Laura Dahlmeier, Johannes Rydzek named German athletes of 2017 | News | DW | 17.12.2017
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Laura Dahlmeier, Johannes Rydzek named German athletes of 2017

German sports journalists have named the best athletes and the best team of the year, with biathlete Laura Dahlmeier, Nordic combined skier Johannes Rydzek and a beach volleyball duo leading the pack.

Biathlete Laura Dahlmeier and her winter sport colleague, Nordic combined skier Johannes Rydzek, (top photo) were crowned 2017 German Athletes of the Year at a gala in the southern spa town of Baden-Baden on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Dahlmeier had a spectacular season this year, becoming the first woman in German history to win five golds at a single world championship in Hochfilzen, Austria in February.  She also picked up a silver.

She won the honor by a wide margin, ahead of gymnast Pauline Schäfer and dressage rider Isabell Werth.

Now the Bavarian athlete is setting her sights on the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February, where she hopes to pick up her first Olympic gold.

German Sportspersonality of the Year 2017 (picture alliance/dpa/Pressefoto Baumann)

Kira Walkenhorst (left) and Laura Ludwig (second from left) were also honored

Winter sports dominated

Rydzek gave his all in the Nordic combined this year to win four golds in Lahti, Finland. 

The 26-year-old is the most successful Nordic combined athlete in World Cup history, having secured two previous golds in Falun, Sweden in 2015.

He is also looking to secure medals at the Winter Olympics.

Rydzek was selected over triathlon world champion Patrick Lange and javelin world champion Johannes Vetter.

Also awarded in Baden-Baden for the second year in a row in the team category were the beach volleyball duo of Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst.  The team won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics and also at the world championships in Vienna this year.

The star beach volleyball players' coach, Jürgen Wagner, was named best coach of the year.

The winners of this year's awards were selected by some 1,300 sports journalists.

cw/cmk (dpa, SID)

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