BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) — As the sporting year draws to a close, here is Xinhua News Agency’s selection of the world’s top 10 world sports personalities in 2020:
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain, motor racing)
The 35-year-old Mercedes driver clinched the F1 World Championship title this season to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of seven world titles. On October 25, Hamilton took his landmark 92nd career victory to break the sport’s all-time win record.
2. Rafael Nadal (Spain, tennis)
Nadal won a record-extending 13th French Open in 2020. The Spaniard now has 20 Grand Slam titles, tying Roger Federer’s men’s all-time record. The 34-year-old also became the fourth male player to reach 1,000 Tour-level wins in November.
3. Gu Ailing (China, freestyle skiing)
The 17-year-old talent took two golds in the Women’s Halfpipe event and Big Air event at the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne in January. In February, Gu topped the podium twice in the Halfpipe event and Freeski Slopestyle event in FIS Freeski World Cup in Calgary, becoming the first freestyle skier to win back-to-back titles in one World Cup competition.
4. Robert Lewandowski (Poland, football)
The 32-year-old Pole won the 2020 FIFA Best Men’s Player of the Year award and the 2019/20 UEFA Men’s Player of The Year award. Lewandowski was the top scorer in the German Bundesliga, German Cup, and UEFA Champions League in the 2019-20 season as his club Bayern Munich won the treble.
5. Yuzuru Hanyu (Japan, figure skating)
Hanyu, 26, won gold in the men’s singles event at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships in February with a world-record 111.82 points in the short program, becoming the first male skater to complete the Super Slam of the junior world title, world title, Olympic gold, Grand Prix Final and continental championship. The Japanese won the ISU Award for Most Valuable Skater of the season in July. He also won his fifth national title in December.
6. Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela, triple jump)
Rojas, 25, won four competitions this year, including two Wanda Diamond League meetings in Monaco and Castellon, Spain. At the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in February, she leaped 15.43m to break the world indoor record by seven centimeters. Rojas was named female World Athlete of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2020.
7. Lebron James (United States, basketball)
The 36-year-old James led the Los Angles Lakers to win the NBA 2019-20 season with an average of 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in the finals, crowned his fourth NBA finals MVP.
8. Tadej Pogacar (Slovenia, cycling)
Pogacar, 21, claimed the Tour de France title in September, becoming the youngest winner since 1904. He is also the first cyclist in Tour de France history to claim the yellow jersey, the polka dot king of the mountains jersey, and the best U-26 rider’s white jersey at the same time.
9. Armand Duplantis (Sweden, pole vault)
Duplantis, 21, broke the pole vault world record twice, conquering 6.17m and 6.18m on back-to-back weekends in February. The Swede also set a world outdoor all-time best of 6.15m in September and finished the year undefeated in 16 competitions. He is the youngest athlete ever named World Athlete of the Year at the World Athletics Awards 2020.
10. Novak Djokovic (Serbia, tennis)
Djokovic, 33, claimed his eighth Australian Open title to add his total number of Grand Slam titles to 17. He won the ATP’s top award as the year-end No. 1 for a record-equaling sixth time.