Photo Credit: Getty Images

Reigning World Champions in the men’s Javelin throw and women’s Pole vault, Johannes Vetter and Ekaterina Stefanidi, won the European Athlete of the Year awards at the Golden Tracks awards ceremony held in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Saturday, October 14.

German thrower Vetter tops the 2017 World rankings and achieved this feat after recording a monster throw of 94.44m in Luzern in July to place 2nd on the all-time rankings in the event. He also went on to win the world title ahead of team mate and Olympic Champion Thomas Rohler, with a mark of 89.89m.

Vetter, who is the first German male athlete to win the award, was picked ahead of Turkey’s 200m World Champion Ramil Guliyev, and Frenchman Kevin Mayer, who won the Decathlon world title in London.

Ekaterina Stefanidi receives her award from European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Stefanidi on the other hand, remained unbeaten this year and dominates the world rankings with her distance of 4.91m, which won her GOLD at the London World Championships, and stands as a Greek Record. She holds five of the Top 10 marks in the women’s Pole vault in 2017, and won the European Indoor title in March as well as the Diamond League trophy in September.

She is also the reigning Olympic Champion in the event and becomes the first Greek athlete (male or female) to clinch this award.

Other nominees in the category were Olympic and World Champion in the Heptathlon Nafissatou Thiam, High Jump World Champion and Diamond Trophy winner Mariya Lasitskene, and World Record (WR) holder in the women’s Hammer throw Anita Wlodarczyk.

London 2017 GOLD medalist Karsten Warholm and High Jump Silver medalist Yulia Levchenko won the Male and Female Rising Stars award respectively.

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Yemi Olus is a Senior Sports Writer and Editor at Making of Champions. She has a bias for Athletics and was previously a Sports Reporter at the National Mirror, where she hosted a weekly column ‘On the Track with Yemi Olus’ for over two years. A self-acclaimed ‘athletics junkie’, she has covered national and international events live, such as the African Athletics Championships, African Games and IAAF World Championships. She has also freelanced for the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and currently hosts a weekly Track and Field column in the Vanguard Newspaper.

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