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Federer is Swiss sportsman of the year again

Sports minister Samuel Schmid accepts the sportsman-of-the-year award on behalf of an absent Federer Keystone

Tennis star Roger Federer has been named Switzerland’s top sportsman for the second year in a row at the national sports awards.

His prize caps an exceptional year that saw him win the Masters, the US and Australian Opens and retain his Wimbledon title.

Federer finished ahead of Olympic fencing champion Marcel Fischer and triathlete Sven Riederer. Sports journalists voted massively in favour of the world’s number one tennis player, as did television viewers.

The tennis player has been honoured a number of times recently for his achievements, including an award from the BBC as its best overseas sports personality. He was also named European Sportsman of the Year by the European Sports Journalists’ Association this week.

Federer, speaking from Sydney, where he is preparing for the start of next season, said he was honoured by his latest award.

The tennis player, who has been without a coach for nearly a year, has been linked with former great Tony Roche. According to media reports, Federer, who trained with the Australian a few times in 2004, could be close to signing a deal with Roche.

It seems unlikely that Roche, a former grand-slam winner who helped Ivan Lendl and Patrick Rafter reach the top, will work with the Swiss full time. The Australian is apparently unwilling to commit to regular overseas travel.

Other awards

Karin Thürig was the winner of the women’s section. Thürig earned a bronze medal in the Olympic time trial in Athens, before winning the same event at the world championships in Italy.

The cyclist finished ahead of orienteering specialist Simone Niggli-Luder, the 2003 prize-winner, and snowboarder Daniela Meuli.

The team of the year award went the beach volleyball duo Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel, who earned themselves a bronze medal in Athens.

Best trainer went to Fischer’s coach, Rolf Kalich, a German who has been working in Switzerland since 1992.

The prize for best disabled athlete was won by Urs Kolly, who grabbed both of Switzerland’s gold medals at the Athens Paralympics. Kolly, whose right leg is amputated below the knee, came first in the pentathlon and the long jump.

The award for the up-and-coming sportsperson of the year was given to another disabled athlete, Marcel Hug. The 18-year-old won two bronze medals in the 800m and 1,500m wheelchair races at the Paralympics.

Hug is also the first disabled person to receive the award.

swissinfo with agencies

Sportsman of the year: Roger Federer (tennis)
Sportswoman: Karin Thürig (cycling)
Team: Patrick Heuscher-Stefan Kobel (beach volleyball)
Newcomer: Marcel Hug (disabled sport)
Trainer: Rolf Kalich (fencing)
Disabled: Urs Kolly (athletics)

Roger Federer won the national sports award for the second year in a row.

He is still a long way behind former skiing star Vreni Schneider, who won five times, and cyclist Toni Rominger, who was awarded the trophy on four occasions.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR