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January 14, 2009
Kirchen tops poll for sixth time

Kim Kirchen, Luxembourg sportsman of the year, with Petz Lahure, president of (left), and sponsor Benoît Holzem (Dexia, right) Photo/Roland Miny, member of

From Petz Lahure


LUXEMBOURG, January 14, 2009 - Cyclist Kim Kirchen and judoka Marie Muller were voted best athletes of 2008 by members of (formerly Association Luxembourgeoise de la Presse Sportve – ALPS.

Kim Kirchen gathered 433 votes to his name, while his runner-up Andy Schleck came in at 306 votes. Kirchen was cited no less than 42 times as number one, as opposed to Andy Schleck at 12 top votes. A total of 69 members of were authorised to vote in the poll.

Kim Kirchen: Six time winner!

It is the sixth time that Kim Kirchen has been voted Luxembourg’s athlete of the year, after his former wins in 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007. This record win for the “Columbia Team” cyclist thus makes him even with ski-ace Marc Girardelli who also won the accolade six times, in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1994 and 1996.

The third athlete on the 2008 podium was tennis-player Gilles Muller (233 votes, 10 top positions), while 2006 winner Franck Schleck came in fourth (156 votes) ahead of gymnast Sascha Palgen (69 votes). A total of eleven athletes were nominated, each of them gathered at least one vote.

A first for Marie Muller

On the ladies’ side, the fight was a bit more arduous. In the end, young judoka Marie Muller took away the top prize at 348 votes (26 top spots) ahead of last years’ winner Liz May (315 votes) and table-tennis player Ni Xia Lian (297 votes).

It should be noted that Ni came in first on 19 bulletins, while May only totalled 16 top classifications. In the end though, the number of second and third spots helped Liz May to come in second.

Soccer team socks it

Luxembourg’s national soccer team was the absolute favourite in the race for the best team trophy. The suspense was very short-lived, as it didn’t take much guessing that the soccer team would run away with the prize.

The soccer-players who had just recently beaten the Swiss national team came in at 505 votes and 60 top spots, well ahead of the ladies’ handball club of Bascharage (275 votes, 4 top spots) and the “pétanque-triplet” after their sensational performance at the world-championships (166 votes, 2 top spots).

The award ceremony took place during a glittering gala-presentation at the auditorium of Casino 2000 in Mondorf-les-Bains. Ministers Fernand Boden, Jean-Marie Halsdorf and Claude Wiseler were among the 630 people present at the sold-out event.

2009 Gala plans to celebrate 80th anniversary

The next gala presentation of Luxembourg’s Sports Press Association Awards will be held on December 10, 2009, on the occasion of’s 80th anniversary. As one should never change a winning team, the event will again be held at Mondorf-les-Bains. For the occasion, Casino 2000 will be fitted with a brand-new auditorium.

Complete results

Best male athlete

69 valid bulletins

1) Kim Kirchen – cyclist 433 votes

42 top spots

2) Andy Schleck – cyclist 306

12 top spots

3) Gilles Muller – tennis 233

10 top spots

4) Frank Schleck- cyclist 156

3 top spots

5) Sascha Palgen – gymnastics 69

0 top spot

6) Dirk Bockel – triathlon 49

1 top spot

7) Domingos Monteiro – boxer 21

0 top spot

8) Alwin De Prins – swimmer 18

1 top spot

9) David Fiegen – athletics 13

0 top spot

10) Laurent Carnol – swimmer 12

0 top spot

11) Marc seidel – canoe/kayak 1

0 top spot

Best female athlete

68 valid bulletins, 1 void

1) Marie Muller – judoka 348 votes

26 top spots

2) Liz May – triathlon 315

16 top spots

3) Ni Xia Lian – table tennis 297

19 top spots

4) Christine Mailliet – swimmer 124

4 top spots

5) Tessy Scholtes – karate 116

1 top spot

6) Carole Calmes – shooting 92

2 top spots

Best team

66 bulletins, 3 void

1) National soccer team 505 votes

60 top spots

2) Ladies’ handball Bascharage 275

4 top spots

3) National pétanque triplet 166

2 top spots

4) Judo club Esch 155

0 top spot

5) Ladies’ national volleyball 153

0 top spot

Best young sports performer(s)

U17 National soccer team special award

Alwin De Prins – swimmer,in recognition of his entire career

BELOW: Marie Muller, sportswoman of the year, with Petz Lahure, president of (left), and sponsor Gilbert Wolter (Foyer, right)Photo/ Roland Miny, member of

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