Award deserved for special merits
The awards ceremony took place at a sitting of the European Athletics Association, held in London. Anatoly Baduev, 58, is the first Belarusian to be awarded this outstanding honour: the highest award of the European Athletics. It recognises long term investment into athletics development in Europe and the successful realisation of projects launched by the European Athletics.
The head coach of the Belarusian track and field squad is also Deputy Head of the Belarusian Athletics Federation; in 1991, he was named the top European track and field coach. Under Mr. Baduev’s guidance, the Belarusian national team won seven medals at the 2008 Beijing Games (1 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze). He also coached runner Tatiana Ledovskaya — 1988 Seoul Olympic gold medallist (4x400m relay) and twice 1991 world champion (400m steeplechase and 4x400m relay). She set a world record in the 4x400m relay and was the 1990 European champion in the 400m steeplechase.
The European Athletics elected (the fourth time) Swiss Hansjorg Wirz to be its President for the next four years.