Tallinn's best athletes and team of 2022 were announced during a ceremony held at Tondiraba Ice Hall on Wednesday evening. The title of best female athlete was awarded to freestyle skiier Kelly Sildaru, while best male athlete went to decathlete Janek Õiglane.
Swimmer Eneli Jefimova took the prize for best young athlete of the year, , while the award for best para-athletes was given to the wheelchair curling team of Kätlin Riidbach, Signe Falkenberg, Andrei Koitmäe and Lauri Murašov. The capital's best team of 2022 was FC Flora Tallinn and the best youth sports club award was handed to the Nelson wrestling club.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart (Center) said, that the Estonian capital has been honoring its top athletes and sports teams each year since 1994. "Today's athletes, and all of our athletes over the previous 26 years, have brought home top titles from the Olympics and World Championships. Your success in major competitions keeps Estonian sport and Tallinn on the world map," he said, adding that this was also reflected in Tallinn recently being elected as European Capital of Sport for 2025.
"I thank you for this and wish you the motivation and will to be role models for our young people a they pursue their big dreams," Kõlvart said.
Kelly Sildaru, who was named Tallinn Female Athlete of the Year for 2022, took bronze in freestyle skiing at the women's slopestyle competition during this year's Beijing Winter Olympics,
Tallinn Male Athlete of the Year Janek Õiglane took bronze in the decathlon at this summer's European Athletics Championships in Munich.
Tallinn Young Athlete of the Year Eneli Jefimova took home three gold medals from the European Junior Championships in Bucharest, Romania in the 50, 100 and 200 meters breaststrokeevents.
Tallinn Paralympic Athletes of the Year were the Estonian wheelchair curling team of Kätlin Riidbach, Signe Falkenberg, Andrei Koitmäe and Lauri Murashov, who finished 10th at the Beijing Winter Paralympics.
Tallinn Team of the Year was awarded to FC Flora Tallinn women's football team, which won the Estonian League title, Estonian Cup, Estonian Super Cup and came second in the Baltic League. The Flora Tallinn women's team is coached by Aleksandra Ševoldajeva.
The award for Tallinn's best youth sports club went to Nelson wrestling club. Nelson has been the best performing Greco-Roman wrestling club in the Estonia championships for the last three years, and has nearly 70 regular members.
This year, Nelson wrestler Richard Karelson won the U-20 European Championship title and took bronze at the U-20 World Championships. Clubmate Mario Kaljola finished fifth in the U-15 European Championships, while Richard Pajuviidik was eighth in the U-17 European Championships.
The winners were decided following an onlune vote, which was open to all citizens of Tallinn.
Editor: Michael Cole