Rome wins race to host athletics showpiece

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Italy 2024 European Athletic Championships in Rome Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

Rome (Italy) has landed hosting rights to the 2024 European Athletics Championships, with the majority of the event set to be staged at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Stadio Olimpico is the main and largest sports facility of Rome, Italy. It is located within the Foro Italico sports complex, north of the City.

The European Athletics Championships is a biennial (from 2010) athletics event organized by the European Athletics Association. First held in 1934 in Turin (Italy), the Championships have taken place every four years, with a few exceptions.

The Italian capital saw off competition from Katowice-Silesia (Poland) to win the backing of the European Athletics Council at its meeting held on November 10th. The 2024 Championships will be the third time Italy has staged the now-biennial event after Turin held the inaugural edition in 1934, followed by Rome in 1974. It will also be the first major athletics competition to be held in the Italian capital since the 1987 World Athletics Championships.

The Stadio Olimpico played host to the 1974 European Championships and 1987 World Athletics Championships, as well as the 1960 Olympic Games. Spruced up in 1990 for Italy’s staging of that year’s FIFA World Cup™, the Stadio Olimpico, which also hosts the annual Diamond League athletics meet, packs in a crowd of 70,000.

The Olimpico was at the heart of bid plans submitted by the Italian Athletics Federation (FIDAL) in February. The Colosseum (amphitheatre in Rome) has been proposed to stage shot put events, race walking will be staged alongside the ancient Baths of Caracalla after starting from the Arch of Constantine, while the half-marathon would start and finish in front of the Vatican – an enclave within Rome.

Following the announcement, European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov stated, “We are very pleased to announce that Rome will be hosting the 2024 European Athletics Championships and we would like to thank Katowice-Silesia for their excellent bid as well. Italy has already demonstrated they are capable of staging excellent athletics championships across all age groups and I am sure that athletes and fans alike will look forward to travelling to Rome in 2024.”

The European Athletics Championships were last held in Berlin (Germany) in 2018 as part of the inaugural multisport European Championships in Glasgow (UK) and the German capital. This year’s edition of the European Athletics Championships was due to be staged in Paris (France) from August 25th-30th only for the event to be canceled in April due to COVID-19 havoc the world over.

Ahead of Rome 2024, the European Athletics Championships will again form part of the European Championships when its second edition is held in Munich (Germany) in 2022.

Meanwhile, the European Athletics Council has allocated the 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships to Istanbul, Turkey. This is the first time Turkey has been awarded a major European athletics event, although Istanbul did host the 2012 World Indoor Championships.

The 2023 European Athletics Indoor Championships will be held in the Atakoy Athletics Arena, a 7000-seat facility which was built keeping in mind the 2012 World Indoor Championships. The 2021 European Athletics Indoor Championships are due to take place in Torun, Poland, from March 5th-7th.

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