Vettel, Franklin win top Laureus honors

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Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel and swimmer Missy Franklin on Wednesday won World Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards.

Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel from Germany and American swim star Missy Franklin became Laureus Sportsman and Woman of the Year on Wednesday.

Germany's treble-winners Bayern Munich were named World Team of the Year and Spaniard Rafael Nadal completed a hat-trick of Laureus awards after he took the Comeback of the Year prize.

The ceremony, packed with some of the greats of world sport, was preceded by a moment's silence for the 239 people on the missing flight MH370.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who just two days earlier announced the fate of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane and passengers, said, "our thoughts and our prayers" were with the victims.

Vettel, F1's youngest four-time world champion, won sportsman of 2013 ahead of Usain Bolt, LeBron James, Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Farah.

"If I've learned anything tonight, surely it's the fact that sport can be a very, very big inspiration," Vettel said. "I've come here and seen many heroes of mine... this (award) is very inspirational, very special."

Franklin, 18, beat tennis great Serena Williams and Russian pole vault queen Yelena Isinbayeva, to the women's award.

Afghanistan's cricket team were honoured with a spirit of sport award for their feat in rising from refugee camps and long-running conflict to qualify for the 2015 World Cup.

Spanish MotoGP rider Marc Marquez won Breakthrough of the Year for becoming his sport's youngest ever world champion at the age of 20 years and 266 days.

Skier Marie Bochet of France, who was born without a left forearm, was named best sportsperson with a disability and British BMX rider Jamie Bestwick won the action sports award.

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