European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen issued the following statement on the eve of the final session on Sunday afternoon of the Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships:

“The Amsterdam 2016 European Athletics Championships – my first as European Athletics President –- have been a great success. We have created many new European champions and stars for the future over the past few days, seen great performances, incredible emotions, wonderful stories.

“It has been fantastic to watch the Dutch athletes do so well, creating an unforgettable ‘Oranje’ atmosphere at the historic Olympic Stadium here in Amsterdam. Indeed, the fans have been an integral part of the success of these Championships, with around 125,000 tickets sold meaning a packed stadium almost every night.

“The record number of athletes from 50 of our 51 Member Federations who have competed here have given us so much, and I would like to thank them all. Before Sunday’s final session, 28 of them had won medals. We have seen almost all of our top athletes turn out here, with some great results.

“I would also like to thank the City Amsterdam, who have been the perfect hosts, and the Local Organising Committee, volunteers, media and sponsors, including our principal partner SPAR International.

“The eyes of Europe have been on Amsterdam: 32 European broadcasters and 2 pan-continental ones have been showing the Championships with over 900 hours of intended coverage, alongside worldwide live streaming of the event. We have received encouraging preliminary television figures for the first couple of days from across Europe, especially in territories like Germany and Finland. We will get more figures over the next few days but it is clear our shorter Championships programme is very attractive for television.

“Amsterdam has looked amazing over the past days, with our Championships having taken over large parts of it. It truly has been a ‘Championships City’. We have seen Athletics like Never Before, and I have very much enjoyed competitions in the Museum Square and the Half Marathon with the start and finish in the city. We have also integrated IPC events and a mass participation race within the framework of the Championships for the first time, and they have been welcome additions.

“I have really enjoyed as well the innovative Victory Ceremonies just outside of the stadium. We have been able to do justice to this special moment for athletes, with thousands of fans cheering them as they have received their medals.

“There have been other great side activities, such as the 5th edition of our Young Leaders Forum – an educational event that equips young people to design and deliver projects that benefit grassroots of athletics and local communities. We have had a wide range of speakers, including IAAF President Sebastian Coe, Luvuyo Mandela, great grandson of Nelson Mandela, and former athletes including Andreas Thorkildsen speak to the 68 young leaders from our Member Federations. The Forum continues to be extremely important for the development of athletics.

“Our anti-doping experts have been working tirelessly during these Championships, with an extensive testing programme in collaboration with the IAAF. Over 100 blood samples and around 200 urine samples have been collected. The testing plan has involved target testing for specific analysis as well as random testing for track, field and road events. I want to once again thank the media for their efforts in exposing doping problems. We must not relent in our combined efforts. Indeed, we have given a voice to clean athletes on how they want our sport to be in the future with them wearing “I Run Clean, I Jump Clean, I Throw Clean” bibs. They have shown their commitment to a drug-free sport by carrying this message. These Championships have been the moment for the athletes to make this statement.

“European Athletics is constantly striving to do better, and I believe there have been great strides made between our first Olympic-year Championships in Helsinki 2012 – itself a great event – and Amsterdam 2016. These Championships have embodied my ethos of delivering change in many ways, and we hope they serve as a great inspiration to our future organisers.

“I am sure this great event will live long in the memories of those involved, and I am sure they will deliver real value to Dutch society over the coming years and do much to support our belief that athletics is ‘Your Sport for Life’.”


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