Recently in European Athletics Category

RunBlogRun opines: The City of Paris is a huge sports city. From football, to rubgy, to athletics, to major road races, Paris has sports, fine food, great cafes and amazing history. The European Athletics Associaiton choose Paris to host the 2020 European Athletics Championships.

European Athletics is at this exciting cross roads. Over the past few years, the EAA has established itself as one of the most focused area federations in all of sports. Part of that is that EAA has gotten ahead of the incessant media narrative of negatives in athletics. By focusing on projects that they can deliver (or over deliver), EAA is putting together some programs that make tremendous sense, from anti-doping to reviving a vibrant cross country championships, and revisitng all European records with a thoughtful and qualified examination board.

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European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen (left) and André Giraud (right), President of the French Athletics Federation, with French athletics stars Marie-José Pérec and Yohann Diniz, in Paris on Friday 28 April. Photo courtesy of European Athletics (copyright EAA)

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The Meeting de Paris is one of my favorite Diamond League meetings of the year. For many years, it was on July 4, and I would go over, do interviews on the day before the meet, say hello to my friends at L'Equipe (one of finest sports magazines and websites in known world), and enjoy a fantastic evening of track and field at the Stade de France.

The meeting is moving to Stade Charlety, and the line up of French, European, African and American stars continues to be announced.

RunBlogRun will be there to cover this fine event, the seventh on the Diamond League Schedule for 2017.

Paris for 2020, recommendations for records
LAUSANNE (SUI): The European Athletics Council, led by President Svein Arne Hansen, will meet in Paris from Friday to Sunday this week and a number of decisions with historic significance to the sport in Europe are expected to be made. Firstly, the host city for the 2020 European Athletics Championships will be announced on Friday with Paris beeing the only candidate. The Council will also hear the report of the European Records Credibility Project Team. Another key issue to be considered by the Council is a review of previous European Athletics award recipients and to consider recommendations about the award criteria for future recipients. Informs EA.
RunblogRun opines: Fascinated to see what European Athletics comes up with in regards to record recommendations. Which will they keep and which will they wantto change!

Watching Ekaterina Stefanidi develop as an athlete has been fascinating. Getting updates from her manager, Karen Locke, is always fun. For the European and Olympic champion, Ekaterina Stefanidi's overnight success has taken her around the world, since, at the young age of ten, she began vaulting.

Read this fine piece by our friend, David Hunter, who is still sleeping a bit after a long day in the office at the Boston Marathon, while he helped me with our live coverage for 8 hours, and provided RunBlogRun two features on the elite marathons. And, 256,000 of you watched and read our coverage, thanks!

Pass this one around, it is another good one from Dave Hunter!

Stefandini_Ekaterini-OlyGame16.jpgEkaterina Stefanidi, photo by

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(
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
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
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
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.

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