Holly Bleasdale & Aleksey Dmitrik are 2012 European Athletes of the Month for January 2012, release, note by Larry Eder


Bleasdale and Dmitrik voted European Athletes of the Month for January

European Athletics is pleased to announce that British pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale and Russian high jumper Aleksey Dmitrik have been voted as the European Athletes of the Month for January.

The 20-year-old Bleasdale, 2011 European Athletics U23 Championships gold medallist, moved up to second on the world and European all-time list with her magnificent mark of 4.87m in the French town of Villeurbane on 21 January.

Her performance inevitably puts her into consideration for medals at this year's three big events: the IAAF World Indoor Championships in March, which will be staged in Istanbul, and then this summer's European Athletics Championships in Helsinki and Olympic Games in London.

Dmitrik, the 2011 World Championships silver medallist, jumped a world-leading 2.35m at the Moravian High Jump Tour meeting in Hustopece on 28 January.

Russia's high jump world champion Anna Chicherova twice went over the world-leading height of 2.00m during January and was voted second while her compatriot Yekaterina Bolshova, 23, finished third. Bolshova put together a world-leading pentathlon score of 4746 points in St Petersburg on 5-6 January, the best tally by a European for almost two years.

In the men's poll, Italy's 2009 European Athletics U23 Championships triple jump gold medallist Daniele Greco, who went out to a world-leading mark of 17.24m in Ancona on 21 January, was voted second while Russia's Konstantin Shabanov, who ran a European-leading 60m hurdles time of 7.54 to win at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow on 28 January, was voted third.

European Athletics' monthly poll received overwhelming support from thousands of athletics fans and media alike this month from across the continent.

The European Athlete of the Month initiative was launched in January 2007 and is designed to recognise outstanding performers at all levels of the sport in Europe. A male and female winner each month is named and featured on the European Athletics website.

Selections are based on votes by the public, media and a panel of European Athletics experts - each counting for 33.3 percent of the final vote. No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for or win the European Athlete of the Month award.

Find European Athletics at www.european-athletics.org, www.facebook.com/europeanathletics and www.youtube.com/europeanathletics and follow on www.twitter.com/EuroAthletics

Holly Bleasdale is the number three all time vaulter after her 4.87. RBR watched her this weekend with her 4.72 clearance and her gutsy vaulting. Aleksandr Dmitrik is jumping well, and should have a great battle on his hands at the 2012 World Indoor Champs.

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