Mexican judoka Eduardo Avila Sanchez has been named the Allianz Athlete of the Month for September 2014.
In a hotly contested poll, Sanchez received exactly a third of the vote (33.33 per cent) after he caused arguably the shock of the 2014 IBSA Judo World Championships in Colorado Springs, USA.
The 27-year old was crowned world champion in the -81kg category, a higher weight class than he usually competes in, after beating the Ukrainian Paralympic champion from London 2012, Olexsandr Kosinov.
In the voting, Sanchez beat Japan’s Yui Kamiji and Great Britain’s Jordanne Whiley who came second (21.73 per cent) after they became the first non-Dutch athletes to complete a clean sweep of the grand slam doubles titles with victory at the US Open.
Third place went to Hong Kong’s Leung Yuk Wing (16.73 per cent) after he won two gold medals at the 2014 BISFED Boccia World Championships in Beijing, China.
He also beat Russian wheelchair dancer Galina Ryzkhova after her triple-gold winning performance at the IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport Continents Cup, the USA’s Richard Browne after he broke the 200m T44 world record in Brussels, Belgium, and his compatriot Jamie Whitmore who secured two more world titles at the 2014 UCI Para-Cycling Road World Championships.
Sanchez originally introduced himself on the international scene by winning his first major title in the -73kg category at the 2007 Parapan American Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
He then became Paralympic champion at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, before retaining his Parapan American title in 2011 on home-soil in Guadalajara, Mexico.
However, he could not repeat his Paralympic success at London 2012, narrowly losing out in the semi-final to eventual winner, Ukraine’s Dmytro Solovey, before taking home the bronze medal.
After taking the step up to the -81kg category, Sanchez claimed his first world title by beating Turkey’s Serdar Aydin, Russia’s Saadu Adburakhmanov, the USA’s Ryan Jones and Great Britain’s Jonathan Drane before beating Kosinov in the final.