Wicklow’s Fionnuala Britton has been voted female European Athlete of the Month for December.
The ‘European Athletics’ organisation has announced that the 2012 SPAR European Cross Country Championships’ senior women and men title winners Fionnuala Britton of Ireland and Andrea Lalli of Italy have been voted as the European Athletes of the Month for December.
Britton, 28, defended her continental title with aplomb in a tactically perfect race in Budapest to become the first senior women to manage back-to-back victories at the event.
Lalli on the other hand became the first runner to win at all three levels at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships when he won the senior men’s title by a convincing margin of 10 seconds.
Serbia’s 2012 World Junior Championships 1500m silver medallist Amela Terzic won her country’s first gold medal at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships with a win in the junior women’s race and for her feat was voted second in the women’s poll.
Terzic was followed by Portugal’s Sara Moreira, who had two good wins on the road in three days in December. She won the Sao Silvestre de Lisboa 10km in 32:19 on 29 December and the Sao Silvestre da Amadora 10km in 32:42 two days later.
In the men’s poll, Poland’s Szymon Kulka took the second spot. The 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships 10,000m bronze medallist showed his ability over rougher terrain when he convincingly won the SPAR European Cross Country Championships junior title in Budapest.
Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen, the 2012 European Athletics Championships 1500m gold medalist, was voted third for his impressive run in Budapest where he gave ample evidence of his abilities over longer distances, by winning the SPAR European Cross Country Championships under 23 title.
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.