Farah can go distance in 2012, insists Daley

DOUBLE Olympic champion Daley Thompson has tipped world-beating distance runner Mo Farah to sweep the board next year.

Farah, who won 5,000m gold and 10,000m silver at this year’s World Championships, is one of six Britons shortlisted for the 2012 Laureus Sports Awards, which will be held in London on 6 February.

And decathlon great Thompson is tipping the 28-year-old to win the headline Sportsman of the Year gong at the 2013 awards if he realises his hopes of winning both events at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“If Mo Farah does the double I reckon he’ll win it,” Thompson said. “I don’t reckon he’ll have a problem. He was fantastic [this year] and is really likeable.”

For the upcoming awards Farah is nominated in the Breakthrough of the Year category, where he faces competition from Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy and Wimbledon women’s champion Petra Kvitova.

Other home stars in contention include McIlroy’s compatriot and rival Darren Clarke, for Comeback of the Year and England’s cricketers, in the Team of the Year category.

The nomadic awards ceremony arrives in London ahead of a landmark sporting year for the capital, and Thompson, one of the select Laureus Academy members who will decide on the winners, said the city was a natural choice.

“Next year the most important place for sport is London, so this should be here really,” he added.

“Everybody in the organisation thought it was a brilliant idea, and it’s confirmation that this is the centre of the sporting universe for the next year.”

NOMINEES | LAUREUS WORLD SPORTS AWARDS 2012

World Sportsman of the Year
Usain Bolt; Novak Djokovic; Cadel Evans; Lionel Messi; Dirk Nowitzki; Sebastian Vettel

World Sportswoman of the Year
Vivian Cheruiyot; Maria Hofl-Riesch; Carmelita Jeter; Petra Kvitova; Homare Sawa; Yani Tseng

World Breakthrough of the Year
Yohan Blake; Mo Farah; Petra Kvitova; Rory McIlroy; Li Na; Oscar Pistorius

World Team of the Year
All Blacks; FC Barcelona; Dallas Mavericks; England Cricket Team; Japan Women’s Football Team; Red Bull

World Comeback of the Year
Eric Abidal; Darren Clarke; Crusaders; Sergio Garcia; Liu Xiang; Queensland Reds

Sportsperson of Year with a Disability
Daniel Dias; Terezinha Guilhermina; Oscar Pistorius; Esther Vergeer; David Weir; Irek Zaripov

World Action Sportsperson of the Year
Jamie Bestwick; Philip Koster; Carissa Moore; Travis Rice; Kelly Slater; Shaun White