Saturday evening’s Golden Tracks awards ceremony saw Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) make history once again as he became the first man to be made European Athlete of the Year on three occasions.
Having won the award previously in 2011 and 2012, Farah took the award ahead of Italian high jump sensation Gianmarco Tamberi and Olympic javelin champion Thomas Röhler of Germany.
This season saw Farah become the most successful British track and field Olympian in history as he retained double gold over 5000m and 10,000m, whilst the British record over 3000m was also broken by the 33-year-old at Birmingham’s Diamond League back in June.
Speaking via video link from his home in Portland, Oregon, the two-time double Olympic champion said: “It’s pretty amazing to win European Athlete of the Year three times. I want to thank everyone who has supported me, especially my family and friends, and everyone who has supported me since I was a kid.”
Olympic and European champion Ruth Beitia of Spain was made female Athlete of the Year at the ceremony, whilst in the ‘Rising Star’ category it European triple jump champion Max Hess and Olympic heptathlon gold medallist Nafissatou Thiam who collected the awards in the male and female categories respectively.
Away from individual accolades, the 10th European Athletics Innovation Award was handed to runbritain following the success of its weekly #clickyourclock competition.
The innovation, led by Geoff Wightman and Gavin Lightwood, received recognition for promoting the sport of athletics and increasing participation since its launch in February 2015.
The competition – open to all participants and run in conjunction with runbritain/UK Athletics – was established to promote the runbritain handicap scoring system and embellish an individual journey in a mass sport.The handicap provides a score on any terrain over any distance, but encourages personal progression rather than direct competition against fellow athletes.
With more users taking part in the competition and collecting their handicap score after a race the number of online users engaging with #clickyourclock has continued to grow. As a result, participation numbers have continued to rise towards 1000 plus runners entering each week