Magnus Kirt, the world leader in the javelin in 2019, was named Estonian Athlete of the Year across all sports on the men’s side at the Estonian National Olympic Committee Gala in Tallinn.
The outcome was based on votes cast by sports journalists, the public and sports associations and the winners were revealed at the annual "Stars of the Sports Year" ("Spordiaasta Tähed") Gala which was organised by the Estonian Olympic Committee in front of an 1800-people audience and broadcast live on national television.
Kirt finished the year with the two longest throws of the season and he was only one of two athletes to surpass the 90 metre-line in 2019. Kirt broke through this barrier for the first time in his career with 90.34m in Ostrava before extending his national record and world lead to 90.61m just two days later in Kuortane.
This mark remained the world lead and he also won the Diamond League title before winning silver at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.
“It is a great honour to hold the Kristjan Award in my hands again. It has been an interesting year – there has been joy, goals achieved and moments which put you back on the ground and make you appreciate the small things again. I also want to honour the other nominees and the rest of Estonian athletes, as they have all at various times offered reason to feel proud to be Estonian.
“Behind me stands a team who has greatly contributed in me. This demonstrates the importance of having a team and having a sense of togetherness in both sport as well as in other fields of life. Sport to me is like a sweet whisper in the ear which makes the heart beat. I am not a textbook example of an athlete but I am an example of the fact that no limits can be set on yourself or others,” said Kirt in his acceptance speech.
His coaches Indrek Tustit and Marek Vister were also recognised at the Gala. They were jointly named Coaches of the Year.
The Kristjan Award is a golden statue which is named after Estonian sporting legend Kristjan Palusalu, a two-time Olympic gold medallist in wrestling.