The Murcian Mariano García, current European outdoor champion and the indoor world champion in 800, has been the winner of the José Luis Alonso award for ‘Best athlete of the year 2022’ahead of the hurdler Asier Martínez, second in the vote, and the middle-distance runner Mohamed Katir.
Mariano García obtained 1,111 votes in the vote, only nine more than Asier Martínez (1,102), second, and Mohamed Katir (1,026), third. Fourth was Álvaro Martín Uriol (925) and fifth was Raquel González Campos (866).
The choice of the winner was determined after accounting for the evaluations received by the different levels of athletics made up of managers, statisticians, journalists, coaches, veteran athletes, judges, clubs and the so-called ‘Friends of Tuesdays’, founders of the trophy.
The award, which is now thirty years old, was instituted in 1992 in memory of José Luis Alonso Riestra, who was general secretary of the Spanish Athletics Federation, and its first winner was the Murcian decathlete Antonio Peñalver for his Olympic silver medal in Barcelona’92.
The record number of trophies for the “Spanish athlete of the year” is held, with four, by the walker Paquillo Fernández (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006) and the high jumper Ruth Beitia (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016). The last winner was the jumper Ana Peleteiro last year.
In the same vote for the ‘Best Athlete of the Year’, the best promise of 2022. The trophy went to Ainhoa Reparaz Sánchez, in the under-18 category, who holds the Spanish record for the 100-meter dash and was first in the 2022 Spanish Championship outdoors.
Previous awardees were Aleix Salvador Porras Cantons (2016), María Vicente (2017 and 2018), Mario Revenga Castel (2019) and Pol Oriach Enjuanes (2021).