Prolific sprinter Ajla Del Ponte and combined events specialist Simon Ehammer have been voted Swiss Athletes of the Year for 2020.
Del Ponte was one of the most consistent sprinters in the world this season both indoors and outdoors. The 24-year-old finished inside the top three in all eleven of her indoor races - heats and finals - in the 60m and also won the Swiss title in 7.20.
And despite Europe going into lockdown in the spring, Del Ponte emerged a stronger athlete. She won 14 of her 16 races in the 100m, taking notable wins in Monaco (11.16), Bydgoszcz (11.18), Stockholm (11.20) and Bellinzona (11.18).
Del Ponte finished the season as the European leader over 100m with a lifetime best of 11.08. She also broke the 23 second-barrier in the 200m for the first time in her career although both her 22.88 and 22.83 clockings were wind-assisted.
On the men’s side, Ehammer has been making an impact both in the combined events as well as the long jump and the 20-year-old is looking to qualify in both events at the Tokyo Olympics next summer.
Ehammer shattered his lifetime best and national U23 record in the long jump with an early season mark of 8.15m - a performance which ranked him second on the 2020 European list behind Finland’s Kristian Pulli’s 8.27m.
And the European U20 decathlon champion continued to improve in the combined events. Ehammer broke the 8000 points-barrier for the first time in his career with 8029 points in June before improving to 8231 points at the Swiss Combined Events Championships in Langenthal, the second highest score in 2020.
In his first season as a senior, Ehammer also finished the year ranked inside the top five in Europe in the 110m hurdles as well. He smashed his lifetime best to 13.48 at the Swiss Championships behind Jason Joseph’s 13.29.
Ditaji Kambundji, the younger sister of Mujinga, was voted Young Athlete of the Year. The 18-year-old improved her lifetime best in the 100m hurdles from 13.92 to 13.07 and she is still eligible to compete at the European Athletics U20 Championships next year.