Hosszu and Peaty heads the winners’ list
Returning greats and new names appear among the 2016 LEN Awards’ winners. Adam Peaty (GBR) and Katinka Hosszu (HUN) are heading the list receiving the most votes among the swimmers. Peaty is honoured for the first time while this was Hosszu’s fourth straight win in the women’s field.
European athletes enjoyed another outstanding season in 2016, with plenty of success at the Olympic Games and at the various European Championships. In swimming Adam Peaty clinched his first LEN Awards – it’s also a first for Great Britain among the men –, while Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu finished atop for the fourth time in a row. Both warmed up with four gold medals apiece at the European Championships in London, then clinched gold and set new World Records at the Olympics. In fact, Hosszu had three titles and a silver in Rio and later added seven short-course World Championships titles to her tally.
Tania Cagnotto clinched her 7th LEN Award in diving, it was her 6th straight win, both are records in the history of the voting. The Italian diva was the best female diver in London at the Europeans, then in Rio she managed to crown her outstanding career by making the Olympic podium at last, on her fifth try. Cagnotto’s winning margin was the largest of all as she received more then 90 percent of the votes.
Another Brit received an award for his 2016 achievements as Jack Laugher came first among the men, thanks to his fantastic Rio performance which included a stunning win in the synchro competition with Chris Mears and an individual podium finish – mirroring his London results.
Russia’s Natalia Ishchenko captured the same set of medals as last year’s winner and duet partner Svetlana Romashina in synchronised swimming – perhaps the solo win in the free routine in London put her ahead of her compatriot. It was Ishchenko’s 5th triumph.
Open water swimming saw a Dutch double, just as the Olympics: the two marathon swimming champions came first as it was predictable. Ferry Weertman retained his award among the men while Sharon van Rouwendaal earned her second triumph after 2014.
Serbia had an impressive run in 2016 as well in men’s water polo, starting with a memorable victory in front of more than 18,000 fans at the Europeans in Belgrade back in January. The traditional win in the World League was followed by the long-awaited Olympic gold and the protagonist of the Rio march, Filip Filipovic was picked by the voters in large numbers. The great leftie was elected the MVP of the Games, he was also the top scorer so it was a well-deserved third award for him.
Among the women, Roberta Bianconi landed another award after 2015. She was among the best scorers both at the Europeans and the Olympics, the silver medal from Rio was enough to earn her the top spot in the voting ranks.
The LEN Awards are voted by the LEN Member Federations and members of the various LEN Committees and Commissions since 2008.