The winners of two out of six sports prizes to be awarded this week have been announced. They are Gaston Francois Barras, co-founder of the Crans Montana golf tournament, and the sculptor Günter Piontek.
Barras was chosen as sports promoter of the year, while Piontek was elected artist of the year for his sport-related works. His sculptures include the bronze relief awarded to the winner of the Engadine ski marathon, which Piontek has taken part in 25 times.
Barras, who's 69, is considered one of the pioneers of golf in Switzerland and has presided over the European Masters competition in Crans Montana since 1964. From 1991 to 1997 he was also president of the Swiss Golf Association and of the local ice-hockey club.
Barras and Piontek were chosen by the Swiss Association of Sports Journalists, and will be awarded their prizes on Friday at a sports gala in Bern.
The journalists have also drawn up a short-list of nominees for the other four prizes, from which Swiss television viewers will select the winners.
The categories include the prestigious sportsman and sportswoman of the year, as well as the best team and the best disabled sportsperson.
Among the men nominated for the top prize are Michel Ansermet, silver medallist in the 25-metre rapid-fire pistol event at the Olympic Games in Sydney; André Bucher, who reached the finals in the 800 metres track event; and Xeno Müller, who won a rowing silver.
For the women, the nominees are Brigitte McMahon, who won gold in the first ever Olympic women's triathlon; Gianna Hablützel-Bürki, who won two fencing silvers in Sydney; and Flavia Rigamonti, who won a gold at the European swimming championships and finished fourth in her event in Australia.
swissinfo with agencies