Laureus ambassador Mick Doohan has praised fellow Australians Adam Scott and Mick Fanning for their world sport award nominations.
At 33, Adam Scott is one of the oldest athletes to be nominated for Laureus’ coveted breakthrough award.
But it’s a nod well-deserved given the significance of his US Masters victory, says fellow Queenslander and Laureus ambassador Mick Doohan.
Scott is among six nominees vying for the prestigious honour after becoming the first Australian to win the fabled tournament in its 77-year history last April.
It was also Scott’s first major title after more than 13 years as a tour professional.
“That’s an amazing feat and Adam’s only going to grow and grow from here,” said five-time MotoGP world champion Doohan, who, along with 45 other sporting greats, will pick the winners for next month’s award ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
Scott joins fellow golfer Justin Rose as the oldest nominees in the breakthrough/newcomer category’s 15-year history.
Like Scott, Rose was 32 when he claimed his first major at the 2013 US Open.
“(But) Adam’s one step above that,” Doohan said.
Choosing a favourite, however, between compatriot Scott and a man after his own heart in Marc Marquez, also nominated, is a much more difficult decision.
“Obviously being a little bit biased towards the Australian, plus also biased towards the motorcycling community, it’s a tough one for me,” he said.
Marquez, who become the youngest ever rider to win a MotoGP world championship in 2013, has also been nominated for World Sportsman of the Year, alongside three-time Laureus winner Usain Bolt, Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel, NBA star LeBron James, British athlete Mo Farah, Rafael Nadal, and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Australian Mick Fanning has earned his second nomination in the Action Sportsperson of the Year award, after clinching his third world surfing title in dramatic style in the final round of the 2013 tour.
Two Australian surfers have won a Laureus before – Stephanie Gilmore in 2010 and Layne Beachley in 2004.
“The girls have taken one each so it’d be great to see Mick take it home,” Doohan said.
“To come back and win the championship last year like he did, I think is a great achievement.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls it off. But until March 26 we will not know.”
The awards fall less than a fortnight before Scott begins his US Masters title defence.