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Basketball - 16. January 2013.

FRA - Dumerc scoops top sports award in homeland

PARIS (Olympics/FIBA World Championship for Women) - Celine Dumerc's inspirational play at the London Games was a big reason why the French women captured a silver medal.

She made one big play after another for Les Bleues and averaged a team-high 14.3 points per game as the French achieved their first-ever podium finish at a Summer Games.

The awards have been rolling in ever since for the Bourges point guard, including on Monday when the 30-year-old was named the French Sportsman of the Year.

The honor was announced by Radio France, who say that Dumerc received 40,000 votes by the public.

She is the first woman to receive the award.

"I am delighted for Celine, whom I have known for many years," French Basketball Federation president Jean-Pierre Siutat said.

"This award for Sportswoman of 2012 is a reward for her dedication and her attitude. It equally confirms her popularity regarding the fans.

"She deserves this for what she has done at the Olympic Games with the French team, but also what she has accomplished for her club.

"Celine has always been a remarkable player and has managed to make other players better."

Dumerc, who had just days earlier been named as Italian sports paper Gazzetta dello Sport's Player of the Year, will receive her new award on Monday at the home of Radio France in Paris.

The winner of the award for 2011 was judo star Teddy Riner.

He was also candidate for 2012, along with Dumerc, Renaud Lavillenie (athletics), Sebastien Loeb (motor racing), Martin Fourcade (biathlon), Tony Estanguet (canoe), Emilie Fer (canoe), Rene Girard (football), Thierry Omeyer (hand ball), Lucie Decosse (judo) Camille Muffat (swimming), Yannick Agnel (swimming), Florent Manaudou (swimming), Assia El Hannouni (Paralympics), Julie Bresset (mountain biking).

Dumerc is expected in just a few months to link up with her national team again as it launches its preparations for the EuroBasket Women.

France will host the 16-team tournament, which serves as a qualifying event for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women.

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