Members of Utilitas’ progeny team 2018 announced

The Estonian Athletic Association has announced the members of Utilitas’ progeny team 2018. The team, founded in 2017, is comprised of six athletes who have shown good results in the U23 age category: Taavi Tšernjavski (decathlon), Anna Maria Orel (hammer throw), Tony Nõu (200 and 400 metre dash), Karel Tilga (decathlon), Risto Lillemets (decathlon), and Õilme Võro (100 and 200 metre dash).

Erich Teigamägi, the president of the Athletic Association, was pleased with the project’s sustainability. ‘Over the years, the project of Utilitas’ team has grown into a well-functioning model for supporting young track and field athletes, having successfully achieved its goal of highlighting the potential progeny of our adult track and field team,’ stated Teigamägi at the presentation in Utilitas’ heating lab in Tallinn University of Technology’s Mektory innovation and entrepreneurship centre.

‘It has been a great joy to see former members of Utilitas’ progeny team become athletes who are competitive in major competitions and provide memorable experiences for their supporters back home,’ said Kristjan Rahu, chairman of the board of the Utilitas energy group.

‘This year, just like before, many of the young athletes on our team have shown excellent results. Among them, of course, is decathlete Maicel Uibo, who set a personal record and won a bronze medal at the World Indoor Championship,’ explained Rahu. ‘These moments serve to confirm the strong outlook Estonian athletes have to develop into professional decathletes. We are honoured to contribute to their success,’ he added.

Several former members of the Utilitas’ progeny team have since shown notable results at various competitions. Maicel Uibo, team member in 2015, recently won a heptathlon bronze medal at the World Indoor Championship in Birmingham. Janek Õiglane, who has been on the team for the past two years, won fourth place at the World Championships in London. Estonian hammer throw record holder Anna Maria Orel made her adult competition debut at the London World Championship. This is her second year on the team. Among others, Utilitas’ progeny team has also helped Rasmus Mägi, who participated at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Grit Šadeiko, Tanel Laanmäe, and Liina Laasma on their way to the top.

The Utilitas progeny team aims to allow the most promising athletes in the U23 age category to devote more time to sport and intends to serve as a catalyst for their future athletic careers in adult age categories. Intended as a long-term project, the team has since become an inseparable part of the Estonian competitive track and field structure. Each year, six athletes with the highest results get a placement on the team along with a 12-month stipend. The Utilitas progeny team is mentored by Olympic gold medallist Gerd Kanter. The Utilitas energy group has been supporting the development of young track and field athletes for eight years.

The Utilitas progeny team is assembled by comparing the relationship of the mathematical average of the two best valid results between 1 May and 30 September 2017 to the last valid World Championship or Olympic norm, on the basis of the scoring tables of the IAAF. The results must be from two different competitions, which need to be scheduled events in Estonia or another IAAF member state. As an exception, a combined event could also count for a result. The minimal level to make the team is minus 150 IAAF points from the World Championship or Olympic norm.