Recently crowned world champions Malaika Mihambo and Niklas Kaul were crowned German Athletes of the Year across all sports at the prestigious German Sports Personality of the Year awards which was held in Baden-Baden on Sunday (15) evening.
This was the first time since 2013 that German athletes scooped both awards when Christina Obergfoll and Robert Harting were acknowledged for their victories at the World Championships in Moscow.
German athletes dominated the voting on the women’s side with Mihambo topping the poll ahead of triathlete Anne Haug with world 3000m steeplechase bronze medallist Gesa Felicitas Krause third. World 5000m bronze medallist Konstanze Klosterhalfen finished sixth overall.
Mihambo, who finished the outdoor season unbeaten in the long jump, was presented with her trophy by Heike Drechsler, the 1992 and 2000 Olympic champion.
“The coolness with which you won in Doha is indescribable,” said Drechsler, before offering Mihambo some advice ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. “Don't let yourself be put under pressure in the Olympic year. You do your thing. I am your biggest fan.”
On the men’s side, Kaul became the first German athlete to win this award since Robert Harting in 2014 and the first decathlete to win since Olympic silver medallist Frank Busemann in 1996.
Busemann was on hand to present Kaul with his trophy. “You are a special person with a great personality. It makes you unique that you deliver when it matters,' he said.
Kaul topped the voting by a narrow margin ahead of triathlete Jan Frodeno with ski jumper Markus Eisenbicher third.
Kambundji wins two awards at the Swiss Sports Awards
Mujinga Kambundji was the big winner at the annual Swiss Sports Personality of the Year awards in Zurich on Sunday, coming away with two trophies in recognition of her stellar season.
After finishing fourth in three events at the European Championships in Berlin last summer, Kambundji stepped up to win a bronze medal in the 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha. She also improved her national record in the 200m to 22.26 at the Swiss Championships.
Kambundji was duly crowned Swiss Athlete of the Year on the women’s side, becoming the first female athlete to win this award since Anita Weyermann in 1999.
The Swiss 4x100m relay team, in which Kambundji has played an integral role, was also named Team of the Year. Their team of Ajla Del Ponte, Sarah Atcho, Kambundji and Salome Kora finished fourth at the World Championships in Doha in a national record of 42.18, missing out on the bronze medal by only eight-hundredths.
At the British Sports Personality of the Year awards in Aberdeen on Sunday, world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith finished third in the overall voting behind Formula One racer Lewis Hamilton and cricketer Ben Stokes.
Asher-Smith’s long-time coach John Blackie was named Coach of the Year.