Tennis Legend Li Na To Attend Laureus World Sports Awards

Tennis star Li Na is the latest Chinese sporting legend to confirm she will attend next week’s Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai.

Tennis star Li Na is the latest Chinese sporting legend to confirm she will attend next week’s Laureus World Sports Awards in Shanghai.

Li Na will join great Olympians Deng Yaping, Li Ning, Li Xiaopeng and Yang Yang, plus Yao Ming, former NBA star of the Houston Rockets, and Sun Wen, voted FIFA Women’s Player of the Century, for the globally televised Laureus Awards Ceremony at the Shanghai Grand Theatre on April 15. Deng Yaping, Li Xiaopeng and Yang Yang are all members of the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Li Na has been a great pioneer for tennis in China. In 2014 she won her second Grand Slam at the Australian Open and achieved a career-best ranking of world No.2. However, seven months later she was forced to retire, at 32, because of knee injuries. She also won the 2011 French Open. As the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam event, she has a huge following in the country. Li Na has been nominated for the 2015 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is the premier honours event on the international sporting calendar. The winners are selected by the votes of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 50 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time.

The Laureus World Sports Awards will be hosted by film and TV star Benedict Cumberbatch. Also presenting Awards will be Henry Cavill, widely acclaimed for his role as Superman in Man of Steel, and award winning Korean actress Ha Ji-won. The list of Laureus Academy Members, Ambassadors, Nominees and Guests so far confirmed for Shanghai reads like a sporting who’s who:

Valerie Adams

Marcus Allen

Annabelle Bond

Schalk Burger


Eric Cantona

Fabio Capello

Nadia Comaneci

Mick Doohan

Emerson Fittipaldi

Sean Fitzpatrick

Dawn Fraser

Cathy Freeman

Shelley Gautier

Tanni Grey-Thompson

Ruud Gullit

Marvelous Marvin Hagler

Mika Hakkinen

Michael Holding

Mike Horn

Nyjah Huston

Michael Johnson

Kip Keino

Franz Klammer

Janica Kostelic

Leung Yuk Wing

Li Xiaopeng

Vanesa Lorenzo

Tegla Loroupe

Danny MacAskill

Tina Maze

Heyneke Meyer

Edwin Moses

Robby Naish

Ilie Nastase

Alexey Nemov

Roman Petushkov

Morné du Plessis

Hugo Porta

Carles Puyol

Louis Saha

Mark Spitz

Sarah Storey

Sun Wen

Sachin Tendulkar

Pierre Vaultier

Jean de Villiers

Steve Waugh

Ireen Wüst

Yang Yang

Yao Ming

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards directly benefit and underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports more than 150 community sports projects in 34 countries, including China. Since its inception, Laureus has raised over €60 million for projects which have improved the lives of millions of young people.

The Awards Ceremony, attended by legends of sport past and present, celebrates the achievements of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year. The Host Partner of the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is Chinese textile and wool company HengYuanXiang Group (HYX), and the event will receive the strong support of the Shanghai Municipal Government.

The full list of Nominees for the 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards is:

Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

Novak Djokovic (Serbia) Tennis; Lewis Hamilton (UK) Motor Racing; Renaud Lavillenie (France) Athletics; Rory McIlroy (UK) Golf; Marc Márquez (Spain) Motor Cycling; Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) Football.

Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year

Valerie Adams (NZ) Athletics; Marit Bjørgen (Norway) Nordic Skiing; Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia) Athletics; Tina Maze (Slovenia) Alpine Skiing; Li Na (China) Tennis: Serena Williams (US) Tennis.

Laureus World Team of the Year

European Ryder Cup Team (Golf); Germany Men’s Football Team; Mercedes AMG Petronas Team (Germany); Real Madrid Football Team (Spain); San Antonio Spurs (US) Basketball; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).

Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award

Marin Cilic (Croatia) Tennis; Mario Götze (Germany) Football; Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Motor Racing; James Rodriguez (Colombia) Football; Mikaela Shiffrin (US) Alpine Skiing; Switzerland Davis Cup Team (Tennis).

Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award

Francesco Acerbi (Italy) Football; Schalk Burger (South Africa) Rugby; Diego Milito (Argentina) Football; Jo Pavey (UK) Athletics; Pierre Vaultier (France) Snowboarding; Oliver Wilson (UK) Golf.

Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Shelley Gautier (Canada) Cycling; Tatyana McFadden (US) Wheelchair Racing; Roman Petushkov (Russia) Nordic Skiing; Anna Schaffelhuber (Germany) Alpine Skiing; Sarah Storey (UK) Cycling; Leung Yuk Wing (Hong Kong SAR China) Boccia.

Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award

Alan Eustace (US) Skydiving; Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) Surfing; Nyjah Huston (US) Skateboarding; Sage Kotsenburg (US) Snowboarding; Danny MacAskill (UK) Trials Cycling; Gabriel Medina (Brazil) Surfing.

For more detailed biographies of Nominees, click here.

Among the sporting greats who have previously been named as winners of Laureus Awards over the last 15 years have been Usain Bolt, Sebastian Coe, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Kelly Holmes, Yao Ming, Rafael Nadal, Pelé, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Shaun White, Serena Williams, Liu Xiang and Zinedine Zidane.

Guests who have attended previous Awards Ceremonies in the past have included David and Victoria Beckham, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, Jackie Chan, Thandie Newton, Clive Owen and Eva Longoria

20 Years at #1: Your best source of news about the Olympics is, for subscribers only