Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler Artur Aleksanyan has been named Armenia’s athlete of the year for the third time in a row.
The 25-year-old won the Greco-Roman 98 kilograms title at Rio 2016, beating Cuba’s Yasmany Lugo in the final.
Victory for the two-time world champion and three-time European champion saw him add to the bronze medal he won in the 96kg category at London 2012.
The top 10 Armenian athletes of 2016 were determined as a result of a survey among 35 sports journalists conducted by the Republican Federation of Sports Journalists of Armenia.
Second in the rankings was Aleksanyan’s fellow Greco-Roman wrestler Mihran Harutyunyan, who won silver in the 66kg division at Rio 2016.
Weightlifter Simon Martirosyan, runner-up in the men’s 105kg category at Rio 2016, completed the top three.
Four of the other seven athletes listed were weightlifters, including fourth-placed Gor Minasyan, silver medallist in the men’s over 105kg category at Rio 2016, and fifth-placed Nazik Avdalyan, the women’s 69kg gold medallist at the 2016 European Championships in Førde in Norway.
Avdalyan, a European champion way back in 2008 and world champion in 2009, thought she would never compete again when she suffered horrific injuries in a car crash six years ago.
She broke several bones and had surgery on her spine after the motorway crash in April 2010, five months after she had won World Championship gold in South Korean city Goyang.
That made her Armenia’s first female world champion in any sport.
After three years of rehabilitation Avdalyan - whose marriage to former lifter Erik Karapetyan was delayed by two years because of her injuries - was told she could start training again.
She returned to competition at last year’s World Championships in Houston, where she finished 14th.
Sixth in the Armenian athlete of the year rankings was Harutyun Merdinyan, gold medallist in the pommel horse at the European Men's Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Swiss capital Bern.
Weightlifters Andranik Karapetyan, the men’s 77kg European champion, and Hripsime Khurshudyan, the women’s over 75kg European champion, came seventh and eighth respectively.
Khurshudyan finished third in the women’s over 75kg category at London 2012, but was disqualified after failing a retrospective drugs test for turinabol and stanozolol.
Her bronze medal has now gone to South Korean Jang Mi-ran.
Greco-Roman wrestler Varsham Beranyan finished ninth in the Armenian athlete of the year rankings, while gymnast Artur Davtyan, the European silver medallist in the vault, completed the list of 10.