Finalists announced for the men's and women's European Athlete of the Year

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European Athletics

After weeks of voting, we can reveal the men's and women's European Athlete of the Year finalists.

There were four components to the first stage of voting which all made up 25 percent of the vote: the social media vote, the Member Federations vote, the European Athletics Experts Panel vote and the media vote. Voting closed at noon CET on Friday 5 October.

The winners will be announced and presented with their awards at the Golden Tracks award ceremony which will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland on Friday 26 October.

Last year’s male and female European Athletes of the Year were Germany’s Johannes Vetter and Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi.

Men's European Athlete of the Year finalists

Armand Duplantis (SWE)

Sweden’s Armand Duplantis became the European pole vault champion in Berlin in the most spectacular fashion. 

At 18, he triumphed with an amazing performance which saw him break the six metre-barrier for the first time and then sail over at 6.05m, ending with gold and a world U20 record by 12 centimetres. The first time he equalled the championship record, the second time he broke it.

When he achieved those two landmark clearances, he was embraced by French pole vault superstar Renaud Lavillenie, with whom he had been training before the championships.

Only a few weeks earlier in Tampere, he had been crowned the World U20 champion when he won by 27 centimetres with a championship record of 5.82m and then in Berlin he took his career to an extraordinary level particularly in the manner of his vaulting.

He attacked eight heights and only on one of them - at 5.80m - did he need a second attempt, soaring over at 5.95m, 6.00m and then 6.05m on his first attempts.

Ramil Guliyev (TUR)

It had been 16 years since the championship record had been set in the 200m at the European Championships but in an explosion of power and speed, Ramil Guliyev rewrote history. 

The Turkish star had won the world title in London 12 months earlier but this triumph came with arguably an even greater run as he was not far away from the European record of 19.72 which Italian legend Pietro Mennea had set in 1979. 

Bursting from his blocks in lane six, Guliyev blasted to the gold medal in 19.76, breaking the championship record of 19.85 established in Munich, the last time the championships were held in Germany. 

Nine years after reaching the 200m final at the IAAF World Championships, when he was seventh in 20.61 as Usain Bolt smashed the world record with 19.19, this time it was Guliyev taking all the plaudits.

Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR)

Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen achieved a remarkable and unprecedented 1500/5000m double at the European Championships just a month before celebrating his 18th birthday. 

Success runs in the family with elder brothers Henrik and Filip previous winners of the 1500m title but Jakob’s double success on two memorable evenings at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium came within 24 hours of each other.

Jakob became the youngest ever male athlete to win a European Championships title, showing bundles of experience to hold off Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski to win by 0.04 in 3:38.10. 

He was back on top of the podium again the following night after smashing his European U20 record as he broke away in the home straight to win the 5000m in 13:17.06 from his brother Henrik.

He may even have seen 2018 as a success before Berlin after winning two medals at the World U20 Championships in Tampere and smashing the European U20 1500m (3:31.18), mile (3:52.28) and 5000m (13:20.78). 

Kevin Mayer (FRA)

No one could believe the events on the morning of 7 August when Kevin Mayer failed to register a legal effort in the long jump. It was the second discipline of the competition, and his competition - and possibly his summer - was over.

Fast forward to just over five weeks later and the Frenchman’s emotions could not have been more different as he produced his greatest performance ever to smash the world decathlon record in Talence. 

Mayer had a remarkable two days, with identical scores on both of 4563. His total of 9126 replaced American Ashton Eaton’s record of 9045 which had stood for three years. 

And after the despair of Berlin, there was no such trouble in the long jump this time as he recorded a personal best of 7.80m having also started with a 10.55 lifetime best in the 100m. 

Two more personal bests followed during the weekend – 5.45m in the pole vault and 71.90m in the javelin, the latter his highlight of the weekend – as Mayer took his career to an unprecedented level.

Women's European Athlete of the Year finalists

Dina Asher-Smith (GBR)

No athlete left the European Championships in Berlin with more medals this summer than the British sprinter – and all three of them were gold.

The 22-year-old was the superstar in the German capital, soaring to the sprint double with record-breaking performances in the 100m and 200m before producing a sensational last leg in the 4x100m relay final to take Great Britain from fourth to first and seal her a hat-trick of titles.

Asher-Smith became the first woman to complete the European sprint treble since East Germany’s Katrin Krabbe in Split 1990 and the first British athlete ever to land a European hat-trick at the same championships.

And she did it in style too. As she beat the Netherlands’ defending champion Dafne Schippers in the 100m, Asher-Smith won in a British record and equal world-leading time of 10.85 and then repeated that statistical act in the 200m which she won in 21.89 to successfully keep hold of the crown she won in Amsterdam in 2016.

Asher-Smith then anchored the 4x100m relay team home to victory in 41.88, just 0.11 shy of the British record from the Olympic Games in Rio two years earlier.

Ekaterini Stefanidi (GRE)

Ekaterini Stefanidi is looking to become only the second woman to win back-to-back European Athlete of the Year titles. If she does, she will join Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers, who lifted the crown in 2014 and 2015.

The Greek arrived in Berlin as the defending European champion after her victory in Amsterdam 2016 - the same season in which she won the Olympic title, 12 months before becoming world champion.

Berlin was a chance to retain a crown for the first time she rose to the challenge in the Olympic Stadium in the best possible fashion, breaking her championship record with 4.85m after first time clearances at 4.65m, 4.75m and 4.80m to hold the ascendency.

Stefanidi was back at her best in Berlin after a stuttering start to the season due to injury. Despite an interrupted build-up, Stefanidi still cleared 4.80m for bronze at the IAAF World Indoor Championships and after clearing 4.85m in Berlin, Stefanidi improved her season’s best to 4.87m to win the Diamond League title in Zurich.

Nafissatou Thiam (BEL)

As Olympic and world champion from the previous two summers, now was the chance for Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam to complete the full set of heptathlon titles at the European Championships in Berlin.

Thiam, 23, duly delivered, not panicking when she was trailing Great Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson by 113 points with two disciplines left. Johnson-Thompson had broken her personal best in the javelin with 42.16m but Thiam sent the javelin flying to a championship best of 57.91m on her third attempt to open up an insurmountable margin of 192 points on the Brit.

Johnson-Thompson clawed back the deficit in the 800m but the celebrations could start for Thiam as she won gold for the third year in a row with 6816 points, joining Carolina Kluft and Jessica Ennis-Hill as the only athletes to win the heptathlon at the Olympics, World Championships and European Championships.

Thiam also took her second successive victory in the prestigious Gotzis Hypo-Meeting in May with 6806 points where she cleared a world high jump heptathlon best of 2.01m.