Bucharest, December 24, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Irina Stoica
A judoka and a handball player share the award for Romanian top sportsperson of the year. The 2015 National Sports Award was offered to Judoka Andreea Chitu, European champion and world vice-champion at the 52-kg category, and to top handball player Cristina Neagu, best player at the World Championship in Denmark, where the Romanian team came in third.
It’s the first time when two athletes share this award. Legal provisions made it impossible for the Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports to give two money prizes. So Chitu and Neagu 50% – 50% of the 6,600 EUR prize.
The Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee explained that the two athletes had been chosen due to their remarkable results. “We took into consideration that in 2015 judoka Andreea Chitu obtained the following results at the 52-kg category: 2nd place at the World Championship; 1st place at the European Games and the European Championship, a competition included in the European Games; the 1st position in the world ranking of the International Judo Federation; and four international tournaments where she came out first. Handball player Cristina Neagu, placed 3rd with Romania’s national squad at the World Championship, was declared World Championship top scorer and 5th in the world ranking of the International Handball Federation; she also won the 2015 EHF Champions League with the team Buducnost Podgorica,” according to a press release from the Committee.
The winners were picked from a shortlist of nine athletes who excelled in 2015: Andreea Chitu (judo), Cristina Neagu (handball), Horia Tecau (tennis), Elizabeta Samara (table tennis), Simona Halep (tennis),
Ana-Maria Popescu (Branza) (fencing), Marian Dragulescu (gymnastics), Andreea Munteanu (artistic gymnastics), Tiberiu Dolniceanu (fencing).