This feature, written by Stuart Weir, is on the Male European Athletes of the Year, Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Mondo Duplantis. Mondo won gold at the World Champs and Europeans. Jakob won gold at 5,000m and 1,500m in silver at World Champs and gold at 1,500m/5,000m at European Championships. Both are at the pinnacle of their sport. It is great to see the amazing stars in European athletics.
Stuart Weir gets this. His affection for the athlete, his knowledge of the sport, and his ability to let you, the reader, see what he is seeing in the stadium, are why he pieces are so popular.
European Athletics Awards
In Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Mondo Duplantis, the joint European athletes of the year, the continent was recognizing two global stars at the top of their game. Duplantis – who was unable to attend – competed 19 times. He was beaten into second place in the Brussels Diamond League but won the other 18. His winning height was over 6 meters in 15 of those. What more can one say about him?
Jakob won the European and World 5000m titles and the European and Diamond League 1500m titles but was beaten in the World 1500 final by Jake Wightman.
Summing up his season, he commented that having two championships restricted the number of fast races he was able to take on: “First, we had to build the fundamentals of going into a championship. I would love to have had the chance to run more races, so I could run faster. However, I have been able to have some good races in those that I have been in – like Lausanne and Zurich. I would have loved to get more races, but we are going to have to wait for next year. This winter, I want to keep on working and training – it is tough mentally, training and sleeping, but I definitely need to relax a bit. I want to run faster, though, and the competition drives me forward, so I just need to stick to my training during winter and come back stronger next summer. There are always things you can improve – like you can always run faster – but of course, I am happy. You can always get better, and I will try to do that”.
Sound ominous for his opponents!