Stars of Europe honoured during the Awards Night in Arona
The best of European Athletics was honoured at a glittering ceremony to mark the European Athletics Awards Night presented by MONDO in Arona, Spain, on Saturday evening.
Great Britain's Mo Farah and Russia’s Mariya Savinova were presented with the 2011 European Athlete of the Year Awards while Germany’s David Storl and Briton Jodie Williams were awarded the European Athletics Rising Star Awards during the ceremony that was the highlight of the three-day annual European Athletics Convention.
More than 250 key decision makers from the 50 European Athletics Member Federations had gathered for the annual conclave.
Middle-distance runner Mariya Savinova, who became only the fourth Russian woman after compatriots Irina Privalova, Svetlana Masterkova and Yelena Isinbayeva to be honoured as the European Athlete of the Year, was thrilled to be in distinguished company.
“It was a remarkable year on the track and this award has made it one of the most special years of my career. The other Russian athletes who have won this prestigious award have all gone on to win Olympic medals and I will be training very hard to achieve the same next year. This award is a great motivation for working extra hard,” said Savinova.
The highlight of Savinova's brilliant year, in which she only lost one of her 10 outings over 800m, was without doubt her victory at the World Championships this summer.
She grabbed the gold medal over two laps of the track in a stunning time of 1:55.87.