Vicky Holland, Mario Mola win ETU Triathlete of the Year Awards

Holland follows Learmonth as ETU Female Triathlete of the Year

Glasgow 2018 earns ETU Event of the Year recognition

It’s that time of the year, awards night from the European Triathlon Union (ETU).

Held in conjunction with the ETU Presidents’ Conference, the fourth annual ETU President’s Gala Dinner was held at the Marker Hotel, Dublin on Saturday evening which included the 2018 ETU Awards.

It’s also the time when the website goes a little quiet for a few days (apologies…), because once again your Editor was also over in Dublin at the kind invitation of the ETU Board, in the role of MC/Host for the evening. It’s the one time, every 12 months, that the Dinner Jacket and bow tie come out of the wardrobe. Thankfully, it still fits…

(Previous editions of the Presidents’ Conference and ETU Awards were held in Paris in 2016 (HERE), Rome in 2107 (HERE) and Moscow 12 months ago (HERE))

A great evening kicked off with a surprise for all, and in traditional style, when initially a drummer appeared in the room with a beat that could not be ignored and certainly got the attentions of everyone present. He was shortly after joined by five Irish dancers (to this point, cunningly disguised in Triathlon Ireland staff tracksuits, looking like staff helping organise the event…), and the evening underway in fine style. I say it was a surprise for all… including myself, as even though I was MC for the evening, it was still the first I knew about it!

Quite appropriately, this all took place just a few hundred metres away from the site of the The Point Theatre, the venue at which Riverdance exploded into public awareness as the interval show at the 1994 Eurovision song contest. Don’t say we don’t provide you with both culture and sport here at TRI247. Check it out here:

That wasn’t the only surprise awaiting delegates during the day’s conference, which was opened by a video from no less than the Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) – and also active triathlete – Leo Varadker.

ETU Awards

12 months ago Great Britain’s Jessica Learmonth was announced at the Female Triathlete of the Year in Moscow, and that recognition will remain in British hands for another 12 months with ITU World Champion and winner of three World Triathlon Series events in 2018, Vicky Holland, the winner this time around. Unfortunately Vicky couldn’t be present in person, but she did send her thanks in video form.

With his third consecutive ITU World Championship title, Spain’s Mario Mola finally took the ETU Award at Male Triathlete of the Year, also making his acceptance by video.

There was further success from a British perspective when the Glasgow ETU Triathlon European Championships – part of the wider European Championships in August last year – was selected as Event/Organiser of the Year ahead of Quarteira (POR), Olsztyn (POL) and Ibiza (ESP). Having had the pleasure of working on that event, well deserved recognition, for an event of which I said at the time:

The athletes got to race on a great course in a well organised event as an integral part of a major international multi sport with all of the infrastructure and profile that comes with it. The organisers, in conjunction with a staggering number of ‘Team 2018’ volunteers, did a fantastic job.

While she did not follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Sarah Taylor-Hough, Scotland’s Mary Clare Bancewicz was one of the three nominees for Technical Official of the Year.

Here is the full list of award winners from the evening.

ETU Awards 2018 – Dublin, Saturday 16th February 2019

  • Emerging / Developing National Federation of the Year – Macedonia
  • National Federation of the Year – France
  • Organiser of the Year – Glasgow ETU European Championships
  • Technical Official of the Year –Andreas Galanos (GRE)
  • Female Athlete of the Year – Vicky Holland (GBR)
  • Male Athlete of the Year – Mario Mola (ESP)
  • Paratriathlete of the Year – Elise Marc (FRA)
  • ETU Executive Board Award – The Markus Family
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