David Storl of Germany is the 2011 winner of the men’s European Athletics Rising Star award presented by MONDO.
The shot put prodigy stunned a field studded with Olympic champions, former world champions and medallists galore to claim gold at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu with a final-round shocker of 21.78m, a massive improvement on his 2010 personal best of 20.77m.
The young man from Chemnitz had indeed struck gold at the 2007 IAAF World Youth Championships in Ostrava then followed up a year later with the world junior gold in Bydgoszcz, Poland. He also won the European junior gold in Novi Sad in 2009 but nothing could predict the breakthrough he would enjoy this season.
He started the year with a silver medal at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Paris and followed it up with the European under-23 title in Ostrava a few weeks before the World Championships.
The manner in which he rose to the occasion in Daegu prompted world season leader Dylan Armstrong of Canada to label Storl the future of shot putting for the next 10 years at least.
Storl will be presented with his European Athletics Rising Star award at the European Athletics Awards Night in Arona, Spain, on Saturday 15 October alongside the women’s Rising Star winner, to be announced later this week, and the European Athlete of the Year winners.
The men’s and women’s winners of the European Athlete of the Year will be announced next week.
Fans, media and European Athletics Member Federations were invited to vote for the European Athletics Rising Star on the European Athletics website. Along with the votes from a panel of experts, each group of voters’ results counted for one quarter of the athlete’s final score.
The shortlist for the award included stars from this year’s World Championships, European under-23 and junior championships, World Youth Championships, and other young athletes who performed exceptionally well this year.
No athlete who has previously served a two-year doping ban can be nominated for the European Athletics Rising Star award.