Kevin Mayer at the European Athletics annual awards presentation (European Athletics via Getty Images) © Copyright
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Mayer and Asher-Smith named European athletes of the year

Kevin Mayer and Dina Asher-Smith were named European Athletes of the Year at the Golden Tracks award ceremony in Lausanne on Friday (26).

Mayer, 26, smashed the world record in the decathlon in Talence, France, in September, tallying 9126 points, eclipsing the previous record by 81 points, the largest increase in the world record since 1999. Earlier in the year, Mayer won the world indoor title in heptathlon with 6348 points, a world-leading score.

Asher-Smith, 22, dominated the sprints programme at the European Championships in August, winning the 100m, 200m and anchoring the British team to gold in the 4x100m relay. Her 21.89 winning performance in the 200m was a 2018 world lead while her 10.85 winning time in the 100m equalled the world lead. Both were national records.

 

IAAF President Sebastian Coe presents the Female European Athlete of the Year award to Dina Asher-Smith (European Athletics via Getty Images)IAAF President Sebastian Coe presents the Female European Athlete of the Year award to Dina Asher-Smith (European Athletics via Getty Images) © Copyright

 

Mayer is the third French athlete to win European Athletics' annual accolade, following Christophe Lemaitre in 2010 and Renaud Lavillenie in 2014. Asher-Smith meanwhile is the fourth British athlete to be crowned Europe's top female athlete after Sally Gunnell who won the inaugural award in 1993, Kelly Holmes in 2004 and Jessica Ennis-Hill in 2012.

Armand Duplantis and Jakob Ingebrigtsen were jointly awarded the men's Rising Star accolade after their phenomenal exploits at the European Championships. Duplantis, 18, cleared three world U20 records and a championship record of 6.05m to defeat one of the most competitive fields ever assembled for a major championships pole vault final while Ingebrigtsen won an unprecedented 1500/5000m double on back-to-back evenings at the age of 17.

Elvira Herman of Belarus was named the women's Rising Star winner. The 21-year-old raced to the European 100m hurdles title two years after taking the world U20 title in the event.

Greg Rutherford, the recently retired 2012 Olympic and 2015 world champion in the long jump, received the Lifetime Achievement Award while Ukraine’s two-time European 800m champion Nataliya Pryshchepa received the Fair Play Award.

Bob Ramsak and European Athletics for the IAAF