Finland's javelin world champion Tero Pitkamaki (picture) 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. 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.

Last week, Croatia's world high jump champion Blanka Vlasic was voted Europe's female athlete of 2007.

Pitkamaki and Vlasic will be awarded with their prizes during the EAA Calendar Conference in Malta between October 11 and 14.

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