Steel and Crippa named European athletes of the month for December

Steel
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In Samokov, Gemma Steel won a title she had long been chasing and has been named female European Athlete of the Month for December as a reward.

European Athletics is pleased to announce that Great Britain’s Gemma Steel and Italy’s Yemaneberhan Crippa have been voted by the fans and media as European Athletes of the Month for December.

Crippa was the youngest of all the champions at the SPAR European Cross Country in Samokov, winning the junior men's race by the huge margin of 15 seconds; at just 18, he’s still young enough to defend his title in 2015.

Click through for an athlete profile on Yemaneberhan Crippa:

Second, was Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki who set the European absolute youth best with the 5kg implement, and also set a world indoor youth best, when he reached 24.24m in Spala on 30 December, having also improved the world indoor youth best three times earlier in the month.

In third was the 2014 European 50km champion and world record holder, Yohann Diniz of france, who added to his big list of accolades in Reims on 7 December when he reduced his French indoor best over 5000m to 18:16:76 and moved up to number five on the all-time list.

On the women’s side, the award went to Steel, who won of the women's senior race at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in convincing fashion by holding off her compatriot Kate Avery, she also won the famous San Silvestre Vallecana 10km road race in Madrid on 31 December.

In second place was Portugal’s Ana Dulce Felix, the 2012 European 10,000m champion was a hugely impressive winner in 32:17 of the seventh edition of the high quality Sao Silvestre de Lisboa 10km race on 27 December, winning by exactly a minute.

In third was Bulgaria’s Militsa Mircheva, still only 20, after finishing a modest 32nd as a junior in 2013 she had the race of her life in her first year in the under-23 ranks to give the host country an unexpected silver medal at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships.

Watch her silver medal performance in Samokov below:

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.

No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for the European Athlete of the Month.