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German sports journalists select Athletes of the Year

In a poll of Germany's sports journalists, two track and field athletes have been named the country's Athletes of the Year. In the team category, a certain Bavarian football team took the honors.

Two of Germany's top performers from the Athletics World Championships in Moscow over the summer won the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year award at a ceremony Sunday in Baden Baden.

Robert Harting, Germany's charismatic discus thrower, won in the men's category for his gold medal performance Moscow. It was his third straight world title in the event, and pushed him in front of four-time Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel in the poll of German journalists. Harting defended his Sportsman of the Year title from last year, which followed his gold-medal winning performance at the London Olympics.

In the sportswoman's category, javelin thrower Christina Obergföll capped a memorable year. After five Olympic and World Championship silver medals, Obergföll won her first major gold at the World Championships in Moscow. She beat tennis ace Sabine Lisicki, who made it to the finals of Wimbledon earlier in the year, for the honor. Obergföll follows last year's Sportswoman of the Year, biathlete Magdalena Neuner.

After winning the Bundesliga, German Cup, and Champions League titles in the 2012/13 season, it came as no surprise that Bayern Munich won the Team of the Year award. A football team has won the team award four of the past five years, with Borussia Dortmund and the men's and women's national teams joining Bayern among recent teams to receive the honor. Last year, however, it was the men's eight rowing team who won for their gold medal in London. Bayern's triple finished ahead of the women's national football team's title from the European Championship in the voting for this year's award.

The athletes of the year are selected by around 3,000 German sports journalists and editors. The ceremony has taken place every year since 1947, making 2013 the 67th edition of the ceremony.

mz/rg (dpa,sid)

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