Sergiy Lebid bites his seventh European XC gold (Hasse Sjögren) © Copyright
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Romania and Ukriane select best athletes of the year

In the last few days Romania and Ukraine have announced their top athletes of the year.

Grasu and Oprea win Romanian honours

On Friday (14), during the “Meeting of the Champions”, event held by the Athletics Federation of Romania, discus thrower Nicoleta Grasu and triple jumper Marian Oprea were named the best Romanian athletes of the year.
Grasu, 36, best performance during the season was 4th place at the IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Osaka, Japan with 63.40m and a month later the third place at the World Athletics Final, Stuttgart, Germany with 61.75m.
“I didn’t really expect to become the Athlete of the Year, I guess the World Championship placement was taken into consideration. I’m very happy and hopefully I won’t disappoint my fans during the Olympic Games, where I’m hoping to get the best result I can, since I’m already near the end of my career,” said Grasu.
Though being mostly injured and not having achieved high result in 2007 Marian Oprea, 25, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist and 2005 World Championship bronze medallist, was also honoured as the best male athlete.
“I don’t think I deserve any award, because I didn’t have good results this year. I don’t know what criteria were used to choose the laureates, but I thank you. I hope 2008 will be a better year and I’ll win an Olympic medal”.

Ukraine – Top 10 athletes of the year

The Ukrainian Athletics Federation has announced the top 10 athletes of the year 2007, naming them in the alphabetical order:

Yuliya Baraley, 400m, gold medal at IAAF World Youth Championship Ostrava – 53.57.

Lyudmila Blonska, Heptathlon, winner of the silver medal at Osaka World Championship 2007 with 6832 points - National record.  Lyudmila also was the winner of the IAAF 2007 Combined Events Challenge.

Serhiy Demydyuk, 110m Hurdles, 6th placed of the Osaka World Championship with the result of 13.22 - National record.

Kateryna Karsak, Discus Throw, European U23 Champion - 59.89. 

Dmytro Lashyn European Junior Champion (Hengelo) 10,000 m race with 29:51.58, the bronze medal at 5000m with 14:15.26, the bronze (U-20) at the 14th SPAR European Cross Country Championships. 

Sergiy Lebid the gold at 14th SPAR European Cross Country Championships, his 7th victory in the 14-year-history of the event.
Iryna Lischynska, 1500 m, bronze medal Osaka World Championship -  4:00.69  Olexiy Lukashevych, Long Jump, 4th place at the Osaka World Championship with 8.25

Mykyta Nesterenko, IAAF World Youth Champion Ostrava in discus throwing (1.500 kg) - 68.54, 11th place in the Shot Put (5kg) - 17.52

Tetyana Petlyuk, 800m, silver at the 29th European Athletics Indoor Championships in Birmingham  - 1:59.84.

by an IAAF Correspondent