Purdue tops European Athletics Poll

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Updated: April 19, 2011

European Athletics this evening announced that Latvia’s Zigismunds Sirmais, the Junior world record holder in the Javelin, and British teen prodigy Charlotte Purdue, have been voted as the European Athletes of the Month for March .In the Women’s Poll, Ireland’s Olive Loughnane finished 2nd.

The 18-year-old Sirmais produced a throw of 84.47m, a new junior world record, at the 11th European Cup Winter Throwing in Sofia and in the process bettered Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen’s record of 83.87m set in 2001.

Purdue, the 2010 SPAR European Cross Country Championships junior women’s champion, finished 14th at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Punta Umbria, Spain, in her first major championship in the senior ranks. (Earlier this month she also won the Great Ireland Run in Dublin).

Briton Mo Farah, running his first-ever half marathon, clocking a superb 1:00:23 to win the New York City Half Marathon, finished second in the men’s poll while the 2010 World Race Walking Cup 50km winner Matej Tóth, who delighted the local crowd watching the 30th edition of
the famous Dudinska Patdesiatka walking meeting in the southern Slovakian town of Dudince with a national record of 3:39:46, was voted third.

In the women’s poll, Ireland’s Olive Loughnane, a silver medallist at the 2009 World Championships, who won the European Athletics Race Walking Permit meeting 20km walk in Dudince with a season best time of 1:32:40, was voted second.

Hungary’s Anita Márton finished third following her gold medal win in the women’s shot at the European Cup Winter Throwing in Sofia.

European Athletics’ monthly poll received overwhelming support from thousands of athletics fans and media alike this month from all over Europe.

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.

A male and female winner each month is named and featured on the European Athletics website.

Selections are based on votes by the public, media and a panel of European Athletics experts; each counting for 33.3 percent of the final vote. No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for or win the European Athlete of the Month award.

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