Ethiopian middle and long distance runner Genzebe Dibaba bagged the sportswoman of the year title at this year’s Laureus awards in Shanghai, China.
Dibaba who set three world records over the last 14 months in indoor events was absent from the ceremony.
World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic who also received his award in absentia, was named Sportsman of the Year.
Djokovic is currently playing at the Monte Carlo Masters and was not at the event to collect his second sportsman of the year award.
Two-times grand slam champion and retired tennis player Li Na of China received the Laureus Exceptional Achievement award while her compatriot Yao Ming received the Laureus Spirit of Sport award.
South Africa rugby player Schalk Burger won the Comeback of the Year Award.
Germany’s world-conquering footballers were chosen as team of the year at the Laureus Sports Awards, while a heavily pregnant Li Na, China’s two-time Grand Slam winning champion, picked up the exceptional achievement award.
The pioneering tennis star, who bowed out from the sport last year, collected the award on a night of success for China, with former NBA superstar Yao Ming picking up the spirit of sport award in his home city.
Among the sporting greats attending the show were China’s 2004 Olympic hurdling champion Liu Xiang — another Shanghai hero — who retired earlier this month.