European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen has described the European 10,000m Cup in Minsk on Saturday (10) as the best edition of the event to date.
Belarus had never played host to an athletics competition on this scale before but the event elicited a strong response with 77 athletes from 19 Member Federations taking part - figures which compare favourably with recent editions of the event.
Hansen was on-site in the Belarusian capital this weekend and he lauded the Local Organising Committee and the Belarus Athletic Federation for their hard work and diligence which made their first staging of a continental event a palpable success.
“I was very happy to be in Minsk for the European 10,000m Cup on Saturday. On my arrival, I was greeted enthusiastically at the airport by volunteers and it was immediately clear the Local Organising Committee had worked incredibly hard to ensure the best possible event for the athletes. For most athletes, this was their first ever competition in Belarus and I’m sure they were impressed by the hospitality on offer and the level of organisation,” said Hansen.
“I was also delighted the stands were full on Saturday for a brilliant afternoon of athletics where the home nation performed very well. From the organisation to the atmosphere and the volunteers, I can say Minsk has staged the best European 10,000m Cup ever," added Hansen.
The organisers placed a strong focus on participation and inclusion and the pre-event programme included a series of well-attended youth and regional races before the Opening Ceremony at 4.00pm marked the start of the main programme.
Spain’s Antonio Abadia (28:31.16) and Portugal’s Sara Moreira (32:03.57) came away with individual honours while Spain and Belarus shared the team titles.