The European Athletics Team Championships Super League will return to Poland in 2021 after the Slaski Stadium in the Silesia region (Chorzow) was confirmed on Tuesday (17) morning as the host venue for the top tier of Europe’s foremost team event which takes place on 19-20 June.
The Super League was due to be held in Minsk, Belarus next year but the Silesia region stepped in after the initial hosts withdrew for technical reasons. This gives Poland the unique opportunity of defending their title on home soil after triumphing for the first time in competition history in Bydgoszcz in August 2019.
The biennial competition will assume a slightly different format in 2021 with the Super League refined from 12 teams in 2019 to eight teams in 2021. Poland will face opposition from France, Germany, Great Britain & NI, Italy, Spain and Ukraine as well as Portugal who secured promotion from the First League in 2019.
European Athletics CEO Christian Milz travelled to the region on Monday (16) to not only finalise the signing of the contract for next year’s European Athletics Team Championships but to further discuss the prospect of the Silesia region staging more major European Athletics events in the near future.
The recently renovated Slaski Stadium traditionally plays host to two of Poland’s most prestigious one-day meetings - the Janusz Kusocinski Memorial and the Kamila Skolimowska Memorial - and the stadium will also host next year’s World Athletics Relays on 1-2 May ahead of the European Athletics Team Championships Super League the following month.
The Silesia region just lost out to Rome on the race for the 2024 European Athletics Championships but impressed by the strength of the bid, the calibre of the facilities and the support for athletics in the region, Milz warmly encouraged the Silesia region to bid again for a future European Athletics Championships.
Milz said: “Recently, I had the opportunity to see a presentation of the Katowice-Silesia project which surprised me with how much this region has evolved and how dynamically it is developing in many areas, while maintaining its tradition.
“After arriving at the place, I also liked it very much and I am looking forward to the moment when I will return to Silesia in June next year.”
During his visit, Milz met with Marshal of the Silesian region Jakub Chełstowski, Deputy Marshal Wojciech Kałuża and Slaski Stadium President Jan Widera.
On the allocation of the 2021 European Athletics Team Championships, Chełstowski said: “This is more proof the potential of our stadium is appreciated by athletes and the people responsible for selecting the best venues for the competition. The European Athletics Team Championships at the Slaski Stadium will be an opportunity for the Silesian region.”
The European Athletics Team Championships First League will be held in Cluj-Napoca, Romania with the European Athletics Team Championships Second League now to be held in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria after Valmiera, Latvia pulled out.
The European Athletics Team Championships Third League is due to be held in Nicosia, Cyprus.