Maksim Nedasekau was crowned Belarusian Athlete of the Year on the men’s side for the second year in succession at the Atletika Gala which took place at the Marriott Hotel in Minsk on Thursday (9) evening.
One of five athletes shortlisted for the accolade, Nedasekau was one of the star performers at the inaugural staging of The Match which was held on home soil in Minsk where he cleared a lifetime best of 2.35m in the high jump - a world leading mark at the time - to secure maximum points in the Europe v United States clash.
The 21-year-old reproduced this performance at the World Championships three weeks later but Nedasekau just missed out on a medal on countback as Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim successfully defended his title with a 2.37m clearance.
Nedasekau competed extensively throughout the summer campaign. He was part of Belarus’ silver medal-winning team as Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) made its official debut at the European Games and he also won the gold medal at the European U23 Championships in Gavle.
Tatsiana Khaladovich was also named Belarusian Athlete of the Year again on the women’s side beating out an extensive shortlist which also included European champions Elvira Herman and Volha Mazuronak and European indoor long jump silver medallist Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova.
Khaladovich achieved a string of notable results throughout the season which began with a victory in the javelin at the European Throwing Cup in Samorin in March and concluded with a sixth-place finish at the World Championships in Doha in October.
Khaladovich set her season’s best of 67.22m on home soil during the European Games and she also finished second at The Match in Minsk behind her American rival Kara Winger.
Nedasekau and Khaladovich’s respective coaches Tatyana Nareyko and Valery Oksenchuk were named Coaches of the Year.
Karyna Demidik (formerly Taranda) was another of the principal award winners last night. The world finalist, who cleared 2.00m for the first time this summer to match the long-standing national record, won the Breakthrough of the Year award and was also named women’s U23 Athlete of the Year.
Alina Luchshava and European U20 10,000m race walk champion Mikita Kaliada were named U20 Athletes of the Year and the Sportsmanship Award went to Vitaly Zhuk for lending Ilya Shkurenyev one of his poles in the pole vault decathlon at the World Championships in Doha.