Recently in European Athletics Category

Svein Arne Hansen is the President of the European Athletics Association. He is leading the sport of athletics in the 51 countries of the EAA. And he is trying to innovate. The social media of the European Athletics Associaiton attracts many young European track fans. The production of the European Indoors gave this viewer one of the finest indoor championships ever. And now, Hansen leads by example. He is suggesting a protocal for key players in both the IAAF, EAA and IOC, who might find themselves accused of wrong doing. He suggests that the accused step aside due to the problems such situations cause the organizations.

This comes at a time when IAAF President Seb Coe is dealing with the Le Monde accusations of Freddie Fredericks about alleged questionable activities around the Rio 2016 Olympic bid. Suggestions are that there are more people to be named, and such stench affects the entire sport. Does it not make sense, in a time of calmness, to develop a protocal for such situations. We hope that Lord Coe sees the suggestion that President Arne Hansen has provided as a smart way to react for the IAAF.

Continue to lead by example, European Athletic Association!

reina reider.jpgRana Reider, photo courtesy of Athletics Weekly(www.athleticsweekly.com)
Reider to lead Schippers coaching
ARNHEM (NED): Rana Reider has replaced Bart Bennema as Dafne Schippers' lead coach, informs De Volkskrant. "We have after the Olympics pressed the reset button. We wanted to take the next step. It is necessary to try new things," said Bennema, who added Schippers is in good shape ahead of the summer season. "She had a good winter. Dafne had a post-Olympic dip, but she is now completely fresh. Her times are faster again." She was not competing during the indoor season and no plans are yet public for the summer.
Thompson_Elaine200FHL1-OlyGames16.jpgThe Rio 200 meters (Elaine Thompson, Tori Bowie, Dafne Schippers), photo by PhotoRun.net
RunBlogRun opines: Dafne Schippers is the pride of the Netherlands. She is an extremely talented athlete. 2016 was a year where she did not achieve her goals, especially after her fine 2016. Changes with coaches are not lightly considered matters. Rana coaches Christian Taylor, Sharon Proctor, among other athletes. He understands speed development and his observations could be critical in Dafne's future development and success. RunBlogRun believes that Dafne Schippers is quite capable of global medals in 100m and 200 meters, with the 200 meters being gold medal territory. To battle Tori Bowie and Elaine Thompson, she will need to be 100 percent. Differences in gold, silver, bronze are miniscule. That is what coaching and training is all about.

The last day of the 2017 European Indoor Athletics Championships were a fine day of competition. It also was a wonderfully enjoyable day of track and field. Why? The crowd was into the meet, cheered all of the athletes, the facilities were fantastic and the coffee was good, and inexpensive.

Having the best seats in the house also helped, as Ed Gordon, David Monti and I were at the end of the 60 meter finish, above the track.

Here is how I recalled the medalists on day three of one of the finest track championships that I have been fortunate to attend.

Maslak_PavelQ-WorInd16.jpgPavel Maslak, photo by PhotoRun.net
Maslak aims for triple-triple
PROSTEJOV (CZE): One of the stars of weekend´s European Indoors Czech quartermiler Pavel Maslak confirmed that his aim for next indoor season is to achieve a triple-triple of indoor titles. He already has one triple at European level (Goteborg, Prague, Belgrade) and now hopes for third gold in Birmingham at World Indoors in March 2018 after Sopot and Portland. "I know it will not be easy, but on the other hand as IAAF World Indoor Tour and wild card holder I will have more space for my best plan without trying to clock standards etc.," said Maslak. The Czech runner who since February 3, 2013 lost only one indoor 400 m final (this year in Torun to Bralon Taplin) also said that now he turns his sights on the outdoor season. "The goal is to get a sub 45 again and finals in London," informed Maslak who after short vacations will head for traditional training camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa on March 20.
RunBlogRun: Pavel Maslak is the Rodney Dangerfield of the 400 meter indoors. Maslak is a fine racer who is most relaxed on the banked curves of the fine indoor tracks across Europe. His win at Portland World Indoors, and his win in Belgrade has kept his streak going to five indoor terrestrial championships (Europeans, three, World Indoors, two). He will aim for Birmingham as well as hope to make the final in London.
Muir_LauraSF1a-Rio16.jpgLaura Muir, photo by PhotoRun.net
Muir is helping ticket sales
LONDON (GBR): Two-time European indoor champion Laura Muir has sparked a huge rush for tickets for this summer's IAAF World Championships London 2017 (04-13 August) following her stunning double gold medal win in Belgrade. Muir said: "I am really looking forward to London and to see that so many people are interested in my events is great for my confidence. I believe my confidence is showing in my performances and I was delighted to come away with two golds at the European Indoor Championships. Doing so many races back to back was great with a view to the IAAF World Championships in London and I can't wait to put in the hard work and see what I can achieve in front of a massive home crowd." The platform has already proved a huge success with 5,346 sales made from genuine athletics fans to other genuine athletics fans since tickets for all sessions across both Championships officially went back on sale at 10am on Wednesday 8 March. From a release by the organisers.
RunBlogRun: Laura Muir is the real thing. Her victories in the 1,500 meters and 3000 meters were entirely different races, and I find that comforting. Running out from 1200 meters in the 1,500 meters, Laura Muir put herself on the line way out, something she should not do in London 2018. She was rewarded with a Championship Record in the 1,500m, taking the one and only Doina Melinte, (Olympian in 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992) off the record books. In the 3000 meters, Laura Muir followed the swift running of Yasemin Can, and then, took off with one kilometer to go, gutting it out to an 8:35, a second CR. Muir is quoted as noting she will run the 1,500m and 5,000m in London. The track nerd British crowd will go absolutely bonkers with Laura and Mo, among others. My suggestions to British track fans: give up two cases of London Pride and you can get a few sessions.

