Bondarenko and Hejnová win European awards

Ukrainian high jumper sees off likes of Mo Farah for men’s Athlete of the Year award while Emir Bekrić and Aníta Hinriksdóttir win Rising Star honours

Bohdan Bondarenko Gateshead (Mark Shearman)

Bohdan Bondarenko and Zuzana Hejnová have been crowned European Athletes of the Year, while Emir Bekrić and Aníta Hinriksdóttir have won Rising Star awards at the European Athletics awards night in Tallinn, Estonia.

Ukrainian high jumper Bondarenko, who this season proved his potential to better Javier Sotomayor’s world record mark thanks to two clearances of 2.41m, saw off the likes of double world and Olympic champion Mo Farah to claim the men’s award.

Bondarenko, who took world gold thanks to one of those 2.41m clearances, also won the IAAF Diamond Race, with his winning jump in Lausanne the best in the world for 19 years.

Czech 400m hurdler Hejnová, meanwhile, claims the female award in a year which has seen her unbeaten in 13 races, one of those being the IAAF World Championships final in Moscow.

Bekrić, of Serbia, clocked a national record in claiming 400m hurdles gold at the European Under-23 Championships before bagging world bronze in Moscow. He won the male Rising Star award, being chosen from a list which included Britain’s Adam Gemili, who clocked a sub-20 200m on his way to fifth in the final in Moscow.

Icelandic talent Hinriksdóttir won her country’s first global gold medal in claiming 800m victory at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, clocking a championship record, before further success in the under-20 age group in Rieti.

Votes from fans, the media, European Athletics Member Federations and an expert European Athletics panel decided the winners, with athletes crowned at a televised ceremony in the Estonian capital on Saturday night.

Top three athletes in each category (via european-athletics.org):

Male European Athlete of the Year
1. Bohdan Bondarenko (UKR)
2. Mo Farah (GBR)
3. Pawel Fajdek (POL)

Female European Athlete of the Year
1. Zuzana Hejnová (CZE)
2. Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
3. Valeria Straneo (ITA)

Male European Athletics Rising Star
1. Emir Bekrić (SRB)
2. Adam Gemili (GBR)
3. Karsten Warholm (NOR)

Female European Athletics Rising Star
1. Aníta Hinriksdóttir (ISL)
2. Dafne Schippers (NED)
3. Amela Terzić (SRB)

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