December 15, 2009 09:01
Figure skating champ Kim Yu-na has been named the best athlete of the year in a nationwide poll for a third year in a row, Gallup Korea announced on Monday.
In the poll of 1,726 people aged 13 and up across the country (except for Jeju Island) from Nov. 12 to 30, Kim won 82.8 percent of the vote, up from 56.1 percent last year. She received support from both genders and all age groups.
Soccer star Park Ji-sung of Manchester United in the English Premier League came in second with 40.7 percent of the vote, and 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medal winning swimmer Park Tae-hwan was ranked third. His popularity plummeted from 55.4 percent last year to 14.5 percent this year, largely due to his sub-par performance at the World Championship this year.
Choo Shin-soo, who plays for the Cleveland Indians in the Major League Baseball, placed fourth with 10.9 percent, and fellow baseball player Park Chan-ho of the Philadelphia Phillies came in fifth with 9.6 percent.
Shin Ji-yai, who became the first Korean golfer to win the LPGA Money List, finished sixth with 6.4 percent, and baseball player Lee Seung-yeop of the Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Central League came in seventh with 4.3 percent.
The poll allowed multiple answers and had a margin of error of 2.4 percent and a 95-percent confidence level.
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