Lithuanians in the news
27th January, 2006
Virgilijus Alekna named European Athlete of the Year
Virgilijus Alekna.
Photo courtesy
"Lietuvos ̃inios".
The European Athlete of the Year Waterford Crystal Trophy 2005 for men went to Lithuania’s Virgilijus Alekna, the Discus Throw champion. This was recently announced by the European Athletic Association as a result of a unanimous vote. The corresponding Trophy for women went to the Russian Pole Vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, also by a unanimous vote.
Australian Lithuanians will remember Virgilijus Alekna when he won Gold at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. He went on to win the Gold at Athens Olympics in 2004 and has continued his outstanding athletics career, going from strength to strength. He is the World Champion in Discus Throw, a title he retained last (northern) summer in Helsinki, Finland. In 2005 he was beaten only once in 20 competitions and in the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Rankings for 2005 he was placed first in Discus Throw and was ranked fourth overall.
The 33 year old 202 cm tall Alekna has served as a bodyguard of Lithuania’s President.

Further information:
"Lietuvos Rytas" 10/01/06     "Lietuvos ̃inios" 10/01/06