The Springboks are the Laureus Sports Team of the Year. The award crowns a magnificent 2019 for South Africa in which they won the Rugby World Cup in Japan for the third time in their history.
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi accepted the award at a ceremony in Berlin on Monday, along with Francois Louw, Cheslin Kolbe, Faf de Klerk and Schalk Brits.
The Springboks beat England 32-12 in Yokohama in a pulsating final, which saw Makazole Mapimpi and Cheslin Kobe score crucial tries to win the game.
The Boks returned home to a heroes’ welcome and sparked weeks-long celebrations across the country.
US gymnast Simone Biles won Sportswoman of the Year for the third time, while Lewis Hamilton and Lionel Messi shared the title of Sportsman of the Year.
Six-time Formula One world champion Hamilton and six-time Fifa World Player of the Year Messi were so close in terms of their achievements in 2019 that even the ultimate sporting jury, the Laureus World Sports Academy, could not split them, with the voting being tied for the very first time in the 20-year history of the Laureus Awards.
The event was hosted by actor Hugh Grant and the legends of sport past and present in the room were treated to entertainment from British singer-songwriter Liam Payne, a former member of One Direction.
In 2019, Biles continued to push the boundaries of the sport of gymnastics.
At the World Championships, the 22-year-old won five gold medals, including a record fifth All-Around world title and helped USA win a fifth straight team medal.
Biles has now won 25 World Championship medals, confirming her as the most decorated gymnast in history. In Berlin, she confirmed her place in the history of Laureus, winning her third coveted Laureus Sportswoman of the Year Award in four years.
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