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Tuuli Petäjä-Sirén is athlete of the year

Windsurfer Tuuli Petäjä-Sirén, 29, was voted athlete of the year on Tuesday evening at the 2013 Sports Gala, which recognises the brightest stars in Finnish sports.

Tuuli Petäjä-Sirén.
Tuuli Petäjä-Sirén. Image: Lehtikuva

She took silver in the women’s RS-X windsurfing event at the London Olympics last summer.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the title has gone to a female athlete. Last year biathlete Kaisa Mäkäräinen took home the prize, which has been awarded since 1947.

Javelin thrower Antti Ruuskanen, who won the bronze medal in the men's javelin event at the London Games, received the second most votes from Finnish sports journalists.

Third place went to paralympian Leo-Pekka Tähti, who gained his third paralympic gold medal in the men's 100-metre wheelchair race in London.

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Charter flights arranged by the Finnish police have carried 1,500 rejected asylum seekers voluntarily back to Iraq since the turn of the year, while the International Organization of Migration (IOM) has assisted with 1,395 voluntary returns from Finland to Iraq in the same period. A representative of the Finnish police says individual forced returns to Iraq have also taken place for some who refuse to leave voluntarily, despite the absence of an agreement between the countries on repatriation.

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