European champions Niklas Kaul and Gina Lückenkemper were crowned German Sportspeople of the Year at the 76th edition of the prestigious annual ceremony in Baden-Baden on Sunday (18).
This was the second time Kaul has been presented with the men’s trophy after winning in 2019 following on from his World Athletics Championships triumph while Lückenkemper claims the women’s award for the first time, succeeding three-time winner Malaika Mihambo who finished second in this year’s voting.
Kaul and Lückenkemper won gold medals at the Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships in a feverish hour on the second evening session. Kaul put in supreme performances in the javelin and 1500m to win the decathlon title from long-time leader Simon Ehammer from Switzerland while Lückenkemper pipped Mujinga Kambundji and Daryll Neita for gold in a dramatic 100m final.
Lückenkemper added to her title haul on the final day of the championships, helping Germany to gold in the 4x100m relay to ensure they would top the medal table on home soil in the Bavarian capital. The triumphant relay team also finished second in the Team of the Year category.
Lückenkemper was presented with her trophy by the now-retired sprinter hurdler Pamela Dutkiewicz-Emmerich while Kaul was presented with his award by his younger sister Emma, herself an aspiring athlete.
"It's hard for a sister to say how proud she is of her brother. But I can say something about the role you have for our generation. You are a role model for us," she said.
And despite the Winter Olympics taking place in 2022, athletes who won gold medals in Munich 2022 dominated the voting in both categories. Behind Lückenkemper and Mihambo, European 5000m champion Konstanze Klosterhalfen was sixth in the women’s category.
On the men’s side, European marathon champion Richard Ringer and European javelin champion Julian Weber were fifth and sixth in the voting.