UNESCO European Athletics Young Leaders Community


The adventure called Belgrade 2017, Part two – European Indoor Championships are here…at last

Monday 20 March 2017

Here is the first day of the European Indoor Championships, Belgrade 2017. Although I still didn’t have my accreditation I was full of good vibes, took some tickets so I could go inside and catch the morning session. Once I got in the arena and took my place I felt the mood and the feeling was like something extraordinary is about to happen over the next couple of days. During the first starts, I noticed some of the cool things related to the venue and the way it is organised. The main things that caught my eyes were:

• The positioning of the tribunes – just an amazing place and it doesn’t matter where somebody is positioned, the view is nice from every angle;
• The actual track was on the exactly same level as the tribunes, which makes the spectators feel like a part of the competition, not only a visitor;
• The organisation of the different areas – clear signs, good navigation and easy to understand maps. And one of the coolest features – a lot of space, so everybody can feel more comfortable.

While I was watching the morning session and admiring the venue, the good news came, my accreditation was finally ready. It is funny because the delay was actually caused by a mistake of the Bulgarian passport authorities, but luckily for me everything was fine and it was a time to get back to business. Well, I took my accreditation, started to get more familiar with the place, then a few quick calls to tell everybody that I was ready and suddenly it was already a time for the Opening ceremony, where the Serbian public stand out with a huge Serbian flag covering a few sections of the arena under the celebrating music. Just a picture that has its place in everybody’s mind. Afterwards the fireworks were fired and the championship was officially opened.

It was time for work now, so we started to do our stuff – taking shots, talking a lot, watching and trying to catch everything and keeping our thumbs up, so Bulgaria can take a medal from the Women’s Shot-put – which actually happened and was an occasion for a lot of joy due to the Silver medal won by Radoslava Mavrodieva. Not so long after that more good news arrived, some more Bulgarians managed to go through the qualifications and gained some places in the finals. After the end of the afternoon session it was already clear that this championship is not only promising, but will show the best out of its sleeves very soon.

And yes, that was exactly what happened on the second day, as many athletes stepped up and showed us their best. Firstly, when the qualification of the high jump men ended and Tihomir Ivanov got its place for the finals, and then secondly the qualification of Ivana Spanovic, that jump right above 7m which looked more like a short flight.

During that day, there were more surprises like the gold medal of Izmir Smajlaj who had the same result as the silver medalist Michel Torneus, and the first position was taken only because of the more successful attempts of Izmir. Because of all of the things which happened that day we were on the phones and sending continuous emails about what was happening and sending some details about the funny things with the large amount of false starts on the 60m and 60m hurdles, and then there was the 60m Men final, which turned out to be so surprising at the end, that nobody had expected.

So, the second day of the championship was really interesting, full of emotions and expectations, and at the same time a bit exhausting, but definitely not in the bad way and still there was more to come. Nobody had any idea what the final day had to give to us and what will happen then, we all were so smitten by everything we saw so far that we didn’t even think about what was going to happen in the upcoming Sunday.


Please Login (or Sign Up) to leave a comment