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Gabius and Straneo named Athletes of October

Valeria Straneo

European Athletics is pleased to announce that Italy’s Valeria Straneo and Arne Gabius of Germany have been voted by the fans and media as European Athletes of the Month for October.Gabius, the silver medallist from the Helsinki 2012 European Athletics Championships, ran the third fastest marathon by a European this year when he clocked 2:09:32 on his debut over the distance in Frankfurt, he also ran the fastest 10km on the roads by a European this year with 28:08 in Berlin.

Ukraine’s Serhiy Budza took second place in the vote. He clocked 3:48:50, the second best time of his career, to win his national 50km race walking title in Ivano-Frankivsk on 19 October, which was also a test event for next year’s European Cup Race Walking.

Third in the vote was former European under-23 10,000m champion, Sondre Nordstad Moen of Norway. He won the Norwegian cross country title in Bergen on 18 October, covering the 10km course in 30:27.

On the women’s side, the award went to Straneo, the marathon silver medallist from Zurich was an impressive winner over a good field at the Paris Centre 10km on 5 October, defeating European marathon champion Christelle Daunay to win in 32:36.

In second place was Solange Pereira of Spain after she dominated the traditional Spanish autumn road mile circuit with three wins, including taking the national title in Puerto Lumbreras on 25 October, and she also won the La Coruna 10km on 5 October.

In third was Norway’s Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal who had several good victories in domestic races during the month, including wins at the Furumomila 10km in 32:56 on 11 October and then clocking 32:21 to win the Hytteplanmila race in Hole on 18 October. She is aiming for a podium finish at the SPAR European Cross County Championships on 14 December in Samokov after finishing fifth last year in Belgrade.

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.

No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for the European Athlete of the Month.

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