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Ennis earns Laureus award
Jessica Ennis was named Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year, with fellow Britons Andy Murray and Sebastian Coe also picking up awards at a star-studded ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.
Ennis' honour came after she won heptathlon gold at last summer's London Olympics, where she more than handled the pressure of going into the Games as Team GB's poster girl by storming to victory with a British record score of 6,955 points.
Murray claimed the Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year Award having followed up his own medal success at the Olympics - gold in the singles and silver in the mixed doubles - by winning his first grand slam title at the US Open a month later.
Lord Coe, the chairman of the organising committee for London 2012 who won Olympic 1500 metres gold at the 1980 and 1984 Games, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
There was further recognition of a memorable year for British sport with the European Ryder Cup squad, which featured seven UK golfers, being crowned Laureus World Team of the Year after their 'Miracle of Medinah' comeback triumph over the United States in September.
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was named World Sportsman of the Year for a third time after claiming a treble of gold medals in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in London, repeating the hat-trick he pulled off at Beijing 2008.
The World Comeback of the Year Award went to Felix Sanchez, the 35-year-old Dominican athlete who won his second Olympic 400m hurdles gold medal last summer - eight years after his first at Athens 2004.
Others honoured at the Theatro Municipal were Brazil's multiple Paralympic champion swimmer Daniel Dias, named World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability for a second time after winning six golds in London, and Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner, who picked up the World Action Sportsperson of the Year Award.
Baumgartner became the first human to go through the sound barrier when he made the highest ever freefall from 39 kilometres over New Mexico in October.
There was also a Laureus Academy Exceptional Achievement Award for American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time who took his career total to 22 medals, including 18 golds, at last summer's Games.