29 DEC 2000 General News

Harju named Finland's athlete of the year


29 December 2000Helsinki - Men's Olympic shot put gold medallist Arsi Harju has been voted Finland's athlete of the year by the country's sports media, finishing ahead of new rally champion Marcus Gronholm.

The 26-year-old collected 313 first-place votes and a total of 3,947 points at a ceremony on Thursday evening, putting him comfortably ahead of Gronholm, who won his first rallying title after compatriot Tommi Makinen had won the previous four.

The pink-bandana toting Harju was the surprise shot put winner in Sydney, beating a strong field and giving Finland its first Olympic gold in the event since 1920.

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