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Formula One

Vettel named European Sportsperson of the Year

After picking up his third straight Formula One world championship in November, German driver Sebastian Vettel has been named the European Sportsperson of the Year. Vettel beat out Britain's Bradley Wiggins.

German Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull celebrates his third world championship in a row with his team after the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 25 November 2012. Photo: Jens Buettner/dpa (zu dpa Jahresrückblick vom 30.11.2012) +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++

Weltmeister Formel Eins Sebastian Vettel Red Bull

The winner was announced on Wednesday by the Polish Press Agency (PAP), which organizes the award. Journalists from 25 European news agencies cast their votes for the prize.

Vettel won with 137 votes, beating out Britain's Tour de France champ and 2012 Olympic gold medalist, Bradley Wiggins, by seven votes. Mo Farah, Britain's 5,000 and 10,000 meter Olympic champion, was a close third with 126 votes.

The PAP has awarded the European Sportsperson of the Year 55 times. On its website, the agency said the winner was selected from 73 athletes in 31 disciplines representing 28 countries. There were 47 men and 26 women among the choices.

Vettel becomes the fourth Formula One driver to win the distinction, and joins fellow German Michael Schumacher on the list of recipients. Schumacher won three times from 2001-2003.

Last year, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic was selected for the award.

mz/ipj (dpa, pap)