European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen, IAAF President Sebastian Coe and Austrian Sports Minister Hanspeter Doskozil were the guests of honour at the Austrian Athletics Awards evening held in the House of Sports venue in Vienna on Monday.
Austrian Athletics President Ralph Vallon presented the Athlete of the Year awards to Jennifer Wenth the female winner, after she qualified for the 5000m in Beijing and the 3000m final at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague. Lukas Weisshaidinger, the 2011 European junior discus champion, was crowned on the men’s side thanks to his national record setting throw of 67.24m in Schwechat last summer.
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Pole vaulter Kira Grünberg was named as an ambassador of Austrian Athletics having been left quadriplegic following a training accident last summer. She was unable to attend the awards ceremony but addressed the crowd via video-message, thanking European Athletics for supporting her.
European Athletics made a donation to the Foundation Kira Grünberg late last year.
The Milestone award was given to Dietmar Millonig who won the European indoor 3000m title in Madrid 30 years ago.
Other notable guests in Vienna on Monday were Marton Gyulai (European Athletics Council member), Peter Korcok (President of the Slovak Athletics Federation), Hans Peter Trost (ORF Sports Chief), Wolfgang Konrad (Vienna City Marathon manager), Walter Weber (Götzis meeting representative), and Guenther Weidlinger (European Athletics Athletes’ Commission Chair).
“It was such a pleasant evening in Vienna with several friends of European Athletics in attendance. My thoughts are with Kira Grünberg who suffered a serious accident last year but whose courage demonstrates the strength that all great athletes have,” said President Hansen.
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