Alpine ski racer Didier Cuche and gymnast Ariella Kaeslin have been named Switzerland’s top athletes of 2009.
Cuche, the reigning world downhill champion, beat out the likes of tennis star Roger Federer and cycling time trial specialist Fabien Cancellara.
Kaeslin, an artistic gymnast, is the 2009 European champion on the vault and world silver medallist. She came ahead of skier Lara Gut and Simone Niggli-Luder, a Bernese orienteering athlete.
Cross country skier Dario Cologna received the award for newcomer of the year and his Norweigian coach, Fredrik Aukland, won for coach of the year.
Heinz Frei won the prize for top disabled athlete and the ZSC Lions ice hockey team won team of the year.
A special honorary award was granted to Switzerland’s Under 17 footballers, who captured the first world championship title in the country’s history. Under 17 hero Dany Ryser could be a candidate for the 2010 award.
The 2009 Credit Suisse Swiss Sports Personalities of the Year were nominated by journalists and fellow sportsmen and women.
swissinfo.ch and agencies