President Svein Arne Hansen and Vice President Jean Gracia underlined the importance of the European Athletics U23 Championships on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the event in Tallinn, Estonia.
“We are very proud to be back in Tallinn, ‘a real Championships city,’ as Estonia continues to show its commitment to hosting athletics events,” said President Hansen. “We look forward to strengthening our partnership with another great event.
President Hansen stressed the importance of the under-23 championships for the development of athletics in Europe.
“The general public, television, media, institutions and governments of Europe recognise the value of these championships.
“The under-23 championships were an innovation on the part of European Athletics when they were first staged in 1997.
“The aim of this event was and still is, to provide career continuity and a motivational bridge between junior competition and the top level of our sport.
“The under-23 championships offer an excellent opportunity for aspiring Olympic, World and European champions to compete against the best athletes in their own age group,” said Hansen.
The city of Tallinn has already hosted European Athletics events in recent years with the 2011 European Athletics Junior Championships and 2014 European Team Championships First League.
“More champions will be born, fantastic moments will be shared and memories created by athletes, team members, organisers and fans.
“I am very confident Tallinn will offer the highest-level conditions for athletes, and I would like to once again thank the organisers for their efforts,” Hansen concluded.
Vice President Gracia outlined the scale of the championships, confirming that pan-European channel Eurosport plans to show the championships live across its 59 territories on Eurosport 2. Polish Television and YLE in Finland will also show the event, while Estonian TV will broadcast the event in its entirety.
“The entire event will also be streamed live with English-language commentary at www.european-athletics.org,” said Gracia. “The live streaming platform is produced in partnership with European Athletics International Partner SPAR and EBU-Eurovision.”
“More than 3,000 tickets have been sold for these four days, thanks to the great promotion of the championships throughout the city.
“We have present about 100 written press and photographers. And about 40 international TV and Radio broadcasting staff have been accredited. Not to forget the 50 or so broadcasting staff from the host broadcaster.
“We also have a total of 986 athletes and team officials who have been entered for the championships from 45 Member Federations. From this, 23 European junior champions will be present in Tallinn hoping to win medals at the next level, while 5 athletes return to defend their under-23 title,” said Gracia.