The Slovenian Athletes of the Year are the 2011 IAAF World Championships hammer bronze medallist Primoz Kozmus and the national javelin record holder Martina Ratej, who finished seventh in Daegu.
“This year was perfect for me. After a break, I returned to competition with a bronze medal at the World Championships and performed above expectations. This provides me with good prospects before the Olympic season, because my goal is the successful defence of my Olympic Games gold medal,” said the 2009 world champion Kozmus, who temporarily retired and did not compete last year.
“I will soon be travelling to San Diego and staying at the US Olympic Center there until March. I expect to make good use of favourable conditions there for training and I’ll return home very well prepared,” he added.
“Given all the problems that I have had with my health this year, I was very pleased with the season. Next year, I’ll start to compete in February and I want to start as I did in 2009. I hope that I’ll be very well prepared from the winter and then just hold a high level of form,” said Ratej.
She confirmed that the 2012 European Cup Winter Throwing, which is set to be held in Bar, Montenegro, on 17-18 March is is in her plans.
“At the European Athletics Championships and the Olympic Games, I plan to put a ‘dot on the I’. I want to get close to the medals, or even step on the podium. At present, I’m preparing in Slovenia, because the weather still allows me to do workouts, but otherwise I intend to go to training in Turkey or in Croatia,” she added.
In the men’s poll, in second place was mountain runner Mitja Kosovelj while third was high jumper Rozle Prezelj. The women’s rankings saw triple jumper Snezana Rodic finish second and pole vaulter Tina Sutej was third.
Coaches of the year are were the two men who guided the pair of top athletes: Kozmus’s coach Marjan Ogorevc and Ratej’s mentor Andrej Hajnsek. The best Slovenian club in 2011 was Mass Ljubljana.
Source: European Athletics