Djokovic, Barcelona win Laureus awards

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Djokovic, Barcelona win Laureus awards

LONDON - The dominant forces in tennis and football were honored Monday, with Novak Djokovic winning the top individual prize and Barcelona capturing the team trophy at the 2012 Laureus Sports Awards.

The top-ranked Djokovic won sportsman of the year at the ceremony in London, one week after the Serbian triumphed at the Australian Open to become the fifth man in the Open era to win three Grand Slam titles in a row. He’s already targeting a fourth at the French Open in Paris in June.

“I have to stay optimistic, believe in what I can do, believe in my abilities and believe that I can win on all surfaces,’’ Djokovic said. “I have proven on numerous occasions that I can really be one of the candidates to win every Grand Slam on every surface. I need to keep that up. Roland Garros is the one to win this year.’’

Barcelona was recognized as the best team after a stellar 2011 in which Pep Guardiola’s players won the Spanish league and Champions League.

Kenyan distance runner Vivian Cheruiyot, who won the 5,000- and 10,000-meter titles at the world championships last year, took the sportswoman’s award.

The winners were chosen by 47 sports stars who make up the Laureus sports academy. AP
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