Dafne Schippers and Greg Rutherford were rewarded with Golden Tracks trophies for their magnificent seasons being crowned European Athletes of the Year. Konrad Bukowiecki and Noemi Zbären were also honoured as the Rising Stars of 2015 during the Golden Tracks ceremony held in Lausanne as part of the European Athletics Convention.
The ceremony was streamed live on the homepage of www.european-athletics.org but for all those who missed, the full show is available via our YouTube channel. Fans were encouraged to publish social media posts using the #GoldenTracks hashtag throughout the evening.
European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen presented Schippers with her award as she joins Sweden’s Carolina Kluft (2003 and 2006), Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva (2005 and 2008) and Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic (2007 and 2010) as double winners of the European Female Athlete of the Year title.
Schippers, 23, carves herself another piece of track and field history as she becomes the first woman to retain the title.
After winning the award 12 months ago following her 100m-200m double success at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Dutch superstar Schippers took her sprinting to another level this year.
In March, she won gold in the 60m at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague and then, after hinting she might compete in the heptathlon, she remained fully focused on the sprints which brought her a world championship to remember.
First, Schippers took silver in the 100m in a national record of 10.81 behind Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.76) and then she produced the run of her life to win gold in the 200m in 21.63, the third fastest time in history and a European record.
Long jumper Rutherford, 28, became only the fifth British athlete to hold the Grand Slam of outdoor major titles at the same time when he won gold at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing in August.
His victory, sealed with a fourth round jump of 8.41m, saw him join Daley Thompson (decathlon), Linford Christie (100m), Sally Gunnell (400m hurdles) and Jonathan Edwards (triple jump) as Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European champions.
Rutherford received his award from the newly elected IAAF President Sebastian Coe, who was present for the entire duration of the Convention.
Bukowiecki, 18, has had a remarkable 2015, leading to this success as the male Rising Star, receiving his award from European Athletics Vice President Dobromir Karamarinov.
The Polish shot-putter had his crowning glory in July with gold at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Eskilstuna in a year where he has broken records galore.
He was only 17 at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague when he finished sixth in the final, and broke the European junior shot put record in an event using the senior implement of 7.26kg when he achieved the distance of 20.46m both in qualifying and in the final.
He had already broken the world junior indoor record with 22.38m using the 6kg shot before his triumph in Eskilstuna.
Then, in Zagreb in September, he broke the world junior all-time best with 20.78m using the 7.26kg shot.
Zbären brought joy to the local hosts having been named the women’s Rising Star after her brilliant performance to win the 100m hurdles in a personal best of 12.71 at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Tallinn in July.
A month later she took her superb form into the world championships in Beijing where she finished sixth in the final in 12.95.
Christophe Seiler, President of Swiss Athletics, proudly presented the award to Zbären who was delighted to be honoured at home.
All four winners received Golden Tracks trophies after topping the votes from fans, media, European Athletics Member Federations as well as an expert European Athletics panel, with the results from each group of voters counting for one quarter of the athlete's final score. Over 80,000 fans cast their votes on social media.
Janine Geigele of Switzerland received the first of this year's Women's Leadership Awards, while Urs and Marlis Göldi accepted the first Coaching Awards of 2015. The remainder of the winners will receive their awards in national ceremonies organised by their federations.