Heptathlete Ivona Dadic was crowned Austrian Sportswoman of the Year at the ‘Lotterien-Sporthilfe Gala’ in Vienna on Tuesday (10), becoming the first athlete to receive this accolade in almost twenty years.
In a vote conducted by sports journalists in Austria, Dadic comfortably topped the voting on the women’s side for the first time ahead of ski jumper Chiara Holzl and speed skater Vanessa Herzog.
Dadic finished the summer campaign with the world lead in the heptathlon, scoring 6419 in cold and wet conditions at the Austrian Combined Events Championships in Gotzis on 29-30 August, the third highest score of her career so far.
Dadic gave a glimpse of that form one month prior in a special one hour heptathlon in Amstetten, an event to mark the one year to go countdown to the rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo. Dadic scored 6325 points across the seven events, the best ever result achieved in a timed-format heptathlon.
Dadic, who received a total of 915 points to top the voting by more than 300 points, becomes the first athlete to be crowned Austrian Sportswoman of the Year since Stephanie Graf won back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001. Other athletes to win have included Theresia Kiesl in 1996, Ilona Gusenbauer in 1971, Liese Prokop in 1969 and Heinrich Thun in 1961 and 1963.
Speaking in a recent interview with Austrian media, Dadic has said she is now aiming to reach the podium at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year.
“My team and I are well aware that at least 6600 points will be required for the big goal of the Olympic medal. But we know what I can do,” she said. “But the most important thing is that I stay injury-free. If that succeeds, there is probably little that can stop me in Tokyo.”
The annual Gala usually takes place in front of around 1500 spectators in Vienna but due to coronavirus there were no spectators - with the exception of invited guests and accompanying persons who were all tested before the ceremony. The Gala was also broadcast live on Austrian television.