Hortelano gains rich reward with Spanish honour

Hortelano gains rich reward with Spanish honour
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European 200m champion Bruno Hortelano was named Spanish male Athlete of the Year.

Bruno Hortelano has been named as Spain's male Athlete of 2016, after a year where he won 200m European gold to his total surprise but then suffered the horror of a serious car accident.

And as he was crowned in Madrid on Saturday night, high jumper Ruth Beitia received the first of two honours in less than 48 hours.

The Olympic and European champion was named as Spain’s female Athlete of 2016 before on Monday, she received the Reina Letizia Award at the National Sports Awards, presented to her by Queen Letizia of Spain. 

Hortelano, 25, could not have more contrasting memories of 2016.

In Amsterdam in July, he created one of the moments of the summer after the 200m final at the European Athletics Championships where he had finished second but did not know that the Netherlands' winner Churandy Martina had been disqualified.

When he is told he has won gold during a television interview, he cannot believe it and runs back seeking official confirmation. The video then went viral online and turned Hortelano into an unexpected star.

But then sadly in September he made headlines for awful reasons when he broke his right hand and had tendon injuries after a car accident when he was in the passenger's seat.

Receiving the award meant bringing back the good times of 2016 and he tweeted: "No words for being named Best Spanish Athlete of the Year. It is a pride to represent Spain and share joy with all of you."

As the accolades for Beitia go on, her guru Ramon Torralbo was named Coach of the Year at the awards gala on Saturday, with Carlos Mayo and Cristina Lara winning the under-23 titles and Alberto Gonzalez and Celia Anton winning the under-20 titles.