Roger Federer Takes On World and European Champions at the Credit Suisse Sports Awards
Sunday evening's Credit Suisse Sports Awards are sure to generate excitement and much suspense. The two-hour event will reflect on the 2017 year of sport – with awards for best sportswoman, sportsman, coach, disabled sportsperson, newcomer, and team of the year.
This has been an exceptional year in terms of Switzerland's top athletes and their achievements. One of them is a familiar member of this exclusive group of prominent sports figures: Roger Federer. The 36-year-old from Basel managed to make a phenomenal comeback that included his 18th and 19th Grand Slam titles. Despite skipping the clay season, he finished the year ranked number 2 in the world.
Although Roger Federer is the favorite to win the award for sportsman of the year, he has no shortage of first-rate competitors. European Gymnastics Champion Pablo Brägger or downhill skier Beat Feuz, who took World Championship gold on home soil in St. Moritz, are in the running. Not to forget are Roman Josi and Andy Schmid, both of whom are team athletes who have performed exceptionally well at the international level in ice hockey and handball, respectively. There is also Nino Schurter, who has won every title a mountain biker can win. Whoever follows on from Olympic Champion Fabian Cancellara is certain to deserve it.
Top Candidate for Lara Gut's Successor
The short list for sportswoman of the year is also highly competitive. Rower Jeannine Gmelin made history with her victory in the World Rowing Championships by becoming the first Swiss woman to win a championship title in any Olympic discipline. Tennis legend Martina Hingis performed exceptionally in doubles during her 23rd and final season. Alpine ski racer Wendy Holdener won gold in the combined event at the World Championship on home soil, and Jolanda Neff garnered her long-sought title in the Mountain Bike World Championships. Long-distance triathlete Daniela Ryf won the most prestigious triathlon in the world for the third consecutive year, the Ironman Championship in Hawaii. And gymnast Giulia Steingruber pocketed her first World Championship medal (bronze) on vault. Steingruber was sportswoman of the year in 2013; Ryf won in 2015. This year's winner will follow in the footsteps of Lara Gut.
Petkovic, Lüthi, or Siegenthaler?
The choice for team, disabled sportsperson, coach, and newcomer of the year is also very tough. In the running for the best team are the men's national football team, the mixed-relay mountain biking team, and the record-breaking women's 4 x 100-meter sprint team.
Marcel Hug is being challenged in the category of disabled sportsperson by recent marathon series champion Manuela Schär and Alpine skier Christoph Kunz.
The choice for best coach is between national football manager Vladimir Petkovic, Roger Federer's trainer Severin Lüthi, and Nino Schurter's mentor Nicolas Siegenthaler.
Nominations for the best newcomer award comprise heptathlon record-holder Géraldine Ruckstuhl, ice-hockey prodigy Nico Hischier, and diver Michelle Heimberg, three exceptionally talented youngsters who are likely to generate much excitement in years to come.