By David Peddie on 19/10/12 at 11:38 am
Irina Abysova has finished 2012 on top of the Women’s European Rankings.
The Russian had a stellar 2012, arguably one of her best since turning to the professional ranks.
An opening season 4th place in Quarteira set the tone and this was followed by an 8th place at the European Championships.
She recorded a third place podium at Holten and her 4th place finish in Alanya was enough to secure her number one spot.
Abysova (pictured above) said: “Overall, 2012 has been very good for me. I was 13th at the Olympics, I won a European Championships Mixed Relay, a 3rd place at a World Series race in Stockholm and I won a National Championships for the sixth time.
“I am very happy that I have the first position in the European ranking. This is the first time for Russian (women).
“I was number two in the rankings last year but I was in good shape and I did some good races in the European Cups which allowed me to be the first this year.”
Yuliya Yelistratova (pictured above) was second in this year’s rankings, once again showing consistency across the European Cups and improving on last year’s third place.
She said: “It’s very pleasant to realise that I’m one of the best in Europe. Last year I was third but I’m very glad to be second in 2012 European ranking."
Yelistratova was one of most competitive and busiest athletes in 2012, competing not just in Europe, but across Asia and America also.
Her record in European Cups was impressive, three podiums and a 9th place finish at the European Championships.
She said: "I didn’t do too many races first half of the season, but podium finishes later on secured my position (in the rankings).
"I enjoy competing. Of course it’s very important to have huge training base in winter-time and keep training properly during the season. But one of the best training sessions is a race."
Third place in the rankings went to Evgenia Sukhoruchenkova.
The Russian showed great character to bounce back from a nightmare start to 2012 to climb into the top three.
She recorded a DNF in each of her first three International races in Mooloolaba, Sydney and Ishigaki but she recovered well on European soil with solid performances in Antalya and Cremona.
A second place in Holten in July was the catalyst and Sukhoruchenkova never looked back.
She achieved a fourth place in Penza and rounded off 2012 in stunning fashion with victory in Mondello and Alanya (pictured above).
Sukhoruchenkova said: "The season of 2012 was the most intense in my career.
"The season was very stretched. The good form was only from the end of July. A triathlon in Mondello and Alania developed very well and allowed me to rise highly in the European cup rankings.
"But the highlight was my performance in Holten ITU Triathlon Premium European Cup."
The European rankings are accumulative and reflect the results from all European Cup, Premium European Cup races and European Championships in 2012, as well as a percentage of points from last year.
The full ETU European Rankings for the Elite Women can be found here.
Picture Credit Irina Abysova: Janos Schmidt / ITU