RSS Feed

Member FederationsMember Federations
Fan ZoneFan Zone
June 2009

International Partners


SPAR European Team Championships' new regulations well received says President Wirz Print E-mail
Tag it:
The SPAR European Team Championships' new regulations may have thrown up a few expected teething problems at first but the added drama, excitement and quality throughout the weekend more than made up for it said European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz.

"I am very happy with the way the regulations were received," said President Wirz after the awards ceremony at Dr. Magalhães Pessoa Stadium in Leiria, Portugal, where Germany claimed the title of European Team Champions.

"European Athletics has shown it is leading the way in making forward-thinking changes to sustain the interest in athletics among TV viewers and supporters and the reaction overall was positive.

"We will now enter a consultancy phase and as always try to improve the championships for next year. We are planning to get feedback from all our stakeholders including TV, media, athletes, officials and spectators in an effort to continuously improve the event and make it more attractive for a wider audience," said Wirz.

The new regulations and innovations, although tested in some European Athletics Permit Meetings in 2008, were untried in major competition but were met with approval from most of the major stakeholders.

The Portuguese crowd - an impressive 7,400 on the first day and more than 10,000 on the second despite the heat - also voiced their approval throughout the event.

Meanwhile, the adoption of the rules went smoothly at the three venues hosting the European Team Championships First, Second and Third Leagues.

The endurance events on the first day of the SPAR-sponsored Super League saw a few problems but there was no doubt the new regulations brought both added drama and quality to the championships.

"The proof that the new regulations added value to the performances can be seen by the world-leading performances in the women's 800m and the men's Pole Vault, along with a dramatic increase in the standards in the endurance events," said Wirz.

A number of athletes backed Wirz's comments. Portugal's Rui Silva, after winning the men's 1500m on the first day, said, "This new format of competition has brought some surprises and we can benefit from it. I think you have to be positive. We are not far from getting things right, If we believe, we can make things better."