World 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm was the big winner at the Norwegian Sports Gala on Saturday (4), coming away with three trophies in total.
As well as being named Sportsman of the Year, Warholm was also named Athletes’ Sportsperson of the Year (an award which is decided exclusively by fellow sportspeople) as well as Sports Personality of the Year.
Warholm thanked the 1.5 million Norwegians who tuned in to watch him successfully defend his world 400m hurdles title in Doha before joking: "But what on earth did the other four million do on that day?”
His long-time coach Leif Olav Alnes was also recognised as he was named Coach of the Year. “I want to congratulate the other nominees and thank the jury. I feel privileged to be able to spend old age with such a good athlete and a good person as Karsten,” he said.
Sprinter Salum Kashafali was named Para-Sportsperson of the Year while Teresa Johaug was named Sportswoman of the Year. Johaug is primarily a cross country skier but she did win the Norwegian 10,000m title in August in 32:20.86 to dip inside the qualifying time for the Paris 2020 European Athletics Championships.
At the Polish Sports Gala which was held in Warsaw on the same evening, Pawel Fajdek’s coach Jolanta Kumor was named Coach of the Year. “I'm very happy with the prize,” she said. “It is a distinction for me, but we have more goals ahead of us.”
Fajdek, who won his fourth successive world title in the hammer in Doha, finished third overall in the Polish Sportsperson of the Year voting.