Finland's Pitkamaki voted European athlete of year

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LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Finland's javelin world champion Tero Pitkamaki has won the male European Athlete of the Year award for 2007.

Pitkamaki, 24, beat Czech world decathlon champion Roman Sebrle to become the first Finn to win the annual title, European Athletics said today. Estonia's world discus gold medallist Gerd Kanter was third in the voting.

Pitkamaki won the javelin world title in Osaka last month with a throw of 90.33 metres.

However, his season has not always gone smoothly and he accidentally speared French long jumper Salim Sdiri with a misfired throw during the Rome Golden League meeting in July.

Sdiri was not left with lasting damage from the injury.

REUTERS PDS VC2122

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