Laser Worlds bronze medallist Deniss KARPAK has been named Estonia's Best Young Athlete Of The Year for 2007.
At the annual Estonian Athletes of the Year Award Ceremony on Wednesday 26 December in Tallinn at the Estonia Concert Hall, the 21-year old Laser-sailor was announced as winner of the Best Young Athlete Award.
(EST), who won the bronze medal at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships
in Cascais, Portugal, was awarded Best Young Athlete of the Year, winning over Junior European Champion in the Triple Jump, Kaire LEIBAK, and cyclist Rein TAARAMÄE. KARPAK was also voted third in the men's ranking for Athlete of the Year Award, following World Champion in discus throwing Gerd KANTER and British Formula 3 series winner Marko ASMER.
"I am very happy to be elected the best young athlete of the year and I want to thank everyone who believed in me and assisted me on the way. My biggest gratitude belongs to my coach Igor Trofymov,"
KARPAK said from Melbourne in Australia, where he is currently training for the upcoming World Championships.
"The year 2007 was very successful for Estonian sailing and myself as an athlete. I achieved the bronze medal from the World Championships and won Estonia an Olympic ticket in sailing after a long period of time. My plan for 2008 is Beijing Olympic Games and my target is an Olympic medal,"
the young athlete added.
KARPAK was the 2007 bronze medallist in the Laser class at the 2007 ISAF Sailing World Championships. He also came fourth at the ISAF Grade C1 Laser European Championships and second at the ISAF Grade 1 Kiel Regatta. KARPAK is currently #8 in the ISAF World Sailing Ranking
, having made a substantial rise since he started competing in the Laser four years ago.
Best Athletes of the Year were awarded based on the votes of the Estonian public, sports federations and sports journalists. The Estonian Athlete of the Year Award "Kristjan" was awarded to current World Champion in discus throwing Gerd KANTER in the men's ranking and World Championships bronze medallist in fencing Irina EMBRICH in the women's ranking. The trophy of the Coach of the Year was awarded to KANTER's coach Vesteinn HAFSTEINSSON.