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Mika Kallio takes time off military service to collect award in Finland

Mika Kallio takes time off military service to collect award in Finland

Mika Kallio this week picked up a double prize at a television awards ceremony in his native Finland, taking time off his military service to attend the bash. The 20 year old was voted into second place by the audience of sports programme `Ruutulippu´ (Chequered Flag) for the most popular motorsportsman of the year. The winner was World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm, but Kallio held off stiff competition to take the runner-up spot before taking the award for `Fighter of the Year´.

`I was very surprised that I got even more votes than Formula One drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Mika Salo, because Formula One has for several years been the most followed motor sport in Finland,´ said the youngster. `It is nice to know that MotoGP is getting more and more popular also here in Finland´.$$$

Kallio is now working to complete a military service commitment which lasts until the end of 2003, although he will be released for testing and races next year. `At the moment I have to take care of my duties here in army. I am serving in the sports company with several other sportsmen and they have planned a service program that does not disturb my racing. I am looking forward to getting back to race tracks in January. The team has already managed to arrange for me a very good package for next season and I believe that I have a very good chance to chase podium places from the very beginning of the season.´

125cc, 2002, Mika Kallio

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