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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 22:32 GMT 23:32 UK
Honours for American stars
Serena Williams poses with her Laureus Award in Monte Carlo
Serena beat Britain's Paula Radcliffe to the title
Lance Armstrong and Serena Williams are the latest recipients of the Laureus Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards.

The American duo fought off some stiff competition to land the prestigious titles, presented in Monte Carlo by the Laureus World Sports Academy.

Four-time Tour de France winner Armstrong won the men's award ahead of Brazilian soccer star Ronaldo, Germany's Formula One champion Michael Schumacher and Armstrong's compatriot, golfer Tiger Woods.

It is a second Laureus accolade for the Texan, who won the World Comeback of the Year award three years ago following his return to the top after beating cancer.

Williams currently holds all four tennis Grand Slam titles and will seek to defend her French Open title when the tournament begins next week.

She saw off Britain's marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe, American sprint star Marion Jones and Croatia's Olympic and world champion skier Janica Kostelic.

Ronaldo, who attended the awards ceremony in Monaco, claimed the World Comeback award and World Team award on behalf of World Cup winners Brazil.

The Brazilians were chosen ahead of Europe's Ryder Cup team, who triumphed over the United States at The Belfry last September.

Newcomer of the Year went to China's Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets basketball star.

South African golf legend Gary Player was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Laureus Academy is made up of more than 40 famous sportsmen and women, including Boris Becker, Bobby Charlton, Martina Navratilova, Nadia Comaneci, Emerson Fittipaldi, and John McEnroe.

Laureus Sports Awards nominees
25 Mar 03  |  Photo Galleries

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