European 200m champion Ramil Guliyev from Turkey and European triple jump champion Paraskevi Papahristou from Greece were crowned Balkan Athletes of the Year at the Balkan Athletics Gala 2018 in Athens, Greece on Thursday 6 December.
Guliyev added the European title to his world title in Berlin, breaking the championship record and his national record with 19.76 while Papahristou won the first major title of her career in the German capital, equalling her season’s best of 14.60m.
Gold medallists from the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in Argentina, Ukraine’s Myhaylo Kokhan and Bulgaria’s Aleksandra Nacheva were crowned Rising Stars of the Year.
Nacheva, who also won the world U20 triple jump title at the age of 16, received her award from European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen - one of the special guests at this year’s Gala.
Hansen and IAAF President Sebastian Coe who also attended the Gala both received plaques of appreciation from Balkan Athletics President and Vice President of European Athletics Dobromir Karamarinov for their support of Balkan Athletics.
Karamarinov also acknowledged the good work of the Hellenic Athletics Association (SEGAS) and President Kostas Panagopoulos in organising the Gala.
The delegates also visited the historic Panathenaic Stadium which staged the first modern Summer Olympics in 1896 earlier in the day and officially inaugurated the Museum of Athletics History at Fokianos Gymnasium.
The 2019 Balkan Athletics Gala will take place in Arandjelovac, Serbia on 21 November.