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Bacolod City, PhilippinesThursday, January 20, 2011
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Pacquiao named
‘Sportsman of the Year’

Filipino legislator and boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has been voted “Sportsman of the Year” for year 2010 by an online poll service conducted by the Abu Dhabi-based Sport360, which claims to be the world’s only English-language sports daily.

A dispatch from the United Arab Emirates said Pacquiao, dubbed the "Fighting Pride of the Philippines," beat world-class athletes, including legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel, getting 57 percent of the total votes.

Tendulkar and Vettel, tailed at second and third places respectively.

Other world-class athletes in the shortlist are Lee Westwood, who ended Tiger Woods’ incredible 281-week stay as the world’s number one golfer; Martin Kaymer, who won his maiden Major at the USPGA Championship and claimed the European No.1 spot; Rafael Nadal, who added three Grand Slam titles in 2010 and reclaimed the number one spot from Roger Federer;

Barcelona’s FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, and his Barcelona team-mates Xavi and Andres Iniesta, the dynamic duo instrumental in Spain’s first ever World Cup triumph; Drew Brees, the quarterback star who guided the New Orleans Saints to their first ever Super Bowl triumph with a 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts;

Tim Lincecum, starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants, who played a pivotal role in helping them claim a 4-1 success over the Texas Rangers in the World Series;

Kobe Bryant, who secured his fifth championship ring as LA Lakers swept Boston Celtics in last year’s NBA finals; Sidney Crosby-touted as the finest NHL player of his generation-who inspired Canada to a gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and horse racing champion Tony McCoy.

Not surprisingly, Filipinos residing in the UAE expressed their pride that their compatriot ranked first for the award, the e-mail dispatch said.

Pacquiao is regarded as the world’s No.1 pound-for-pound boxer by Ring magazine and named Fighter of the Decade by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He is also in the running for the World Sportsman of Year accolade at the prestigious 2011 Laureus World Sports Award.

The Laureus World Sports Awards are considered the top awards on the international sporting calendar with a jury made up of 46 of the finest athletes of all-time.*PNA


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