The excitement is growing day-by-day ahead of the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships which is part of the inaugural multi-sport European Championships and the four winners at the Golden Tracks in Vilnius, Lithuania will all be aiming for more medals to add to their collections next summer.
Berlin will be staging the athletics programme and European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen was already looking ahead in anticipation to the biennial event which begins in the Olympic Stadium on 7 August.
“We are already waiting to go to Berlin and I can say that on behalf of everyone in the room - Berlin will be fantastic! We have the athletes, we have invited the European world champions and they all said they are going to be in Berlin and that is the most important thing for us – the athletes,” said President Hansen.
Three world champions scooped up four of the main awards on Saturday night including Johannes Vetter, who won the world javelin title in London. Nobody has launched the javelin further than Vetter in the past 21 years and he too cannot wait for Berlin after being named the male European Athlete of the Year.
“When you are world champion, you want to get a gold medal in Berlin as well,” said Vetter. “Awards like this are a big motivation for the next couple of years.”
The javelin will take centre stage in the German capital as he takes on his teammate Thomas Rohler, who was crowned Olympic champion in Rio last summer.
“Thomas is not only a teammate but a good friend. We have a good team. All the guys are throwing over 85 metres, we have a good relationship together and it makes the throwing in Germany so special,” Vetter told the millions watching on Lithuanian television and via livestream.
Vetter could not take the smile off his face as he made his way to the stage to collect the trophy - a reward for his amazing season where won the world title with 89.89m.
As Vetter thanked his team, he gave special praise to his coach Boris Obergfoll, the two-time world bronze medallist. “It was an amazing year, with seven throws over 90 metres,” said Vetter. “I think I averaged in my 18 competitions around 88 metres, a German record [and I was] a world champion.”
“I have to thank my whole team, my family, to the medicine team, my doctor and my physio and the key point of my success is Boris Obergfoll. Thank you, Boris! He has done a really amazing job this year.”