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Russians Vote Fighter, Tennis Star as Year's Best Athletes

15. December 2009 by Daniel 0 Comments

They are shining stars in their respective sports and national heroes in Russia, the home country they share.


This year, thousands of Russians chose both of Svetlana Kuznetsova and Fedor Emelianenko to be named the country’s Athletes of the Year.


The first-ever award honoring Russian athletes drew half a million fans, who voted for their country’s favorite sports figures. The best male and female Russian athletes were named during a ceremony near Moscow’s Red Square, which was attended by some of Russia’s most prominent athletes.


Kuznetsova, a Russian woman who earlier this year claimed victory at the French Open, is considered one of the best tennis players in the world. Her dynamic skills and physical strength as a player have seen her compared to her rivals Venus and Serena Williams.


Emelianenko is well known throughout Europe and Asia as one of the fiercest mixed martial arts fighters in the ring today. In November, he made his debut on the American stage in a match against Brett Rogers, which was televised live on CBS.


In addition to honoring the two best Russian athletes, the Russian city of Kazan received the title of “Sports Capital of Russia,” for having produced both winning ice hockey and football teams. The Russian national ice hockey team also received the “Golden Victory Award.”