European Athletics Team Championships moves to every two years

Council in Amsterdam
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The European Athletics Council are joined by Amsterdam  2016 European Athletics Championships mascot Adam on the final day of its meeting.

The European Athletics Team Championships (ETCH) will be staged biennially from 2017 after the Council moved to balance the competition calendar and boost the profile and understanding of the event.

The decision taken at this weekend’s Council meeting means the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships (ECH) – which will be part of the multi-sport European Championships – will stand alone as the main European Athletics event that summer.

European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen said, “We believe this change provides a clearer structure to the athletics calendar, with one big outdoor European Athletics event every summer, while it will also increase the prestige of our championships.

“I am happy that the Council has agreed to this restructure, which was one of the promises in my election manifesto last year.”

The Council also approved a revamped timetable for the event, with considerably shorter sessions on the main competition days to make it more attractive for television audiences.

In line with the ETCH decision, the frequency of the European Combined Events Team Championships will change to every other year from 2017 as well.

The 146th Council meeting in Amsterdam began Friday with each member signing a Declaration of Integrity.

“Recognising the challenges that sport currently faces in this area, I believe it is important for our Council to give a clear signal of our values and our commitment to good governance,” said President Hansen.

In other decisions, the Council agreed in principle to 'wildcards' that qualify European champions for the next edition of the European Athletics Championships. The decision applies to winners at this year’s event in Amsterdam.

The Event and Competition Commission will now develop the concept in the coming weeks.

The Council also approved the introduction of qualification standards for future European Athletics Indoor Championships and the introduction of a mixed relay into the SPAR European Cross Country Championships starting in 2017.