Swimming World Names 2009 Swimmers Choice Awards

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 30. WITH one more day until Swimming World announces the 2009 World Swimmers of the Year, we're revealing who captured the popular vote via balloting at SwimmingWorld.com. This is the third year that Swimming World has had a Swimmers Choice category for World Swimmers of the Year.

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In a much larger disparity than our panel had for European Swimmer of the Year, Italy's Federica Pellegrini beat Germany's Britta Steffen for the Swimmers Choice Female Swimmer of the Year award. The last three of the top five rankings were comprised by Americans Rebecca Soni, Ariana Kukors and Jessica Hardy.

Top Five Female Swimmers Choice of the Year
1. FEDERICA PELLEGRINI, Italy (35.03%)
2. Britta Steffen, Germany (15.71%)
3. Rebecca Soni, USA (13.50%)
4. Ariana Kukors, USA (13.37%)
5. Jessica Hardy, USA (11.16%)

The Brazilians know how to activate their base when it comes to this award. Each of the three years the award has been in existence, a Brazilian has won the Swimmers Choice Male Swimmer of the Year award. However, compared to the last two years when there was much controversy regarding the vote, Cesar Cielo's performance shined through to lessen any complaint about being included in the conversation. Michael Phelps, Paul Biedermann, Ryan Lochte and Aaron Peirsol rounded out the top five.

Top Five Male Swimmers Choice of the Year
1. CESAR CIELO, Brazil (31.79%)
2. Michael Phelps, USA (23.16%)
3. Paul Biedermann, Germany (16.28%)
4. Ryan Lochte, USA (13.97%)
5. Aaron Peirsol, USA (8.94%)

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Announcements So Far:
Nov. 22. Divers of the Year: China's Guo Jingjing, Qin Kai. Story
Nov. 23. Water Polo Players of the Year. U.S. Betsey Armstrong, Serbia's Andrija Prlainovic. Story
Nov. 24. Synchronized Swimmer of the Year: Russia's Natalia Ishchenko. Story
Nov. 25. Open Water Swimmers of the Year. Germany's Thomas Lurz, Great Britain's Keri-Anne Payne. Story
Nov. 26. African Swimmers of the Year. Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry, Tunisia's Ous Mellouli, South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh. Story
Nov. 27. Pacific Rim Swimmers of the Year. Australia's Jessicah Schipper, China's Zhang Lin. Story
Nov. 28. European Swimmers of the Year. Italy's Federica Pellegrini, Germany's Paul Biedermann. Story
Nov. 29. American Swimmers of the Year. USA's Michael Phelps, USA's Ariana Kukors, USA's Rebecca Soni. Story

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