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