Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Femke Bol received their awards as European Athletes of the Year in Vilnius ©European Athletics

Femke Bol of the Netherlands and Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen received awards as European Athletes of the Year at the annual Golden Tracks award ceremony in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Both 23-year-olds, claiming the award for the second successive year, won two golds at the Istanbul 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships before producing outstanding performances at this summer's World Athletics Championships in Budapest.

Bol began her year by improving the longest standing main event world record on the books, recording an indoor 400 metres time of 49.26sec to better the mark of 49.59 set in March 1982 by Czech runner Jarmila Kratochvilova.

After winning the 400m and being part of the victorious Dutch 4x400m team at the European Indoor Championships, replicating her achievements at the 2021 edition, Bol went to the World Athletics Championships with high hopes.

But her opening experience was traumatic as, just a couple of metres away from completing what looked likely to be a Dutch victory in the opening day’s mixed 4x400m relay, she staggered and fell while being strongly challenged by US anchor leg runner Alexis Holmes.

She recovered her equilibrium to take the world title in her specialist event, the 400m hurdles.

And on the final day of the Championships, she produced an extraordinary run on the final leg as she made up a 10-metres gap in the final 50m to pass the British and Jamaican runners and earn 4x400m gold for the Dutch women’s team.  

Femke Bol, the women's European Athlete of the Year, pictured earning a last gasp victory in the women's 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest ©Getty Images
Femke Bol, the women's European Athlete of the Year, pictured earning a last gasp victory in the women's 4x400m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest ©Getty Images

She also reduced her own European 400m hurdles record to 51.45 at the London Diamond League meeting.

Ingebrigtsen, who won the European 1500 and 3,000m indoor titles in Istanbul, set European records at no fewer than five different distances outdoors.

At the World Championships, despite being beaten in the 1500m for a second successive year by a Briton outsprinting him on the outside, the Olympic champion ensured history repeated itself once more by defending his world 5,000m title with a final charge similar to Bol's in the women’s 4x400m.

He concluded his summer by winning the mile and 3,000m at the Diamond League final in Eugene on back-to-back afternoons in European records of 3min 43.73sec and 7:23.63, respectively.

He also set a world 2,000m record of 4:43.13, a world two-mile best of 7:54.10 and lowered his European 1500m record to 3:27.14.

Bol had been nominated for the award along with Spain’s Maria Perez, who won two world titles in race walking, and Ukraine’s high jumper Yaroslava Mahuchikh who, at the age of 21, added a world gold to two world silvers already won.

Ingebrigtsen, meanwhile, finished ahead of the Swedish athlete with whom he shared the men’s award last year, pole vaulter Armand Duplantis, who twice improved his world record and retained his world title, and Greece’s Olympic long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou, who earned a first world title with a dramatic sixth-round effort.

European under-20 champions Angelina Topic from Serbia and Italy’s Mattia Furlani were named as this year's Rising Stars.

Just weeks before her 18th birthday, Topic cleared a Serbian high jump record of 1.97m in the Paris Diamond League meeting while Furlani - who only took up the long jump seriously last year having showed initial promise as a high jumper – produced a marginally wind-assisted 8.44m long jump in Savona, the longest ever mark recorded in all conditions by a junior.

Topic topped the polling for the women’s award ahead of Agate Caune from Latvia and Ireland’s Rhasidat Adeleke while Furlani was one of the three finalists alongside Niels Laros from the Netherlands and Havard Bentdal Ingvaldsen from Norway.

Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen, pictured retaining his world 5,000m title in Budapest ©Getty Images
Norway's Jakob Ingebrigtsen, pictured retaining his world 5,000m title in Budapest ©Getty Images

Estonia's Taivo Mägi and Latvia's Alona Fomenko were the recipients of the Coaching award while Lithuania's Alfonsas Buliuolis was presented with the Member Federation award.

Poland’s European 400m bronze medallist Anna Kielbasinska was the first recipient of the biennial European Athletics Women’s Leadership Award for her role as a mentor to young athletes as part of her responsibility as President of the Athletes’ Council of the Polish Athletics Association (PZLA).

Two moments of outstanding sportsmanship at the European Athletics Team Championships in Silesia were also recognised.

Croatia's Dino Bosnjak was presented with the Fair Play Award after assisting his friend and rival Vid Botolin from Slovenia who collapsed through exhaustion in the home straight of the 2nd Division 5000m.

And Jolien Boumkwo was also presented with the Team Spirit Act of Recognition award for filling the vacant place on the Belgian team in the 1st Division 100m hurdles where Belgium was fighting to avoid relegation.

Primarily a shot putter, Boumkwo’s efforts yielded two points for the Belgian team and her contribution gained worldwide attention and recognition.