Hansen pays tribute to European athletes and London 2017 organisers

Svein Arne Hansen
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Svein Arne Hansen

European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen paid tribute to the European athletes in action over the 10 days of competition at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 as well as the Local Organising Committee.

“It was a superb championship from all perspectives. The continental gold-medal tally of 18 titles was the best by an Area Association and I have to say thank you to the IAAF World Championships London 2017 organisers for putting on an outstanding championships on European soil," said President Hansen.

Europe also claimed 17 silver medals and 18 bronze medals.

“The world-record crowds totalled more than 705,000 and I think they would have enjoyed every minute of the championships, as I did as well.

“Taking all the factors together, this championship showed that our sport is still well-supported by the general public in Europe, broadcasters, the media, sponsors and public authorities as well as other stakeholders.

“The product we currently have, while we are always looking for improvements, is still clearly a very attractive one and this was reflected by events in London before and during the start of the championships.

“Many of the European winners in London, and other medallists, will now be targeting the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships as their next major outdoor stage on which to shine.

“Personally, I am already looking forward to Berlin 2018, which will be part of the inaugural and innovative multi-sport European Championships.

Karsten Warholm after winning the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships London 2017
European Athletics
Karsten Warholm after winning the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships London 2017

Karsten Warholm after winning the 400m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships London 2017

“A few athletes, like Pawel Fajdek and Ekaterini Stefanidi, will likely be defending European titles they won in Amsterdam last year and the fact they are now the reigning world champions can only heighten the appeal of Berlin 2018.

“Being a very proud Norwegian, as well as a former Norwegian athletics federation president, my personal highlights were Karsten Warholm’s win in the 400m hurdles and Filip Ingebrigtsen’s bronze in the 1500m.

“Karsten won Norway’s first gold medal on the track since 1987 and has already said that his next ambition is to win a European title. He is one of a new generation of athletes who we saw in London – I can add the likes of London winners Pierre-Ambroise Bosse and Nafi Thiam to this list, among others – who will carry this sport forward.

“They are great personalities and this sport needs personalities to keep engaging the public.

“Likewise Filip is a great advert for our sport and I expect he will be in Berlin to defend his European 1500m title."

No less than 14 European Athletics Member Federations struck gold at London 2017 while another four also had athletes on the podium.

Topping the European-only medal table, France won three gold medals and also two bronze, although Poland won eight medals in total.