Svein Arne Hansen, European Athletics Presidentr and Joe FitzPatrick, Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing, photo by European Athletics/Getty Images
Stuart Weir and I enjoyed the SPAR British Trials and the Muller Indoor GP Birmingham together. I have headed back to the former colonies and Stuart will be covering the European Indoor Champs for RunBlogRun. This is his first piece on Glasgow 2019. Thanks to Stuart Weir for his coverage of our global sport. r
The European Athletics Indoor Championships 2019 get underway on Friday 1 March with 637 athletes from 49 countries competing in 26 events. At the main press conference European Athletics President, Svein Arne Hansen, said: “We are delighted to be back in Glasgow. 2018 was the best year ever for athletics. It is going to be a good atmosphere and it is going to be a lot of good athletics. All the big names are here and we feel the conditions are going to be really fantastic. The most important thing for an event is the home stars. I am looking forward to the Emirates roar.”rr
Joe FitzPatrick, Scottish Minister for Public Health, Sport and Wellbeing said: “This year’s event promises to be special with 600 athletes from 50 countries competing. As Scotland’s Sports Minister, I am particularly proud that a record nine Scottish athletes have been selected to compete. This should give something special for the local supporters to cheer on.” The official website says 49 countries, taking Great Britain as one country. Either the minister made a mistake or he is counting Scotland as separate country.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Norway), the European outdoor 1500m and 5000m champion said: “This is my first indoor championships. I will learn something new about competing indoors. It is a bit more tactical than competing outdoors. I am really excited. I love to race and I look forward to racing here. I just believe in myself that I can win. I have just to focus and be prepared to win. That’s all that matters. It will definitely be a tactical race. If the others run faster, I’ll do the same.”
Asked if he ever felt guilty about beating his older brothers, he replied: “No. I don’t feel bad about beating anyone, I just go for me. To beat them has always been my first goal, so if I beat them, I can beat anyone else in the world. We’re really close this year compared to last year.”
Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (France), the European 110m hurdles champion said he was competing in Glasgow because: “I love to compete. I have been training a long time and without competition, that is boring. I love my sport. The Doha 2019 World Championship is in September-October and it is too long (to wait). Training without competing is boring. The harder the competition, the more I want to race faster. My rival Orlando Ortega (Spain) ran fast this season (7.49 seconds), but I am not very far behind. I will bring good motivation. I want to be the best”.