Šamorín or Dublin?
A town in the south of Slovakia with the population of thirteen thousand or a half million Irish metropolis? The fight for hosting the best enduring athletes in 2017 is coming to its end. The verdict will be given 9th November in Frankfurt. A great influence on the decision of who will welcome the 2017 Cross European Championship will have the results of the evaluation commission. The potential venue of the championship in ELEMENS RESORT Šamorín was visited by the commission last week.
‘We were astonished by what we’ve seen in ELEMENTS RESORT in Šamoríne videli. The complex for a whole scale of sports is unique with great infrastructure indeed. Komplex pre celú škálu športov je naozaj unikátny s vynikajúcou infraštruktúrou,“ emphasized Pierre Weiss, chief of the European Athletics (EA) evaluation commission, when interviewev by Sport. “The track is situated on a typical racecourse, it will be necessary to customized it to suit cross. The surroundings are perfect for the races. Basically this place is already ready for the European Championships or even the World Tournament! ‘ Pierre Weiss couldn’t and didn’t want to comment the chances of Šamorín to host the 2017 championships. ‘We have only just begun visiting the potential candidates – Šamorín was the first, we’re in Dublin at the end of the week. Only then will we have a clearear idea of who has the better offer,’ summarized the 68 years old French, former general director (1991-2006) and the former general secretary (2006-2011) of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), currently representing EA. ‘Neither me, nor my colleague Céline Mendes aren’t selecting the place of event. A key point for the Šamorín candidature is to convince the members of the commission of European Athletics 9th November in Frankfurt in a fifteen minute presentation that they offer a better project than Dublin. ‘
According to the chairman of the Slovak Athletics Federation Peter Korčokcross is the most accessible European championship considering financing and organisation. ‘Around 500 runners compete in single-day races and the overall amount of acreditations does not exceed 1500. This kind of event would be a great promotion for Slovakia, Šamorín and ELEMENTS RESORT, ‘ remarked Korčok.
The Cross championship is after the European Championship under the wide blue sky and the hall Champtionship the third most lucrative EA event. ‘The Cross European Champtionships have an important place in the continental race calendar. They are held in December, an athletic blindspot, so thanks to crass athletics are again in the limelight of interest,’ said Peirre Weiss.
Adding the Cross European Championships to the EA calendar in 1994 was also related with the growing dominance of African runners on various championships and commercial meetings. The Europeans gradually lost their motivation, a number of the best endurance athletes and the quality of their performance was falling. Pier Weiss added: ‘We’re trying to give the Europeans the possibility to enjoy the feeling of victory in long-distance races. That’s why beside the Cross championships we annually organise the 10 000 m European Cup and for the first time in history we added half-maraton to the next year’s European Championships in Amsterdam, what I consider a good idea. We’ll see the feedback.’