Alex Baldaccini, Italian mountain running, have been voted as the European Athletes of October 2012.
The 24-year-old Alex Baldaccini won the men's race at the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Grand Prix final in Ljubljana, Slovenia, on 7 October: EA announced that he was voted as European Athlete of the Month for October in the men category.
In the women category, Matejai Kosovelj, Slovenian mountain runner arrived third, whilst Turkey's Elvan Abeylegesse have been voted as the European Athletes of the Month for October. Abeylegesse, the 2010 European Athletics Championships 10,000m gold medalist returned to form with a run over 20km in Paris in 65:42, the fastest time by a European over this distance since 2006. The double Olympic medallist missed out on most of the 2012 season due to injury.
Poland's Gregorz Sudol, a silver medalist at the 2010 European Athletics Championships 50km walk, clocked 3:46:01 over the same distance to win as a guest at the German championships in Gleina on 14 October and was voted second in the men's poll. The 17-year-old Hungarian hammer thrower Bence Pásztor, who threw 83.30m with the 5kg youth implement in Veszprém on 13 October, the best mark in the world for his age group in 2012, was voted third.
Three-time Chicago Marathon winner Liliya Shobukhova of Russia ran the fastest time by a European this year when she clocked 2:22:59 while finishing fourth in Chicago on 7 October and was voted second in the women's poll ahead of Slovenia' Mateja Kosovelj. Kosovelj won the women's race at the WMRA Grand Prix final on home soil.
The European Athlete of the Month initiative was launched in January 2007 and is designed to recognise outstanding performers at all levels of the sport in Europe.
European Athletics names a male and female winner each month and features the athlete on the European Athletics website.
Selections are based on votes by the public, media and a panel of European Athletics experts - each counting for 33.3% of the final vote. No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for or win the European Athlete of the Month award.
News by EA webpage.
Photos source by WMRA (Raimondo Balicco and Tomo Sarf)
On front page:
- Alex Baldaccini (ITA)
On second page:
- Mateja Kosovelj (SLO)