Male European Athlete of 2016 nominees

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As the voting ends tomorrow - Wednesday 5 October at noon CET - for the Golden Track awards, here's a look at our final category, the male European Athlete of the Year.

To cast your vote, go to our Facebook and Twitter pages. 

Four years after winning in front of his home crowd in London, Mo Farah retained both the 5000m and 10,000m Olympic titles in Rio in another record-breaking summer for the Great Britain superstar.

And in doing so, he matched the feats of Finland’s Lasse Viren in 1972 and 1976 as the only men to achieve this Olympic double-double.

Farah’s ability at all distances shone through again as he topped the European Athletics’ rankings at 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, 10,000m and half-marathon.

Twice a European Athlete of the Year (in 2011 and 2012), if Farah wins the award for a third time he will be the first man to achieve such an honour.

A month before the Olympics, Germany’s Thomas Rohler was fifth in the javelin at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam after suffering with a back injury.

But by the time of Rio, he showed why he was the world No 1 as he became the first German man to win this Olympic gold since Klaus Wolfermann in Munich in 1972.

For the first four rounds of the final it did not look it would go his way as Kenya’s world champion Julius Yego (88.24m) led. But then in round five, Rohler moved from second (87.40m) to first with a stunning 90.30m.

He is the only man to break the 90m barrier this year, with his world lead of 91.28m in Turku in June followed by his winning effort in Rio.

Germany won two Olympic track and field golds - and the second of those proved just how strong the discus family genes are in the Harting family.

In London in 2012, Robert Harting won the title with 68.27m and in Rio it was celebration time for brother Christoph - five years his junior - as he triumphed with a personal best and world lead of 68.37m.

And his glory came in the most dramatic of finals as Harting won with his last throw, moving from fourth to first, to overtake Poland’s Piotr Malachowski who had led from round one.

Twelve months on from being crowned world champion in Beijing, Slovakia's Matej Toth created Olympic history with a brilliant performance to win the 50km walk in Rio.

It was his country’s first Olympic medal since they became an independent nation in 1993 and he triumphed with an outstanding timing, moving into the lead with two kilometres to go to win in 3:40.58 for his third medal in successive summers after silver at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich in 2014.

Orlando Ortega’s level of consistency never dropped in 2016 as he ended the year with an accolade of honours in the 110m hurdles.

The Spaniard topped the European Athletics rankings with his national record of 13.04 from Monaco in July, a time that took him to Rio where he won Olympic silver. But he was not finished yet and last month, in Brussels, he secured the IAAF Diamond Race in style by winning at the King Baudouin Stadium in 13.08.

At the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam and Olympic Games in Rio, Turkey’s Yasmani Copello made a real impression.

In the semi-finals in the Netherlands, he broke the national record with 48.42 before winning gold in 48.98.

Next stop was Brazil where he lowered the national record again, this time to 47.92 as he won bronze in the best time by a European for four years.

Italian high jumper Gianmarco Tamberi, one of the characters of the sport as he competes with a beard on only the left side of his face, won gold indoors and out this year before suffering heartache when he would have been Olympic favourite.

First he cleared 2.36m to triumph at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland in March and in Amsterdam, his 2.32m made him European champion.

But then a few days later, a bittersweet night in Monaco. He broke the national record with 2.39m but then, in looking to go higher, he sustained an injury to his left ankle, crying out in pain and it meant he was out of the Olympics.

Top of the European Athletics’ decathlon lists for 2016 is France’s Kevin Mayer who made a major breakthrough by winning Olympic silver with 8834 points - a national record.

Mayer recorded personal bests in the 100m, 400m and pole vault as he gave defending champion Ashton Eaton (who won with an Olympic record of 8893) a run for his money with a performance that was the best total by a European athlete for 12 years and puts him sixth best on the all-time world rankings.

It was a year of mixed emotions for his French teammate Renaud Lavillenie, who began with gold at the world indoor championships with 6.02m, a championship record.

But then after failing to land a height at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam, he came back in great fashion in Rio where he won silver with a European lead of 5.98m.

Poland’s Pawel Fajdek produced a brilliant series of throws to become European hammer champion in Amsterdam, taking the title with his fifth round of 80.93m but also breaking 80m twice more, with 80.46m and 80.37m.

Infact, he cleared 80m 12 times in 2016 and won the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, with his only defeat in 14 competitions coming in Rio where he failed to make the final.