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Tennis' Naomi Osaka, badminton's Kento Momota nominated for 2021 Laureus awards

Japan's Naomi Osaka holds the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup aloft after defeating United States Jennifer Brady in the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, on Feb. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
Kento Momota is seen after winning the men's singles final of the national badminton championships at the Machida Gymnasium in Tokyo on Dec. 27, 2020. (Pool photo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- A pair of Japanese, tennis star Naomi Osaka and Kento Momota, the top-ranked men's badminton player, were among the nominees for the 22nd annual Laureus World Sports Awards, the awards' organizers said Wednesday.

    Osaka, who won her third Grand Slam title last year by capturing her second U.S. Open championship was among six nominees for the World Sportswoman of the Year Award, while Momota, who was injured in a fatal car crash in January 2020 only to win his third national singles title in December, was nominated for the World Comeback of the Year Award.

    "It is an honor to once again be nominated for a Laureus Award by the world's media," said Osaka, who won the organization's 2019 Breakthrough Award. "For me this is special because Laureus sees the big picture -- not just sport on the court or the pitch, but how it can help young people around the world."

    On Monday, Osaka rose one spot in the world singles rankings to No. 2 after her fourth Grand Slam championship at the Australian Open.

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