Jessica Ennis named Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year

Jessica Ennis

Britain's Jessica Ennis has been named World Sportswoman of the Year at the Laureus Awards in Rio de Janerio.

The 27-year-old battled to Olympic heptathlon gold in London last summer.

Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team, which featured seven UK golfers, was named World Team of the Year.

London 2012 chairman Sebastian Coe picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Andy Murray won the World Breakthrough of the Year Award after his US Open and Olympic success.

Murray said: "It was an amazing year - my first grand slam in New York and two medals at the Olympics in my home country.

"I would have taken that at the start of the year, that's for sure.

"The British team had such a great Olympics and I watched loads of medals being won by the British athletes. I think I was motivated by that."

Ennis, who set three personal bests and a British record of 6,995 points in London and is the second British woman to win the award after double Olympic champion Kelly Holmes triumphed in 2005, added: "I don't think I'll have that kind of pressure again.

"It was a good experience, everything went well, and I'm sure it will be completely different for Rio."

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was crowned World Sportsman of the Year for a third time after he won 100m, 200m and 4x100m gold in London.

Dominican athlete Feliz Sanchez, 35, was awarded the World Comeback of the Year Award following his Olympic 400m hurdles success last summer, eight years after his first in Athens.

Brazil's multiple Paralympic champion swimmer Daniel Dias was named World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability for a second time after winning six Olympic golds in London.

Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner won the World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award after becoming the first human to go through the sound barrier last October.

American swimmer Michael Phelps, who has won 22 Olympic medals, including 18 golds, was awarded the Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award.

The first Laureus awards were held in 2000 with ceremonies previously staged in London, Monaco, Portugal, Barcelona, Abu Dhabi and St Petersburg.

Proceeds from the Laureus World Sports Awards underpin the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which supports 89 community sports projects around the world including 10 in the United Kingdom.