Multi-events star Jessica Ennis of Great Britain has been voted the 2012 winner of the women’s European Athlete of the Year Award.
Five years ago Ennis picked up the inaugural European Athletics Rising Star Award and since then she has won European and world titles in the heptathlon but in 2012 she became an even bigger star in the sport by taking the Olympic title in her specialist event.
Her score at the London 2012 Olympic Games, in a British record of 6955 points, moved her up to number four on the European all-time list and fifth on the global rankings.
Into the bargain, after her first British and Commonwealth record of the year when she recorded 6906 points at the famous multi-events meeting in the Austrian town of Götzis in May, she became only the second women to score over 6900 twice in the same year and the first since 1988.
Earlier this year, Ennis had also given notice that she was in great shape when she took second place in the World Indoor Championships pentathlon with 4965 points, a tally only ever beaten by two other women.
Naturally though, what will be remembered more than anything about Ennis’ year is her magnificent Olympic victory, with three personal bests in the seven events, a triumph achieved despite the burden of expectation as one of the poster girls for London 2012.
Ennis’ achievement will be celebrated during the European Athletics Awards Night in St Julians, Malta, on Saturday 13 October alongside the men’s winner of the European Athlete of the Year award, to be announced on Friday.
The European Athletics Rising Star of the Year winners, Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic and Angelica Bengtsson of Sweden, will also be present to pick up their awards.
Fans, media and European Athletics Member Federations were invited to vote for the European Athletics Rising Star on the European Athletics website. Along with the votes from a panel of experts, each group of voters’ results counted for one quarter of the athlete’s final score.
The shortlist for the award included stars from this year’s Olympic Games in London, Helsinki 2012 European Athletics Championships, Istanbul 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships, and other young athletes who performed exceptionally well this year.
No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for the European Athletics Rising Star award.
Women’s 2012 European Athlete of the Year final rankings:
1. Jessica Ennis (GBR)
2. Anna Chicherova (RUS)
3. Barbora Spotakova (CZE)
4. Sandra Perkovic (CRO)
5. Mariya Savinova (RUS)
6. Ivet Lalova (BUL)
7. Eloyse Lesueur (FRA)
8. Natalya Antyukh (RUS)
9. Dulce Felix (POR)
10. Nevin Yanit (TUR)
11. Yuliya Zaripova (RUS)
12. Anita Wlodarczyk (POL)
13. Mariya Ryemyen (UKR)
14. Olha Saladuha (UKR)
15. Yelena Lashmanova (RUS)
European Athlete of the Year previous winners:
1993 Sally Gunnell (GBR)
1994 Irina Privalova (RUS)
1995 Sonia O’Sullivan (IRL)
1996 Svetlana Masterkova (RUS)
1997 Astrid Kumbernuss (GER)
1998 Christine Arron (FRA)
1999 Gabriela Szabo (ROU)
2000 Trine Hattestad (NOR)
2001 Stephanie Graf (AUT)
2002 Süreyya Ayhan (TUR)
2003 Carolina Kl&