© Henk Swinkels

Boskovic and Espar European Players of the Year

Olympic champion Miho Boskovic and Spain's London 2012 silver medallist Anni Espar were awarded European Athletes of the Year 2012 by the European Swimming governing body LEN on Tuesday. Croatian star Boskovic received over 36% of the votes while his teammate and London Olympics tournament MVP goalie Josip Pavic finished second collecting 25% of the votes. In the women's balloting, just 19-year old Espar was the convincing winner receiving over 46% of the votes while Italy's veteran Tania di Mario finishing in second place with a little over 23%. All LEN awards will be presented in November on the occasion of the European short course championships in Chartres, France. Votes were submitted by all LEN Bureau members.

Miho Boskovic was one of the pilar of the successful Croatian team that convincingly took the Olympic gold medal in London beating Italy in the final 8-6. The Jug-player once again finished as the team's top scorer in London netting fiveteen goals, just one ahead of teammate Sandro Sukno. In the gold medal game against Italy, Boskovic contributed two goals to the historic win for Croatia. The sharpshooter is crowned Best European Player for the second time as Boskovic got the award in 2007, when winning the world championship with Croatia, for the first time.

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Meanwhile Anni Espar this year emerged as the top player on a Spanish side that emerged living up to their potential as they routed to winning the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Trieste, Italy and eventually finishing second at the London Olympics falling short 8-5 to the USA in the final. In that gold medal game, Espar was one of just two goalscorers for Spain as teammate Jennifer Pareja, who finished third in this year's election, scored three goals while Espar added two for the silver medallists.

With her club CN Sabadell Astralpool Espar played a successful season which included winning the national cup, championship and Champions Cup title. This season, Anni Espar will play for Los Angeles-based University of Southern California although it is a possibility that the talented Spanish player will be back in Spain to participate in the Champions Cup and Spanish play-offs for Sabadell.

LEN Best European Athlete of the Year 2012


1. Miho Boskovic (CRO) - 36,7%
2. Josip Pavic (CRO) - 25,0%
3. Stefano Tempesti (ITA) - 13,3%
3. Aleksandar Ivovic (MNE) - 13,3%


1. Anni Espar (ESP) - 46,7%
2. Tania di Mario (ITA) - 23,3%
3. Jennifer Pareja (ESP) - 13,3%

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