Great Britain’s top endurance runner Mo Farah has been named European Athletics Association’s European Athlete of the Year for 2011.
The 28-year-old beat French sprinter Christophe Lemaitre and British 400-metre hurdles World Champion Dai Greene to the award which is voted for by fans, media and European Athletics Member Federations.
Farah, who is also shortlisted for the IAAF’s World Athlete of the Year Award, becomes the second British athlete in three years to take the honour, after triple-jumper Phillips Idowu won in 2009.
“I am delighted to be selected as European Athlete of the Year for 2011” Farah said. “ I would like to thank the European Athletics Association and everyone who voted for me.
“The last few years have been great for me. It is an honour to win this award ahead of such great athletes like Christophe Lemaitre and Dai Greene and I am humbled to join such a distinguished list of athletes who have won this award in the past.
“I would like to thank everyone who has helped me get to this stage of my career, in particular my coach Alberto Salazar, my family, my management team and UKA’s Endurance Department.
“I will continue working hard and aim to stay on top in 2012 and beyond.”
Farah ran the world’s fastest time over 5,000m in July this year and followed that up by winning the world title over the same distance in Daegu.
That followed his 10,000m silver medal at the same championships and 3,000m European Indoor title won earlier, rocketing Farah into serious Olympic medal contention.
Farah will collect his award at a ceremony in Arona, Spain on Saturday alongside Britain’s 18 year-old sprinter Jodie Williams, who won two gold medals at the European Junior Championships in Estonia in July and has been named female European Athletics Rising Star for 2011.