Shanghai to host 2015 Laureus Sports awards

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Former NBA star Yao Ming and other guests display their handprints at a press conference at the China Art Museum today, where the organizers of the Laureus World Sports Awards announced that the 16th awards ceremony will be held in Shanghai next year.

The 2015 Laureus World Sports Awards will be held in Shanghai, Edwin Moses, chairman of the Laureus World Sports Academy, announced yesterday.

To be staged in China for the first time, the ceremony, which is regarded as the Oscars of sports, will be globally televised and attended by A-listers from the world of sports.

Two Chinese stars have won honors in the awards' 15-year history. Hoopman Yao Ming, who was then with NBA side Houston Rockets, was the winner of the Laureus World Newcomer of the Year Award in 2003. However, Yao did not attend the event in Morocco that year due to a tight match schedule.

"It was a pity. It's like a sports competition, you need to be on site to get a real feel," Yao said at yesterday's press conference.

In 2005, local hurdler Liu Xiang also won the same award. The Chinese Olympic team was voted the best team thanks to its superb performance at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Other Chinese athletes like tennis player Li Na and swimmer Ye Shiwen, as well as the Chinese table tennis team, have also been nominated for the awards.

On the sidelines of the announcement press conference yesterday, Liu showed up at Gezhi High School for a PE lesson. He shared his experience with some select students by leading them into warm-up exercises. The former 110-meter Olympic and world champion then had a mini hurdling contest with American Moses, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in 400 hurdles.

Liu has been recovering from surgery and while training has been good he has still not been able to train in spikes due to the discomfort in his foot, according to his coach Sun Haiping.

"It is so exciting to join the legendary hurdler Edwin Moses in talking to the students here. I hope we were able to inspire them and encourage them to pursue their dreams," Liu said.

The hurdler also confessed he doesn't yet see any potential or chance of him becoming a coach but expects to make a track comeback next year if his recovery goes smoothly.

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