Freeman, Woods take top sports nods

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MONTE CARLO — The second annual Laureus World Sports Awards were presented Tuesday at a smooth and glitzy ceremony in Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum. The kudocast airs Sunday on NBC at 4 p.m. EDT.

Nominees were selected through a poll of 300 journalists in 75 countries, and the winners were chosen by the 42 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, chaired by U.S. Olympian Ed Moses .

Emcee Gregory Hines and presenters Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Marcia Gay Harden brought a Hollywood flavor to the proceedings.

Australia’s 400-meter Olympic champion Cathy Freeman was on hand to take the Sportswoman of the Year trophy, but Tiger Woods accepted his Sportsman of the Year Laureus via video.

U.S. tennis star Jennifer Capriati won the Comeback of the Year award. and Russia’s U.S. Open winner Marat Safin was voted Newcomer of the Year. France’s men’s soccer squad took Team of the Year kudos and Britain’s five-time Olympic gold medalist, rowing ace Steven Redgrave, brought the audience to its feet when receiving his Laureus for lifetime achievement.

Biggest ovation of the evening went to Australian paraplegic sailor Vinny Lauwers who accepted the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award.

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