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Valerie Adams in running for Laureus award

Published: 6:49AM Wednesday November 14, 2012 Source: ONE Sport

Olympic shot put gold medalist Valerie Adams is a finalist for the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award.

Adams joins a string of impressive candidates for nomination, including Olympic heptathlon champ Jessica Ennis and American sprinter Allyson Felix, who are her rivals for the IAAF Athlete of the Year award.

Other contenders include multi-medal American Olympians Missy Franklin and Serena Williams.

The Laureus World Sports Awards is recognised as the premier honours event in the international sporting calendar and the Awards Ceremony provides a high profile focus as stars of the sporting world come together to salute the finest sportsmen and sportswomen of the year.

Adams showed she is the dominant shot putter in the world, taking her second straight Olympic gold at the London Olympics, but only after Belarus' Nadzeya Ostapchuk failed a drugs test. The popular Kiwi sportswoman is also world indoor champion and three-time world champion.

The names of the six nominees, as voted by the Laureus Media Selection Panel, comprising leading sports editors, sports writers, broadcasters and online journalists from around the world, will be announced in Rio de Janeiro on December 13.

The eventual winner will then be chosen from this shortlist by the 46 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, the living legends of sport honouring the greatest athletes of today.

Laureus World Sports Academy Member Nadia Comaneci, who achieved the perfect ten score in gymnastics in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, said: 'It is always fascinating in an Olympic year to try to pick out which athletes have achieved the most.

"The London Olympics certainly produced some outstanding performances across the board - on the track, in the pool, in the sports hall and on the tennis court.

"It is going to be difficult for the media to choose just six of these great athletes."

Among the winners who have received Awards at previous Awards Ceremonies have been Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Alex Ferguson, Lewis Hamilton, Rafael Nadal, Pele, Oscar Pistorius, Steve Redgrave, Ronaldo, Michael Schumacher, Kelly Slater, Serena Williams and Zinedine Zidane.