Stuart Weir wrote the letter to European Athletics because of some concerns that he had about the improvements on the EA Champs.
Dear European Athletics,
This is my fourth successive European proper Championships (2010, 2014, 2018, 2022). There have been many excellent things about the event. Many utterly world-class performances – Bol, Muir, Duplantis, Jacobs, Kambundji, Ingebrigtsen, etc.
There were also a number of things that could have been better.
Having come here from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which had 30,000 crowds for every session, it was disappointing to see the stadium so empty on occasions. Thursday evening, we saw the stadium rocking, but to be honest, that was the exception, not the rule. Birmingham was rocking every evening.
Part of the attendance issue may have been to do with scheduling. Take Sunday, the climax with less than 35 minutes of track action. Would I have bought a ticket for that?
Having morning sessions on weekdays (when people are working) but not at weekends was baffling.
Having the marathons clashing with a stadium athletics session was equally strange. Never seen that before. Unnecessary clash, particularly as the marathons clashed with 5000m heats.
The world championships ended at 20.00, allowing time for a drink or dinner afterward as part of the evening. 22.30 finishes seemed unnecessary.
4 Byes/preliminary rounds.
It is patently unfair for some athletes to be required to run three rounds to reach the final and others just two. Next time will you give Bol, Warholm, etc, a bye to the final? As well as being unfair, it short-changes spectators, who may have bought tickets expecting to see the best athletes.
5 The hot seat
The hot seat or naughty step was universally condemned by athletes when introduced. I cannot believe that we still have it. It is putting dubious marketing advantages ahead of athlete welfare, requiring them to sit when they should be warming down and recovering.
Looking forward to 2026
J Stuart Weir