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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Siya Kolisi comes up against Haaland, Djokovic for BBC World Sport Star of the Year Award

The tight competition for the award is open for public votes and South Africans can vote for Kolisi on the BBC website and app.

Springbok Captain Siya Kolisi will come up against Erling Haaland and Novak Djokovic who are among the nominees for this year’s World Sport Star of the Year Award by the BBC.

The prestigious awards celebrate its 70th anniversary this year and they recognise a sportsperson whose sporting actions have most captured the UK public’s imagination during 2023.

Kolisi, who became the first South African Springbok Captain to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy twice this year, is nominated alongside world class athletes such as F1 driver Max Verstappen, World Cup winning Spanish footballer Aitana Bonmati and US gymnast Simone Biles.

The winner will be chosen through a public vote on the BBC Sport website or app. Voting will close at 10pm on Tuesday, 12 December 2023 with the winner announced on BBC One and iPlayer on 19 December.

Kolisi has had a special year after successfully defending the Rugby World Cup with teammates in France, the former Stormers player recently made his debut for French side Racing 92.

“I was quite nervous before the game because your reputation and all that you do can only take you so far,” said Kolisi speaking to the media after his anticipated debut.

“The guys only respect you by what you do on the field and that’s what I wanted to do, play well and add value with what I do on the field. It’s going to be tough for me to stamp my authority but I’m going to give my best,” he added.

ALSO READ: WATCH: Racing 92 fans cheer Kolisi after Bok skipper’s winning debut

The Contenders

Despite the year he’s had, Kolisi will not have it easy in vying for the World Sport Star of the Year Award.

Erling Haaland (Norway)

The Manchester City hitman won an historic treble in 2023. His debut season in England saw him record 36 goals in 38 games, and his 52 goals in all competitions was the most by a Premier League player within a season.

Max Verstappen (Netherlands)

Verstappen became a triple Formula One world champion in a record-breaking season in which he retained his title with six races remaining, making him just the fifth driver in history to win the title in successive years.

Aitana Bonmati (Spain)

The Spanish midfielder enjoyed a hugely successful year for both club and country. She scored three goals at the Fifa Women’s World Cup and helped Spain win its first ever Women’s World Cup final with a victory over England. She was named as Player of the Tournament. Bonmati was also a key player in her all-conquering Barcelona side which won Liga F – Spain’s top flight – as well as the Champions League.

Simone Biles (USA)

Biles is the most decorated gymnast in history after a golden display at the World Gymnastics Championships. Despite this being the American’s first world championship since 2019, she easily surpassed the previous record of 33 medals won at Olympics or World Championships, held by Vitaly Scherbo.

Novak Djokovic (Serbia)

Djokovic began the year with a record-extending 10th Australian Open, before success at the French Open saw him become the first man in history to win each Grand Slam at least three times. He went on to lift the US Open to secure a 24th Grand Slam triumph to tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of major singles titles.

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