German auto racer Sebastian Vettel and American swimmer Missy Franklin were named the 2013 athletes of the year at Wednesday's Laureus World Sports Award ceremony in the Malaysian capital.

The 26-year-old Vettel was honored as Sportsman of the Year for winning his fourth consecutive Formula One drivers' championship, while Franklin, 18, was recognized for her record-shattering performance at the World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, where she won six gold medals.

With his dominating performance last season for Red Bull, Vettel became just the fourth driver in Formula One history to win four drivers' titles, joining Germany's Michael Schumacher (7), Argentina's Juan Manuel Fangio (5) and France's Alain Prost (4).

Franklin, meanwhile, won Sportswoman of the Year after setting a record for the most gold medals won by a female swimmer at a single World Championships, capturing first place last summer in the 100-meter backstroke, 200-meter backstroke, 200-meter freestyle, 4x100-meter freestyle, 4x200-meter freestyle and 4x100-meter medley.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal won the Comeback of the Year prize after recovering from a knee injury to win his eighth French Open title and second U.S. Open crown in 2013.

Another Spaniard, motorcycling phenom Marc Marquez, received Breakthrough of the Year honors Wednesday at Kuala Lumpur's Istana Budaya (Palace of Culture) for becoming - at the age of 20 - the youngest-ever MotoGP champion.

Bayern Munich, winners of the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup titles in the 2012-2013 season, was named Team of the Year. EFE