According to Urmas Sõõrumaa, President of Estonian Olympic Committee, Mihkels reaching the European TOP5 shows Estonian youth sport in a wider context. "Making it into the TOP5 best athletes in Europe is a great achievement. All five nominees have outstanding athletic results, some of them have already been successful competing against senior athletes as well. So this nomination can be viewed as a positive evaluation of the current status of the entire Estonian youth sports. As they say - training and practicing belong to the athlete and coach, and victories and recognition belong to everyone. I wish Madis and his team determination and strength conquering new goals," Sõõrumaa said.
European Olympic committees submitted 23 candidates for the Piotr Nurowski Best Young Athlete Prize. 5 nominees were selected, all of whom are at least two-time youth Olympic events medallists. This includes the 16-year-old Estonian cyclist Madis Mihkels who won two gold medals at European Youth Olympic Festival 2019 in Baku, winning both individual time trial cycling and road race. Previously, Estonian male cyclists have won two bronze medals at EYOF - Tanel Kangert in 2003 and Gleb Karpenko in 2017, both in time trial.
Following a vote by the 48th General Assembly of the European
Olympic Committees (EOC), world silver medallist high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh (UKR) was awarded
the Piotr Nurowski Best Young Athlete prize in Warsaw, Poland.
Mahuchikh, who finished second at the recently concluded World Athletics
Championships in Doha, Qatar, claimed the 9th summer Piotr Nurowski
prize ahead of swimmer Franko Grcic (CRO-2nd), artistic gymnast Giorgia Villa
(ITA-3rd), cyclist Madis Mihkels (EST-4th), and fencer Liza Pusztai (HUN-4th).
The announcement was made during centenary celebrations for the Polish Olympic Committee at the Great Theatre-National Opera, which was attended by IOC President Thomas Bach.
Mahuchikh was presented with a €15,000 scholarship to help with her training and education. The second and third-place finishers secured €8,000 and €5,000, respectively. The two athletes who finished joint fourth, meanwhile, both received €3,000.
The EOC Piotr Nurowski Prize for Best European Young Athlete was created in 2011 to remember Piotr Nurowski, former President of the Polish Olympic Committee who died tragically in a plane crash.
Through his example and his memory, the award encourages young athletes to pursue their career in elite sports, and inspires future generations to adopt an exceptional conduct on and off the field of play. Click here for a list of former prize recipients.