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Mayer and Asher-Smith crowned European athletes of the year

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By Reuters
Mayer and Asher-Smith crowned European athletes of the year
2018 European Championships - Men's Decathlon Long Jump - Olympic Stadium, Berlin, Germany - August 7, 2018 - Kevin Mayer of France competes. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach   -   Copyright  Kai Pfaffenbach(Reuters)

(Reuters) – World decathlon record-holder Kevin Mayer and British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, the European 100m, 200m and 4×100m champion, have been named men’s and women’s European athletes of the year.

Mayer is the third Frenchman to be earn the title after Christophe Lemaitre in 2010 and Renaud Lavillenie in 2014. He is also the first decathlete to win the award since Tomas Dvorak of the Czech Republic did so in 1999.

Asher-Smith is the fourth British athlete to win the women’s award after Sally Gunnell in 1993, Kelly Holmes in 2004 and Jessica Ennis-Hill in 2012.

She fended off competition from last year’s winner Ekaterini Stefanidi of Greece and reigning European, world and Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam of Belgium.

Asher-Smith dominated the sprints at the European Championships in Berlin, anchoring the British 4×100m relay team to victory to become the third woman in European Championships history to win a sprint treble.

Mayer was one of four finalists for the award alongside Turkish world and European 200m champion Ramil Guliyev, Norway’s European 1,500m and 5,000m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Swedish European pole vault champion Armand Duplantis.

He won the world indoor heptathlon title in Birmingham at the start of the season and ended his campaign by breaking Ashton Eaton’s decathlon world record with a score of 9,126 in Talence in September.

(Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Martyn Herman)