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Katie Taylor takes female 'European Athlete of the Year' award at ANOC awards in Washington DC
by Michael O'Neill
October 30, 2015

(OCT 30)  Ireland’s ‘Golden Girl’ Katie Taylor took the female ‘European Athlete of the Year’ award in the early hours of this (Friday) morning at the prestigious ANOC awards ceremony held at the iconic DAR Constitution Hall in Washington DC.

The current Olympic, World, European, European Games and European Union lightweight champion was selected as the Best Female Athlete in all sports from the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku, Azerbaijan last June at the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) awards. The men’s award went to Azerbaijani wrestler Togrul Asgarov.

Taylor won her 60th gold in the Azeri capital to secure her 18th major International title since 2005. Should she go on to win the 2016 World crown in Astana in May she will set a new ‘six in a row’ female record equaling that of famed Cuban Félix Savón in the men’s worlds.

“I’m just so honoured and humbled to receive this award. I’d like to thank ANOC for such a great evening and I’d like to thank the Olympic Council of Ireland and Pat Hickey for their continuous support”, said the AIBA World No. 1.

“I’d also like to thank my family. Their support and encouragement throughout the years has been unfailing to me. I’d be nowhere without them. This is just the icing on the cake for me this year.”

ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah told the audience which included heads of Olympic Committees and prominent stars from world of sport and entertainment :

“In the past 14 months we have witnessed five wonderful Continental Games and enjoyed breath-taking sporting moments at each one,” said ANOC President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah.

“These moments did not happen by accident, they were created by dedicated athletes, supported by their NOCs, achieving peak performances.

“NOCs and athletes are the heart of the Olympic Movement and in recognition of this the ANOC Awards 2015 involved athletes from multiple NOCs at every stage, from selecting the award winners all the way to presenting the awards themselves.

“This created a true spirit of gratitude and shared unity which is the hallmark of the ANOC Awards.”

“This is the clear illustration that the athletes are at the heart of the Olympic Movement and that they get the recognition they deserve and they get it twice,” said IOC President Thomas Bach.

“They get it first on the podium when they receive their medals and then tonight, in a pretty different atmosphere.”

Patrick Hickey Senior Vice President of ANOC was very proud to be presenting the prestigious award to the "Best Female Athlete of the European Games 2015 " Katie Taylor. Katie is now focusing on qualifying for Rio 2016 at the AIBA women's boxing World Championships in Kazakhstan next May. Though the 2016 AIBA women’s worlds’ have been re-scheduled for May, Katie’s coach and Dad, Pete Taylor commented : “We had a six-week plan with Zaur (Zaur Antia, Irish interim head coach). It’s crazy, but it’s the same for everyone and it is better for us to prepare.”

The top male and best female athletes from each of the five Continental Games were honoured in Washington.

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