European Athletics is pleased to announce that Oleksandr Sitkovskiy and Zsofia Erdelyi have been voted by the fans and media as European Athletes of the Month for November.
November saw the cross country season start in earnest with four European Athletics Cross Country Permit meetings being staged as a prelude to the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.
However on the men’s side it was Ukrainian marathon runner Oleksandr Sitkovskiy who took the glory.
He won the Firenze Marathon in convincing fashion with a personal best time of 2:09:14 on 24 November. This was also the overall second best performance by a European runner this year.
British cross country runner Andy Vernon took second place in the vote. He won the British Cross Challenge event in Liverpool.
He will have a better shot at winning the award next month with his bronze medal from the SPAR European Cross Country championships in December.
Russian race walker Pyotr Trofimov finished third in the vote after a second-place finish at the prestigious four-stage Wuzhong International Walking Competition in China between 11-14 November, the race walking equivalent of the Tour de France.
On the women’s side it was road racer Zsofia Erdelyi of Hungary who took the award. She won the high profile Dubai women’s 10km on 8 November by a huge 28-second margin in 33:16.
Later in the month she added the Hungarian cross country title to her record.
She was run close by Russian marathoner Albina Mayorova, now 36, who won the Yokohama Women’s Marathon in Japan on 17 November by nearly three minutes over the rest of the field when she crossed the line in 2:25:55.
Mayorova has enjoyed recent success in Japan, last year winning the Nagoya Women’s Marathon with a time of 2:23:52 which allowed her to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games where she finished ninth.
Third was British athlete Kate Avery, who representing Iona College finished third at the American collegiate (NCAA) cross country championships in Terre Haute on 23 November. She was up against a strong international field in cold and very muddy condition.
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.