By Harutyun Tsatryan
Photos by Armen Simonyan
List of Armenia’s top 10 athletes of the year has been formed
The competition for Armenia’s 10 best athletes of the year ended with a transparent SMS voting and a voting of journalists.

Twenty-three accredited journalists were entitled to vote for 25 candidates of the “10 Best Athletes of Armenia” competition. The journalists’ voting was broadcast live and lasted for nearly two hours. It started at 16:00 and continued until the last vote at around 18:00. Until then, the public had had the chance to form its list of Armenia’s best athletes through SMSs for a couple of consecutive days. It should be mentioned that each person could vote for more than one candidate with one phone number.

“We tried to do everything possible to make sure the competition was transparent. Together, the public and journalists will form the list of Armenia’s 10 best athletes in which sequence or numbering is by no means important,” RA Deputy Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs Arsen Karamyan announced before the launch of the voting for the journalists, adding that the entire process of voting for media representatives will be broadcast live in order to avoid any processes that can give way to non-transparency and rumors.

Based on the journalists’ votes, the 10 best athletes are wrestlers Artur Aleksanyan, Maksim Manukyan and Levan Berianidze, chess player Levon Aronian, boxer Hovhannes Bachkov, weightlifters Gor Minasyan and Simon Martirosyan, cyclist Edgar Stepanyan and football player, senior player of the Armenian national football team Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Although the most important thing in the competition was to be on the list, the spots of the athletes on the journalists’ ballots gave the candidates points. Thus, the athlete under the first number on the ballot would receive 10 votes, while the athlete in the 10th place would receive 1 vote. This is not done to determine sequence, but to simply get a picture in the form of figures.

It should be mentioned that, after the journalists’ voting, Artur Aleksanyan had 210 votes, World Chess Cup winner Levon Aronian had 172 votes, and 161 votes were cast for wrestler Maksim Manukyan and football player Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Boxer Hovhannes Bachkov garnered 147 votes, while weightlifter Simon Martirosyan received 120. Cyclist Edgar Stepanyan received the least votes (34 votes), even though he had truly scored high results throughout the year.

The public could still vote for its desired athlete alongside the journalists’ voting. The SMS voting ended at 18:00. It turned out that, based on the results of the public voting launched on 11 December, there were 29,092 SMSs, and most of the votes were for football player Henrikh Mkhitaryan (6,195 SMSs). Besides Henrikh Mkhitaryan, samboists Grigor Mkhitaryan, Tigran Kirakosyan and Vachik Vardanyan, wrestler Artur Aleksanyan, gymnasts Artur Tovmasyan and Harutyun Merdinyan, chess player Levon Aronian, taekwondo athlete Sergey Vardazaryan and cyclist Edgar Stepanyan were also in the top 10 formed based on the public voting. Over 2,000 SMSs were sent for Levon Aronian (2,193 SMSs), Artur Aleksanyan (2,857 SMSs), Grigor Mkhitaryan (3,902 SMSs) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (6,195 SMSs).

The results of the journalists’ voting and the SMSs were cumulated 50-50, and this helped form the list of Armenia’s 10 best athletes of the year, including football player Henrikh Mkhitaryan, wrestlers Artur Aleksanyan and Maksim Manukyan, chess player Levon Aronian, samboists Grigor Mkhitaryan and Tigran Kirakosyan, boxer Hovhannes Bachkov, weightlifter Simon Martirosyan, gymnast Artur Tovmasyan and cyclist Edgar Stepanyan. In this case, the sequence was also not important, even though, if we merely look at the figures or the calculations, Henrikh Mkhitaryan (9,897.62 points), Artur Aleksanyan (7,686.60 points) and Levon Aronian (6,148.59 points) crossed the conditional threshold of 5,000 points. has already presented how its accredited journalist voted during the competition for the 10 best athletes of the Republic of Armenia. The editorial staff wishes all the 25 nominees success and congratulates the athletes in the top 10.

This year, the best athletes of the year will be awarded by President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan. The award ceremony is scheduled for December 27 and will be held at Karen Demirtchyan Sport and Concert Complex.

P.S.: This was the first year that the list of the 10 Best Athletes of the Year was formed through the coordination of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Armenia. For years, the Federation of Sports Journalists of the Republic of Armenia has been organizing the selection of the best athletes and continues to present its nominees, and according to the Federation, the best athlete of the past three years is gold medalist of the 2016 Olympic Games, wrestler Artur Aleksanyan.