By Gary Anderson
February 3 - Germany's Marcel Hassemeier has been chosen as the inaugural International World Games Association (IWGA) Athlete of the Year following his performances at the 2013 World Games in Cali, where he picked up four gold medals and one silver in life saving competitions.
The 23-year-old double European champion was the most successful athlete, taking four top spots in the life saving events, including the singles and team competitions.
Hassemeier topped an online public poll run by the IWGA, receiving 21,871 votes to finish clear of Mongolian sumo wrestler Naranbat Gankhuyyag, who got 12,744, while American water skier Regina Jacques came third with 12, 570.
Former double world champion Gankhuyyag won gold in the open class in Cali, while Jacques claimed gold medals in the water skiing slalom and jump competitions.
Meanwhile, the Team of the Year prize went to the United States flying disc mixed team who secured their third World Games crown in succession.
A win over Australia saw the US team complete the hat-trick of titles, following on from success at Duisburg 2005 and Kaohsiung 2009.
They polled 16,744 votes with the women's tug of war team from Chinese Taipei second with 13,945 ahead of the Dutch korfball team, who secured 3,574 votes.
To view the top ten list in each category click here.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
January 2014: German swimmer Hassemeier leads World Games Athlete of the Year shortlist
July 2013: More than 4,500 athletes from over 100 countries set to compete in Cali World Games
July 2013: Cali 2013 unveils World Games programme