ISAF World Sailor of the Year 2001 Ellen MacArthur will be in illustrious company if, as tipped, she is nominated for the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards.
Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, tennis players Lleyton Hewitt and Jennifer Capriati are the other strong contenders to be nominated in New York on Tuesday (March 19) 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 around the world.
Briton MacArthur last year became the youngest competitor ever to finish the Vendée Globe yacht race and only the second person to go round-the-world solo in under 100 days. MacArthur also won the ISAF World Sailor of the Year in 2001.
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.
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, Hugo Porta 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 the regal surrounds of Monaco's Grimaldi Forum, under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, on the night of May 14.