0022_000358.jpgKombank Arena, Belgrade, Serbia, photo by European Athletics

BELGRADE (SRB): AIPS informs that the European Indoors were success also from media working conditions point of view. "We have worked to accommodate the needs of 650 accredited media, 250 written press, over 100 photographers, which is a lot more than usual, and which brings with it a new level of organizational needs. Thanks to the size of the venue, we have had the space to block seats and create the necessary photo positions," said EA Media consultant Stefan Thies. Kronen Zeitung journalist Olaf Brockmann (his last event for the paper but will continue as consultant for the IAAF) who has covered 22 European Athletics Indoor Championships, with reporting spanning over thirty years judged the media conditions in Belgrade as "very good."

RunBlogRun opines: With unobstructed views at seating, consistent wifi, reasonable charges for snacks, and an excellent official website, Media had great support. The European Indoor Championships were much better than some global venues that we have worked, and I have worked at nine Olympics, 20 World and 7 European champs, and Belgrade was one of the best. The reasonable hotel costs, meal costs and airfare also play into a strong venue.

As I return to the Bay area, the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade are still fresh in my mind. Here are five lessons I learnt from the 2017 European Indoors.

0022_000336-hurdle hell.jpgIsabelle Pedersen, 60m hurdles, photo by European Athletics

0022_000358.jpgKombank Arena, Belgrade, photo by European Athletics

BELGRADE (SRB): Belgrade is planning to bid for the 2020 World Indoor Championships and the city is also considering a bid for the European Championships, informs insidethegames.biz. "These Championships are very important for us to show what we are capable of. Our strategy is to promote Serbia as a country of sportsmen and women, and we will be a candidate for the World Indoors in 2020," said Belgrade's Mayor Sinisa Mali. "We are working very closely with the Government and looking at building a huge national stadium in Belgrade which could hold such an event, not just for athletics but other sports as well," he said on hosting an outdoor championships.

0022_000341.jpgLaura Muir had a busy weekend in Belgrade, and won golds at 1,500m and 3,000m! photo courtesy of European Athletics/Getty Images

The 3000 meters was a totally different race than the 1,500 meters. When Laura Muir took off, in the last kilometer, she quickly put the field into the hurtzone. Breaking two Championship records in her races, Laura Muir won her first major championships in Belgrade. Here is how David Monti saw the masterful race!

0022_000358.jpgKombank Arena, home of 2017 European Indoor Championships, photo courtesy of European Athletics/Getty Images

It is Monday, 6 March. I am sitting in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Express, sucking down an espresso with milk and editing stories. I have had three delightful, but long and exhausting days in Belgrade. Two nights ended at Chicken Kings, a late night refuge for Belgradians who have endurred too many inexpensive Serbian beers, and need sustenance. The final night, I enjoyed a dinner at Chez Nik, a cafe by the Kombank Arena, then, found some friends and spent a couple of hours chatting about athletics.

This is Stuart Weir's last piece for the European Athletics Indoor Championships, and I am sad. Stu has this wonderful way of opening my eyes to athletes, events and situations that always appear at various events.

That clarity of vision is key for me in working with the writers we do around the world. Their views, their insights help us see the absolute beauty and emotion of our sport, and just how fortunate we are to be involved in this global sport of athletics.

Thanks Stuart, see you another 18 places this year.

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