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Mihambo, Zverev and cycling-quartet scoop German athlete awards


Baden: Long jumper Malaika Mihambo, tennis star Alexander Zverev and the women's track cycling quartet were named Germany's athletes of the year on Sunday after delivering gold medal performances at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The 75th edition of the awards, determined by the votes of 980 sports journalists, took place at a ceremony in the resort of Baden-Baden.

Mihambo took the female honour for the third year in succession.

"It is crazy," she said.

Zverev is the first tennis player to take the male award since Michael Stich following his Wimbledon triumph 30 years ago.

Zverev succeeds ice hockey player Leon Draisaitl while the women's cycling quartet of Lisa Brennauer, Franziska Brausse, Lisa Klein and Mieke Kroeger follow in the footsteps of Bundesliga team Bayern Munich.

"The Olympic victory is something I will never forget. There's nothing bigger than the Olympics, I've said that many times," Zverev told an audience of 250 - a third of previous events before the coronavirus crisis.

"If I stopped playing tennis now, they couldn't take the gold medal away from me."

Zverev gave Germany's their first gold in men's singles tennis inJapan and beat world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-final.

The 24-year-old also won the end-of-season ATP Tour Finals, featuring the eight best players in the world, and triumphed at six tournaments in total during the year.

With 1,739 points, Zverev easily beat Florian Wellbrock (1,198), whowon Olympic gold in the 10 kilometre open water competition in Tokyo.Ski-jump team world champion Karl Geiger was third (729).

Mihambo picked up 1,845 points with Olympic wrestling gold medallist Aline Rotter-Focken second (942) and Tokyo canoe winner Ricarda Funkthird (686).

Her run of three straight wins is bettered by Steffi Graf, who won four in a row in the 1980s. -- dpa

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