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Tiger Woods named World Sportsman of the Year

Golfer Tiger Woods was named the 2001 World Sportsman of the Year at the Laureus World Sports Awards on Tuesday.

Woods, who has won four straight major tournament championships, edged out British rower Steve Redgrave, swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband of The Netherlands, German Formula One driver Michael Schumacher and Australian Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe for the honor. Woods also won the award in 2000.

Woods captured the British and U.S. Opens as well as the U.S. PGA championship last season. His British Open victory completed the career grand slam and his $8.3 million in earnings set the PGA Tour single-season record.

The Laureus Sports Awards honored athletic achievement worldwide between Feb. 1, 2000 and Jan. 31, 2001. The winners were selected by members of the London-based Laureus World Sports Academy, an organization that raises money for programs that foster peace and understanding through sports.

Australian runner Cathy Freeman, who captured the gold medal in the 400-meter race at the Sydney Olympics, was named the World Sportswoman of the Year.

She beat a pair of Americans - tennis star Venus Williams and Olympic track gold medalist Marion Jones - Australian golfer Karrie Webb and swimmer Inge de Bruijn of The Netherlands.

Among the other winners were Australian Open tennis champion Jennifer Capriati, Comeback of the Year; South African Mike Horn, World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year; reigning World Cup and European soccer champion France, World Team of the Year; U.S. Open tennis champion Marat Safin, World Newcomer of the Year; and Australian paraplegic yachtsman Vinnie Lauwers, the first sailor with a disability to sail solo around the world, World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability.

Redgrave, who has won five straight Olympic gold medals, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Kenyan running great Kip Keino won the Sport for Good Award in honor of the outstanding contributions to society through sport.

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