Both are previous Laureus Award winners—Hamilton in 2008 and Ennis-Hill in 2013—and this year they have been nominated in the Sportsman of the Year and Comeback of the Year categories respectively.
The other British nominees include the winning GB Davis Cup Team, which begins the defence of its title in Birmingham this weekend, triple world champion swimmer Adam Peaty, mountain bike world champion Rachel Atherton, and boxer Tyson Fury.
Lewis Hamilton, who won his second straight and third career world title, said of the nomination: “I want to say thank you to Laureus for nominating me for the Sportsman of the Year Award. I feel very privileged. I’m a big admirer of what Laureus does and it’s so great to be a part of it. I wish all the other nominees the best. I feel privileged to be among some of the greats.”
Jessica Ennis-Hill, who returned to athletics after injuries and becoming a mother, won the world heptathlon gold medal in Beijing. She said: “I feel very honoured to be nominated for the Comeback of the Year award—2015 for me was very special. To come back from having my son and win a gold medal at the World Championships in Beijing exceeded all my expectations.
“It was probably the toughest year of training I have had with so many injuries and physical changes to deal with along the way. My coach and medical team did an amazing job in getting me ready to tackle the heptathlon 13 months after Reggie was born. I still find it hard to believe I won.”
Once again, tennis features strongly among the nominees, with last year’s Sportsman of the Year, Novak Djokovic, bidding for a third trophy.
Serena Williams is also in line for her third Sportswoman of the Year award. She also won the Comeback Award in 2007, and this year’s nomination makes a record 10th in the prestigious sporting ‘Oscars’.
The shortlists are compiled from a ballot of the world’s sporting media, and the Laureus World Sports Academy, which comprises up of 50 of the all-time greatest sportsmen and sportswomen, then vote for the winners.
The results will be announced at a glittering ceremony in Berlin on 18 April.
Sportsman of the Year Award
Usain Bolt, Athletics: Won three sprint gold medals in World Championships
Stephen Curry, Basketball: Led Golden State Warriors to NBA championship
Novak Djokovic, Tennis: World No1 won three Grand Slams and was finalist at French Open
Lewis Hamilton, Motor Racing: Won third career and second straight Formula 1 world title
Lionel Messi, Football: Won record fifth Ballon d’Or
Jordan Spieth, Golf: At 21, won The Masters and US Open to become world No1
Sportswoman of the Year Award
Genzebe Dibaba, Athletics: IAAF Athlete of Year, won 1,500m world title
Anna Fenninger, Skiing: Won two World Championship golds and second World Cup
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Athletics: Won second straight and third career 100m world title
Katie Ledecky, Swimming: Won five gold medals at World Championships
Carli Lloyd, Football: Scored three goals to win Women’s World Cup final, also won Golden Ball
Serena Williams, Tennis: World No1, won Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon
Team of the Year Award
All Blacks, Rugby: Won second straight Rugby World Cup, their third in total
FC Barcelona, Football: Won fifth Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey
Golden State Warriors, Basketball: Won the NBA Finals
Great Britain Davis Cup Team (Tennis): Led by Andy Murray, won Davis Cup for first time since 1936
Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 Team, Motor Racing: Second Constructors’ World Championship
US Women’s Football Team: Won Women’s World Cup for third time
Breakthrough of the Year Award
Chile Men’s Football Team: Won first ever Copa America, beating Argentina
Jason Day, Golf: Won first Major Championship at USPGA, plus four other US Tour events
Tyson Fury, Boxing: Beat Wladimir Klitschko to become unified world heavyweight champion
Adam Peaty, Swimming: At 20, won three gold medals at World Championships
Jordan Spieth, Golf: The Masters and the US Open and became world No1
Max Verstappen, Motor Racing: Youngest Formula 1 driver at 17 years 166 days
Comeback of the Year Award
Dan Carter, Rugby: World Rugby Player of Year after All Blacks’ World Cup win
Jessica Ennis-Hill, Athletics: Won heptathlon world title after injury and a year after giving birth to son
Mick Fanning, Surfing: Returned to surf six days after a shark attack in S Africa
Michael Phelps, Swimmer: Returned to swimming to win three titles at US Championships
David Rudisha, Athletics: After three years fighting injury, won 800m world title
Lindsey Vonn, Skiing: After missing Olympics, returned to win 7th downhill and 5th Super G World Cups
Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability Award
Marie Bochet, Skiing: First to win all five events at back-to-back World Championships
Liu Cuiqing, Athletics: Won four women’s T11 titles at first World Championships
Daniel Dias, Swimming: Won seven golds and one silver at World Championships
Omara Durand, Athletics: Broke 100m world record to become fastest female Paralympian
Pieter Du Preez, Athletics, Cycling: Won world titles and achieved No1 status in two sports
Leung Yuk Wing, Boccia: Won medals in all four World Open competitions
Action Sportsperson of the Year Award
Rachel Atherton, Mountain Biking: After illness came back to win fourth Overall World Cup
Bob Burnquist, Skateboard: Won Big Air and Big Air Doubles to reach 29 X-Games medals
Adriano de Souza, Surfing: Won his first World Surfing Championship
Mick Fanning, Surfing: Despite shark attack in S Africa, finished second on world tour
Jan Frodeno, Ironman Triathlon: First to win Ironman world title and Olympic triathlon gold
Chloe Kim, Snowboarding: At 14, became youngest athlete to win a Winter X Games gold medal