A brand new form of athletics was given its first official examination at a test event staged at the Complexo Desportivo in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal, on Sunday (14) with the support and organisation of the Portuguese Athletics Federation and the Algarve Athletics Association.
The new form of track and field that European Athletics has called Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) is an innovative two hour-long, team-focused competition with teams competing across 10 events focusing on the three key elements of athletics: running, jumping and throwing. The event incorporates the traditional pillars of athletics but in a manner which fosters greater athlete interaction and emphasises the team dynamics and head-to-head competition.
An event incorporating the key themes of Dynamic New Athletics will be unveiled at the 2019 European Games in Minsk, Belarus from 14-30 June after an agreement was signed between European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen and European Olympic Committees (EOC) Acting President Janez Kocijancic in November.
“It is great to see an athletics event where every single moment matters. This new format complements the current sport and is different because it is not about world records or great times. It is about beating the opponent that is put in front of you,” said European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen.
The test event in Algarve featured six teams taking part in the 10 events which make up the prospective schedule for the European Games including the trackathlon (a combination of running, shot put, hurdles and a standing long jump); the mixed 4x400m relay; and “The Hunt” - a mixed distance pursuit relay (800m-600m-400m-200m) to conclude proceedings. The winner in each individual event scored 12 points for their respective teams which went towards their team’s overall score.
Spanish-based team Andalucia claimed the overall title at the test event after going into the final race with 104 points and winning the Hunt. Sporting Lisboa & Benfica collected second place with Juventude Vidigalense from Leiria finishing third. The test event elicited positive feedback from participants, coaches and stakeholders alike.
“It was an honour to witness the landmark moment to test a new athletics format. I feel like this weekend I saw the future of athletics unfold in front of my eyes. It went incredibly well,” said Libor Varhanik, the European Athletics Council Member responsible for the project.
“Obviously there is still lots of work ahead of us to refine the concept but it is great to see we are on track.”
At the test event, the OpenTrack platform by ReportLab was used to collect and process all the results. Results were published live on the dedicated website https://dna.run/, also powered by ReportLab.
The format for the 2019 European Games will be finalised at the upcoming European Athletics Council Meeting in April ahead of the next test event which will be held in Minsk on 2-3 July.