European Athletics has announced that Portugal’s cross country specialist Ana Dulce Felix and European marathon champion Viktor Röthlin of Switzerland have been voted as the European Athletes of the Month for November.
Felix was the first European home in fourth place at the ING New York City Marathon in a personal best of 2:25:40 on 6 November and then a winner at the 22nd Cross da Amora two weeks later. Röthlin, 2010 European Athletics Championships marathon gold medallist, was the first European home in the men’s category at the ING New York City Marathon in 2:12:26.
Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton, who finished third in a high quality field at the Cross de l´Acier in the French town of Leffrinckoucke on 27 November, a European Athletics Cross Country Permit Race, finished second in the women’s poll. She was closely followed by the Netherlands athlete Adriënne Herzog, who took the honours at the 53rd International loket.nl Warandeloop in the Dutch city of Tilburg on 27 November, also a European Athletics Cross Country Permit Race.
Britton of course won the European title in December, but whether she tops the poll for December or not will be decided a month hence.
In the men’s poll, Belgium’s Atelaw Bekele, who cruised to victory on home soil at the European Athletics Cross Country Permit Race in the Belgian town of Roeselare on 27 November, was voted second, while Briton Andy Vernon, an outstanding winner of the senior men’s race at the McCain Liverpool Cross Challenge event incorporating the UK Trials for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, finished third.
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.