The 24th European Cross Country Championships 2017 will take place in the Slovak sports complex ELEMENTS RESORT in Čilistov, Šamorín. 12 members of the European athletics council voted for Slovakia's candidacy, while only 3 voted for the Irish one in Dublin. After the voting, the chairman of the Slovak athletics federation (SAZ) Peter Korčok signed the contract with EA president Arne Hansen about organizing the cross country championships.
The 15-minute final presentation of the Slovak candidacy at the EA council meeting in Frankfurt was presented by Chairman of SAZ Peter Korčok, Chairman of the Board of ELEMENTS RESORT Juraj Bača, Elena Malíková from the Ministry of Education, which is one of the ministerstva školstva, ktoré je jedným z guarantors of state support for ECCC 2017, world champion of 50km race walking, and two athletics managers, Alfons Juck and Pavel Pruša.
"Winning the candidacy is a great challenge, for the first time in history we have a chance to organize one of the European championships in athletics. For Slovak athletics, this is a massive opportunity for Slovak athletics to make our sport more popular and demonstrate that we are able to organize important events too," Peter Korčok declares. "I believe that the championships will serve as an impulse for our runners too, so that they can achieve a higher level and support youth work even more."
The most important athletics events that took place in Slovakia thusfar were the World Halfmarathon Championships in 1997 in Košice. Besides that, the European Cup in Race Walking took place in Dudince in 1998, 2001 and 2013, and Banská Bystrica hosted the team EC six times already in the years of 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2013.
"I think that a significant factor behind our victory was the perfectly mastered presentation in front of the members of the Board. There is a great amount of work with a whole team of people behind it and this is the result. The members of the Board were intrigued by what we showed them, hence they supported us and gave us a chance. A smart move was also to incorporate the current 50 km race walking champion Matej Tóth into our delegation - he definitely added more importance to our candidacy," Peter Korčok, the Chairman of SAZ denoted.
Korčok was not nervous before the voting. Instead, he felt a sense of responsibility, whether or not Slovakia will be able to take advantage of this opportunity. "We did everything possible in order to succeed. We thought about every single detail. And in the end, it was worth it. robili sme všetko, aby sme uspeli. Mysleli sme na každý detail. Oplatilo sa," zdôraznil Korčok.
The wolrd champion in race walking Matej Tóth also appealed to the members of the Board to consider Slovakia's candidacy. "In the final presentation, we all did a great job. When the members congratulated us after we were done, they all praised us for the presentation. They also accentuated my presence. I am glad that I was to help on our road to success in at least some way. Everything was prepared in such a flawless manner that we managed to persuade almost everyone," said Matej Tóth.
In relation to the successful candidacy, SAZ is already considering a special preparatory process for selected runners, in order to ensure that the event is as successful as possible for Slovakia from a sports point of view as well. "We already prepared a schedule for preparing our runners so that in two years, we will be able to fill up all the categories, especially the youth ones, and create powerful teams. We are thinking about joint preparations, combined training camps and more frequent presence on foreign cross country competitions. The one behind this program should be our main coach of running, Pavel Kováč, in cooperation with other coaches,“ the SAZ coach Martin Pupiš informs.
From the left: Elena Malíková, director of the Department of Education and International Affairs in Sport, Pavel Pruša a Alfonz Juck, athletic managers, Matej Tóth, current World Champion in race walking, Peter Korčok, chairman of the Slovak athletic federation and Juraj Bača, Chairman of the Board of ELEMENTS RESORT,a.s.
Proposal of the ECCC 2017 course in ELEMENTS RESORT.