The sport climber Janja Garnbret, the cyclist Tadej Pogačar and the men’s national football team were named Slovenian Athletes of the Year for 2023 .
Garnbret, who bagged the gold medals in the boulder and combined events and the silver medal in the lead event at this year’s World Championship, won the Woman Athlete of the Year award by a landslide.
The 24-year-old scored 336 points among the 121 sports journalists who elect the winners, significantly ahead of the second-placed pole vaulter Tina Šutej, the silver medallist from this year’s European Indoor Championships, who got 107 points.
This year, Garnbret won her eighth world championship gold medal and qualified for the Olympic Games in Paris, where she will defend her title, the award panel noted.
Pogačar, a UAE Team Emirates rider who was second in this year’s Tour de France and third in the road race at the 2023 UCI Road World Championships, received 267 points, followed by another star cyclist, Primož Roglič (166).
In team sports, the first and the second-ranked teams were only three votes apart. The men’s football team (44), which this year qualified for its first Euro since 2000, finally pulled ahead of the men’s volleyball team.
The award for best up-and-coming athlete went to footballer Benjamin Šeško, a forward who currently plays for the Bundesliga club RB Leipzig.
The fair play award went to ski jumper Anže Lanišek, and the members of the national women’s sitting volleyball team were declared the best athletes with disabilities.