VincoSport’s top contenders for European Athlete of the Year

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Now that public voting has began for the European male, and female, athletes of the year, VincoSport took a look into the strongest contenders for the award.

It’s been an exciting year in track, field, marathon and walking, and both categories boast stellar line-ups, so competition for the title will be fierce.

Each nominee has excelled on the biggest of stages, collecting titles along the way, but the winner will have shown that extra bit of supremacy throughout.

The male candidates for the award are: Bohdan Bondarenko, Pawel Fajdek, Mo Farah, Robert Harting, Robert Heffernan, Raphael Holzdeppe, Renaud Lavillenie, Mehiedine Mehkissi-Benabbad, Alexsandr Menkov, David Storl, Teddy Tamgho and Viteslav Vesely.

Each athlete has done themselves proud in their discipline, but Vinco Sport’s top three are Farah, Bondarenko and Tamgho.

Farah’s growing list of accolades speak for themselves. He has achieved greatness on the Olympic and World stage, and dismantled the Ehtiopan and Kenyan dominance in distance running.

In the last 12 months alone, the 30-year-old has picked up 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre gold at the London 2012 Olympics, and the Moscow World Championships. Adding to Farah’s incredible feat on both occasions, is the fact that most of his 5,000 metre challengers were fresh legged, while he had already churned out 25 laps of the track.

Not only has Farah dominated distance running, but in Monaco he broke the European record for 1,500 metres, with his sensational 3.28.81 clocking.

The Briton is a distance running phenomenon, but also a gentleman off the track too, with his down to earth charisma that has touched thousands of spectators, and fellow athletes.

Farah currently boasts over a third of the voting for this award, and will certainly be the bookies favourite.

Second up, is Bondarenko. The Ukraine athlete sprung to the fore of high jumping in 2013, setting an incredible personal best of 1.41 metres, and claiming the World title in Moscow.

The 24-year-old has shown utter dominance throughout the outdoor season, leaving the crowds on the edge of their seats as he challenged Javier Sotomayor’s 20-year-old record numerous times.

Last, but not least, it triple jumper Tamgho. The French man became just the third man in history to exceed 18 metres in the event at Moscow, with his humongous winning jump of 18.04 metres.

The 24-year-old missed out on last years Olympic Games due to an ankle operation, but he came booming back this year, and is now dubbed as the man to break Jonathan Edwards’ 18-year-old world record.

You can vote for your male athlete of the year here:

The female nominees are: Abeba Aregawi, Zuzana Hejnova, Yelena Isinbayeva, Yelena Lashmanova, Hanna Melnychenko, Christina Obergföll, Christine Ohuruogu, Sandra Perkovic, Mariya Savinova, Christina Schwanitz, Svetlana Shkolina and Valeria Straneo.

Zuzana Hejnova: Photo by Rega Photography via Flickr  Vinco Sport’s top three for the women’s category are Hejnova, Ohuruogu and Shkolina.

Hejnova has had a remarkable year in the 400 metre hurdles, and showed complete dominance throughout the season.

The Czech Republic athlete ran a personal best, and national record, of 52.83 seconds in Moscow for the world title, moving her up to twelfth on the all time list.

Adding to Hejnova’s dominance at the World Championships was the fashion in which she took the title. The 26-year-old destroyed her opponents, with a winning margin of over 1.2 seconds.

Her supremacy continued throughout the Diamond League series too, as she remained unbeaten.

Ohuruogu became the first British woman in history to claim a second world title Moscow, after she dipped her way to World Championship gold.

Ohuruogu’s 400 metre final had the athletics world on the edge of their seats as she powered down the home straight, closing in on Amantle Montsho with every stride. In the end, it all came down to the Briton’s dip, as she pushed Montsho into silver by 0.004 seconds.

In the process, Ohuruogu improved on Kathy Cook’s long-standing British record, too.

After years of coming second fiddle to her team mate, Anna Chicherova, 2013 was Shkolina’s year to shine in the women’s high jump.

Shkolina has been on the international circuit for many seasons, gradually improving year on year, but this time round she stole the limelight at both the World Championships, and Diamond League series.

In Moscow, she jumped three centimetres high than her competitors to take gold with her best attempt of 2.03 metres.

She continued to show her consistency throughout Diamond competitions too, as she sealed overall victory over her compatriot, Chicherova.

You can vote for your female athlete of the year here: