Finnish television has published the list of nominees for the best athletes in Finland, one day before the big sports gala 2020 is held. The nominees were selected in advance by a jury as the best athletes in the respective discipline. There are a total of 89 names from as same amount of disciplines on the list. For the first time this year, Agility is also represented as a discipline on this list. The jury awarded the first title of best Agility athlete to Janita Leinonen, who achieved 22nd place at the World Championship with Border Collie Fu this year. After the World Championship, she announced her withdrawal from all international competition.
This 22nd place made her the second most successful Finnish athlete at the last World Championship in Finland. Only Sonia Delatte was better placed as 13th in the Small competition with Sheltie Stella. The latter was awarded by the Finnish Agility Association in 2018 as Sportswoman of the Year. The fact that there is an Agility athlete among the nominees is great news for the entire sport, not just in Finland. It also shows the high acceptance as a real sports discipline in Finland. Janita Leinonen is among nominees such as Formula 1 driver Valteri Bottas, football player Teemu Pukki in the English Premier League at Norwich or ice hockey player Marko Anttila. The sports gala will be broadcast tomorrow Thursday at 8 p.m. on the second Finnish television Yle 2.