Alekna Named Euro. Athletics Men’s Rising Star
TALLINN, ESTONIA – Fresh off his first season as a senior discus thrower, world phenomenon and California track & field sophomore Mykolas Alekna has added yet another accolade to his trophy case.
Named as one of three finalists for the prestigious European Athletics Men's Rising Star Award, Alekna attended Saturday night's Golden Tracks banquet in Estonia as the reigning European discus champion and World silver medalist – the youngest man ever to achieve either. It was no surprise, therefore, as he was declared the winner of his category for 2022.
"I'm very happy," a smiling Alekna said. "It was an unbelievable season, and I couldn't have asked for more."
Alekna, who turned 20 in September, posted a personal-best throw of 69.81m (229-0) at the BAUHAUS-Galan Diamond League meet in June – the longest-ever by any teenager.
His results on the international stage followed an incredible season for the Bears in which he broke the all-time NCAA record (68.73m/225-6) and was named the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) West Region Men's Field Athlete of the Year. Alekna is also Cal's first-ever men's semifinalist for The Bowerman, NCAA track & field's highest honor.
"The secret is to have the right people around you," said Alekna when asked about the key to his success. "I want to say thank you to my family, my teammates and my coaches who supported and encouraged me every day."
Fair Play Award – Nahuel Carabaña (Andora)
Women's Rising Star – Elina Tzengko (Greece)
Men's Rising Star – Mykolas Alekna (Lithuania)
Women's Athlete of the Year – Femke Bol (Netherlands)
Men's Athlete of the Year – Armand Duplantis (Sweden), Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Norway)