In focus: a closer look at the Rising Star finalists

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European Athletics

Two long-lists of 10 athletes have been whittled down to three contenders for the male and female Rising Star awards. The winners will be crowned on Friday (26) at the Golden Tracks award ceremony in Lausanne.  

Ahead of the Golden Tracks award ceremony, we take a closer look at the six finalists and remember the performances which have put them in contention for the prestigious accolade. Last year’s winners were Norway’s world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm and Ukraine’s world high jump silver medallist Yuliya Levchenko.

The Golden Tracks award ceremony will be streamed live on the European Athletics website. 

Sarah Healy (IRL) 

Sarah Healy was one of two athletes to win two individual gold medals at the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, winning both the 1500m and 3000m titles in championship record times. The Irishwoman was a cut above the opposition in both finals, winning the 1500m title by 3.4 seconds and the 3000m title by 5.96.

Elvira Herman (BLR)

Elvira Herman has made an effortless transition into the senior ranks and the Belarusian demonstrated that at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships where she was crowned 100m hurdles champion only two seasons after winning the world U20 title in Bydgoszcz. Herman won gold in Berlin in 12.67 and at 21, she is still eligible for the European Athletics U23 Championships next season.

Maria Vicente (ESP)

Nafissatou Thiam is by no means on a downward curve but could Maria Vicente be her heir apparent? The Spaniard won two titles at the European U18 Championships with exceptional marks in both events. Vicente broke the world U18 best to win the heptathlon title by nearly 600 points with 6221 points (her marks in the 100m hurdles and long jump would have won the individual titles) before winning the triple jump title on the last day with 13.95m to qualify for the European Championships at the age of 17.

Armand Duplantis (SWE)

It would not be an exaggeration to say that Armand Duplantis produced one of the most accomplished displays in the history of pole vaulting at the European Championships in Berlin. Only 18, Duplantis cleared seven of his eight heights on his first attempts, including world U20 record clearances at 5.95m, 6.00m and 6.05m to move to equal second on the world all-time lists.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR)

Jakob Ingebrigtsen was equally illustrious both before and during Berlin at the European Championships. At 17, Ingebrigtsen reached unchartered territory by becoming the first athlete - male or female - to win the European 1500m and 5000m titles in the same championships on back-to-back nights. His winning time in the 5000m of 13:17.06 was also a European U20 record and he is still eligible for U20 competitions in 2019.

 

Jonathan Sacoor (BEL)

Jonathan Sacoor also came away with a gold medal from the European Championships in the 4x400m relay. He ran the third leg in the final before passing on the baton to Kevin Borlee who brought Belgium home to back-to-back titles. From an individual standpoint, Sacoor’s biggest target was the World U20 Championships in Tampere where he performed with distinction, winning the 400m title in 45.03 to just miss the European U20 record of 45.01.