On an unforgettable evening at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in Lausanne 12 months ago, and after more than 80,000 fans had cast their votes on social media, Dafne Schippers made history as Greg Rutherford collected another award at the Golden Tracks ceremony. Noemi Zbären and Konrad Bukowiecki were honoured as the Rising Stars of 2015 and received smaller version of the Golden Tracks trophy.
The smile beamed across the face of Dutch sprinter Schippers as she received her award from European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen as she achieved another landmark moment in her life.
Schippers became the first woman to retain the title of female European Athlete of the Year having won it 12 months earlier after her 100m-200m double at that summer’s European Athletics Championships in Zurich.
A year on, she was the worthy recipient of the award again having won 60m bronze at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague before going to the IAAF World Championships in Beijing where she won silver in the 100m in a national record (10.81) and then celebrated 200m gold in a European record of 21.63, the third quickest time in history.
Only three women had won this title twice before her - Sweden’s Carolina Kluft (2003 and 2006), Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva (2005 and 2008) and Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic (2007 and 2010)- and now Schippers was part of that special group.
Long jumper Rutherford’s delight matched that of Schippers after another amazing year in his life and he was presented with the male European Athlete of the Year Golden Tracks trophy by the newly-elected IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
It was further reward for his amazing consistency as Rutherford’s victory at the world championships had made him only the fifth British athlete to hold the Grand Slam of outdoor major titles at the same time, joining Daley Thompson (decathlon), Linford Christie (100m), Sally Gunnell (400m hurdles) and Jonathan Edwards (triple jump).
After his Olympic glory in 2012, he followed that up with Commonwealth and European gold in 2014 and now he was in Lausanne as the world champion.
How fitting it was that the awards were being staged in Lausanne as the female Rising Star of the Year was Switzerland’s brilliant hurdler Zbären.
Christophe Seiler, President of Swiss Athletics, proudly presented the award to Zbären who had won the 100m hurdles in a personal best of 12.71 at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Tallinn in July before then finishing sixth in the world championship final in Beijing.
European Athletics Vice President Dobromir Karamarinov presented Polish shot-putter Bukowiecki with his trophy as the male Rising Star after a year of constant success, which was topped by him winning gold at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna. His record-breaking was endless, including the world junior mark indoors (22.38m) for the 6kg shot and the outdoor world junior all-time best (20.78m) with the 7.26kg device.
There was further celebration for Switzerland, too, as Janine Geigele received the first of the year's Women's Leadership Awards, while Urs and Marlis Göldi accepted the first Coaching Awards of 2015.
Indeed, it was a night to remember.