Switzerland’s Julien Wanders and Luiza Gega from Albania have been voted European Athletes of the Month for January 2020.
Voting took place across European Athletics’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels and more than 34,000 votes were cast across the five days of voting.
On the men’s side, Wanders topped the voting with 4371 votes ahead of France’s Renaud Lavillenie with 3007 votes. The Swiss began his season by breaking another European road record, improving his mark from 27:25 to 27:13 in the Valencia Ibercaja 10K on 12 January.
Gega also began her season in record-breaking form, setting an outright Albanian record and European-leading 3000m time of 8:44.46 in Karlsruhe on 31 January. Gega is no stranger to breaking national records, owning all of the Albanian records between 800m (2:01.31) and the half marathon (73:11).
The former European 3000m steeplechase silver medallist accrued 5862 votes across social media to finish just ahead of world indoor U20 record-holder Yaroslava Mahuchikh from Ukraine in the voting.
The European Athlete of the Month initiative was launched in 2007 and three male and five female athletes have been nominated based purely on their performances in the previous month. No athlete who has served a doping ban of two years or longer can be nominated for the award.
Julien Wanders (SUI) 4371 votes
Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) 3007
Thobias Montler (SWE) 2633
Jake Wightman (GBR) 1863
Tomas Stanek (CZE) 1578
Luiza Gega (ALB) 5862 votes
Yaroslava Mahuchikh (UKR) 5653
Angelica Bengtsson (SWE) 3848
Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk (UKR) 2936
Stephanie Twell (GBR) 2486