Only a few days remain until the start of the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague. The opening ceremony will take place on Thursday and according to Tomáš Janků, Chief Executive Office of the championships and former athlete, it`s going to be a special event.
“Preparations for the opening ceremony are a bit complicated, because the track is ready and we have to move all the set pieces very carefully. But we have spare time, so everything is going to be ready on time. The opening ceremony is an important part of the European Championships so we have to make sure everything runs smoothly.”
You had to turn O2 Arena into a track and field stadium. Did everything go well?
“I think so. Our most important task was to prepare the best environment for athletes. I am not talking only about the track but also about areas behind the scenes. I think we have managed a good job overall. For example I have never experienced warm-up areas like we have here in Prague during my career at any indoor championships.”
Did you do any major changes comparing to the Prague Indoor meeting that took place last year? Will visitors recognise the arena?
“Thanks to great cooperation with the O2 Arena staff we were able to move out the movable grandstands fully and we gained some extra space. The biggest change is probably a very efficient podium for medal ceremonies. It`s situated at the gallery on the first floor.”
More than 650 athletes are going to compete in Prague, what kind of security measures did you take?
“We didn`t underestimate this matter at all. Explosives experts inspected the O2 arena for two days. Anybody who entered the arena during the preparation time had to go through a very thorough search. Also visitors will have to go through metal detectors before entering the venue.”
There are 11 500 seats in the arena, are there still any tickets left?
“Yes! We still offer VIP tickets for very reasonable prices. This is a great opportunity for those who would like to enjoy top athletics with all the extra comfort that will be provided. These tickets are available at the ticket offices at O2 Arena.”