Thomas Schmidberger receives Allianz Athlete of the Month for December

The German table tennis player won the gold medal in the men’s class 3 singles and also in class 4-5 team events at the US Open. 13 Jan 2017
Portrait picture of a man showing his tongue.

Thomas Schmidberger of Germany sticks his tongue out during the final of the Men's Team Table Tennis - Class 3 against China at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

ⒸGetty Images

German table tennis player Thomas Schmidberger received the Allianz Athlete of the Month honour for December 2016 after winning the gold medal in the men’s class 3 singles and also in class 4-5 team events at the US Open in Las Vegas, USA.

Schmidberger had a year to remember as he also claimed two silvers in the men’s singles and team class 3 at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

In the public polls, the German finished first with 52.02 per cent of the votes, followed by French Para alpine skier Arthur Bauchet, with 33.19 per cent.

USA’s Para ice hockey player Steve Cash secured 9.07 per cent, ahead of compatriot and Para Nordic skier Oksana Masters (4.18 per cent) and the Netherlands’ wheelchair tennis player Jiske Griffioen (1.53 per cent).

The 2016 winners are:

January – Abdullah Sultan Alaryani, United Arab Emirates, shooting

February – Andrey Smirnov, Russia, wheelchair curling

March – Stephen McGuire, Great Britain, boccia

April – Carlos Serrano, Colombia, swimming

May – Shelby Watson, Great Britain, athletics

June – Elena Krawzow, Germany, swimming

July – Richard Whitehead, Great Britain, athletics

August – Ekrem Gundogdu, Turkey, goalball

September (Best Male) – Siamand Rahman, Iran, powerlifting

September (Best Female) – Sareh Javanmardidodmani, Iran, shooting

September (Best Team) – Brazil, boccia BC3 team

October – Emanuele Lambertini, Italy, wheelchair fencing

November – Matias Nicolas Pino Lorca, Chile, table tennis

December - Thomas Schmidberger, Germany, table tennis