2016 ETU Awards - the Gala Dinner in Rome

2016 ETU Awards - the Gala Dinner in Rome

By Paul Groves on 19/02/17 at 8:36 pm

ETU Annual Awards, 2016

The day of elections confirmed the continuation of Renato Bertrandi as our President and of Alicia García as our treasurer.

To the two posts of Vice President were elected Denis Jaeger and Chris Kitchen.

The Executive Board elections delivered new blood to the board, whilst keeping considerable experience. Working now to deliver the very best support will be Eugène Kraus, Mariya Cherkovskaya-Tarasevich, Herwig Grabner, Galina Shipovalova and Martin Breedjik.

The Technical Committee will also see some changes but will maintain the strength and depth of experience established over the past few years. Alpar Nagy, Jorge García, Fritz Schwartz, Julien Vander Plancke, Line Amlund-Hagen, Duncan Hough and Maisie Bancewicz will be working together to ensure that our events are run in a safe and fair manner and will provide support and advice to technical officials working in the ETU region.

The Development Committee will also say goodbye to some old and very hard-working members but hello to some enthusiastic and innovative members. Werner Taveirne, Aldo Lucarini, Lenka Kovářová, Peter Klosz, Pierre Bigot, Mitja Mori and Armine Antonyan will be meeting regularly to ensure the continued development of our sport.

The Audit Committee voting delivered Michael Ziv. Another member will be co-opted in due course.

We will be providing photos of the newly-elected members in the next few days.

Following a day of hard work in the Annual Assembly, the delegates and representatives from the 38 attending National Federations headed back to the hotel to change for the evenings Gala Awards Dinner.

As guest speakers, we were treated to reflections on our sport by three true legends; Olympian twins, Isabelle and Béatrice Mouthon and fellow Olympian Rob Barel. A welcome speech from our host, Italian Triathlon Federation, Luigi Bianchi, was followed by a warm welcome from ETU President Renato Bertrandi and then ITU President and IOC Member, Marisol Casado.

Our compere for the evening was the ever-reliable John Levison, of Tri247 fame. His was the voice that guided us live in Baku and who can be heard commentating at many events in the UK. An encyclopaedic knowledge of events, athletes and our sport, he guided us through the evening in restrained style.

The evening was about our sport; about celebrating the great successes, the hard work and the considerable investment made by individuals and by federations.

The Nominees for the 2016 season are:

  • Female athlete of the year: Helen Jenkins, India Lee, Nicola Spirig and Yuliya Yelistratova
  • Male athlete of the year: Alistair Brownlee, Javier Gomez, Mario Mola and Rostislav Pevtsov
  • National Federation of the year: Austria, Great Britain and Spain
  • Emerging/developing National Federation of the year: Estonia, Romania and Slovenia
  • Organiser of the year:  Madrid, Otepää, Tiszaújváros, Walchsee
  • Executive Board Award:  To be announced on the night.
  • Technical Official of the year: Stéfane Mauris, Andreas Galanos, Sarah Taylor and John Petrides

In 2016, Helen Jenkins was the best European female athletes in the WTS ranking and scored a significant victory over Gwen Jorgensen in the WTS Gold Coast race.

India Lee became European champion in Lisbon, following her ITU World Cup victory in Cagliari.

Nicola Spirig returned to fitness following her early-season crash and fracture of the hand, to then win silver in Rio.

Yuliya Yelistratova was once again winner of the ETU Ranking Series, showing her dedication to racing ETU events.

The winner was Nicola Spirig, who sent a video greeting to everyone.

For the men, Alistair Brownlee successfully defended is Olympic crown by convincingly winning the gold in Rio and was rewarded for his amazing success by HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Mario Mola won the WTS title, dominating the series.

Javier Gomez, whose Olympic hopes were halted following the injury to his arm only weeks before Rio, became European Champion once more.

Rostyslav Pevtsov was the winner of the ETU Ranking Series.

The winner was the double Olympic gold medal winner, Alistair Brownlee. He too sent a video greeting and explained that he would be racing longer distances in 2017.

