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Athletics - 16. May 2007.

Abeylegesse is European Athlete of the Month for April



European 5,000m record holder, Elvan Abeylegesse, (Turkey) have been voted the European Athletes of the Month for April.

Abeylegesse wins the award for her superb victory at the European Cup 10,000m in Ferrara, Italy, when she destroyed a top class field, including the reigning European Cross Country Champion, to win by over 30 seconds in 31:25:15.

The 24-year old, who set a World 5,000m record at the Bislett Games in their temporary home of Bergen in Norway in 2004, is hot on the come-back trail from numerous injuries, and will be looking to reproduce that sort of form, time and again over the summer season.

In the women's poll, Russian Hammer thrower Tatyana Lysenko took the runner up spot behind Abeylegesse and Slovenian 800m runner Jolanda Ceplak took third position.

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. European Athletics will name a male and female winner each month and feature the athlete on the European Athletics website. Selections are based on votes by the public, the media and a group of expert statisticians will cast their votes with each category counting as 33.3% of the vote. The winners will be automatically short listed for the European Athlete of the Year Award.

Previous winners include:

March: Naide Gomes (POR)
February: Yelena Isinbayeva (RUS)
January: Susanna Kallur (SWE)

Source: European Athletics
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