It was the Greek philosopher Plato who, more than 2000 years ago, apparently said: “There is no harm in repeating a good thing,” and so, with this in mind, the 2019 European 10,000m Cup will be staged again in London on 6 July.
After the success of the 2018 Cup, European Athletics will follow the same formula and stage the competition in conjunction with the Night of the 10,000m PBs at the Parliament Hill Athletics Track in north-west of the British capital.
The 2018 event lived up to its name and saw a spate of personal bests – not least from the first five men home and the first eight women in the international A races as well as many further down the list of finishers – with Germany’s Richard Ringer and Israel’s Lonah Chemtai Salpeter taking the plaudits.
Afterwards, Ringer described the Cup as the best 10,000m race he's taken part in. "This is a new format for athletics; this is what we want to see," said the German after winning in a personal best and European-leading time of 27:36.52.
The 2018 event was designed, among other objectives, to give the opportunity to Europe’s leading distance runners to get qualifying times for the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships and the 2019 races will have the same purpose, to provide the best possible conditions for the European runners to make the grade and qualify for the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019.
Bringing the Cup and the Night of 10,000m PBs together was a logical step after European Athletics had seen that the innovative approach by the British organisers in recent years had engaged and galvanised the domestic running community. Notably, the organisers allowed the crowd to get close to the runners, right on to the fourth lane of the track.
The European 10,000m Cup was inaugurated in 1997 and has seen wins by many of the greats of European distance running such as Spain’s Chema Martinez and Great Britain’s Paula Radcliffe.
By contrast, the Night of the 10,000m PBs at Parliament Hill is of a more recent vintage and was held for the first time in 2013 but has quickly become one of the most popular fixtures on the British calendar with fans and athletes alike.
“I was elected on my programme Leading Change. I wanted to change things; make it more fun, make it more attractive; first of all for the athletes but also for the spectators. We have to make them want to come back. I think, if you have those kind of festivities around it like you have here, people want to come back because they know they are seeing a good product,” said European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen ahead of the 2018 Cup.
Anticipation is high that after the success of staging the 2018 European 10,000m Cup in London, athletes and fans will be back in even greater number for the 23rd edition of the competition in 2019.