The best National Federations nominated were Great Britain, Spain and Austria.

Both Great Britain and Spain are leading federations when you look at the performances of their Elite and Para athletes. Both have a strong Age Group presence at the various Championship events.

Austria has really boosted Age Group participation in the last year at Championships of varying distances.

The winner, with such Elite and Para success but significantly, the biggest representation of Age Group athletes of all European Federations, was Great Britain.

The criteria for nomination as an “Emerging National Federation” is based upon the success of the Junior Ranking, times scored at ETU development camps by both male and female athletes, the number of certificated Technical Officials and coaches. From this, Slovenia, Romania and Estonia scored the best.

The winner in the "Emerging National Federation" category, was Slovenia.

It was nice to hear from them, “Slovenia has more than 30 years’ tradition of organised triathlon activities. In the 1990s we were part of European triathlon big nations, winning medals at the European championships. Then, with Mateja Šimic as an elite athlete, we started to develop triathlon in all areas: elite, youth, children and recreational triathlon. With this award ETU recognise our achievements.”

For Organiser of the year, Walchsee was considered by the ETU Executive Board to have been a great success in terms of partnership with ETU and for having so many participants and creating the great atmosphere that so many athletes will remember for a long time.

Without doubt, Otepää was the best Winter Triathlon Championships we had seen for a number of years.

Madrid, with an iconic finish in front of the Royal Palace was a magnificently visual success.

Tiszaújváros provided an ETU Triathlon Youth European Championships Festival that our young athletes will remember for the rest of their lives. It's never easy to be the first organiser in a 'new' race and they did great job.

The winner of this category was Tiszaújváros.

A delighted team from “Tizzy” accepted the award and looked forwards to another 20 years of triathlon.

The Executive Board award went this year to Estonia’s Kaidi Kivioja.

Her success in 2016 is a fine example of an athlete coming from a small National Federation, taking a full and active part in all the ETU development projects and reaching the Olympic Games.

The Technical Officials nominated have all worked hard throughout 2016.

Stéfane Mauris (SUI), worked as Chief Transition at the Cape Town WTS event, was involved in the Online-ITU Facilitator Seminar, ITU TO Level I, was the Technical Delegate at the Leeds WTS event, was Chief Registration at the ETU Vallée de Joux Cross Triathlon European Championships, was Race Referee at the Stockholm WTS event, Race Referee at the Nyon University Championships, Race Referee at the Rio Olympic Games and Facilitator at the Egmond ITU Technical Official & Event Organiser Level II Seminar.

Andreas Galanos (GRE), worked as Technical Delegate at the ITU World Cup in Cagliari, as Technical Delegate at the ETU European Cup in Altafulla, was Assistant Swim at the Rio Olympic Games and Technical Delegate at the Zagreb ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup.

Sarah Taylor-Hough (GBR), worked as Chief Race Control at the WTS Abu Dhabi event, attended the Strathclyde ITU Paratriathlon Course, was Race Referee at the Leeds WTS event, was Chief Video Reviewer at the Stockholm WTS event, Technical Delegate at the Rotterdam Paratriathlon World Championships and Chief Registration at the Rio Paratriathlon Olympic Games.

John Petrides (GBR), was Chief Transition at the ETU Lisbon European Triathlon Championships, attended the Lisbon ITU Paratriathlon Course, was Chief Race Official at the Leeds WTS event and was Technical Delegate for the ETU Tiszaújváros Triathlon Youth Championships and the ITU Tiszaújváros Triathlon World Cup.

The well-deserved winner was announced, with great applause. It was Stéfane Mauris who, with great grace, thanked his fellow nominees and the family of Technical Officials who have worked so hard to ensure that events run smoothly.

With the 2016 awards now in the hands of the deserved recipients, the evening continued with music, dancing, networking and many, many photos of old friends, new friends and new partnerships. 2016 was celebrated. 2017 has begun and with the new Executive Board meeting this morning (Sunday) for the first time, as well as the Committees, it was back to work for them all.