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Frodeno and Schwanitz win German 'Athlete of the Year'

Ironman champion Jan Frodeno and the world champion shot putter Christina Schwanitz have been named German athletes of the year at a Baden-Baden gala. Thousands of sports journalists took part in a vote to choose.

The reporters graded the athletes on their behavior, fair play, records and sporting performance. Over 700 people attended the announcement ceremony in Baden-Baden in south-western Germany on Sunday night.

In addition to naming Frodeno and Schwanitz the male and female athletes of the year, the 3,000 sport reporters eligible to vote, chose the German national Nordic Combined team - whose event combines cross-country skiing and ski jumping - the best team in the country.

Last year, the German national football team easily topped the vote, following their win at the World Cup in Brazil.

Making history

Jan Frodeno also had a major win to propel him to the top - the triathlon star won the World Ironman Championship in Hawaii in October, becoming the first athlete in history to add this title to an Olympic gold medal.

Frodeno also

won the European Ironman Championship

in July, setting a new record for the course. The 2008 gold medalist completed a 3.8-kilometer swim, a 180-kilometer bike ride and a 42.195-kilometer run in less than seven hours and 50 minutes.

Shot putter

Schwanitz won the gold medal

for Germany at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. This made Schwanitz the first European Championship title holder to replicate her glory at the worlds.

dj/pfd (dpa, AP, Reuters)

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