European Triathlon president hails multi-sport European Championships

·2-min read
European Triathlon president hails multi-sport European Championships

By Andreas Schoinarakis in Munich

European Triathlon Union president Renato Bertrandi admits he was blown away by the booming success of the multi-sport European Championships at Munich’s iconic 1972 Olympic Park.

The 11-day bonanza brought together nine sports to conduct their championships under one umbrella in the German city.

Bertrandi is one of the biggest fans of this concept and loves that triathlon was part of that vision since day one.

He said: “Well, for us, this is impossible to match with a standard European Championship.

“This is the reason why since the beginning, ten years ago, we have been the first sport to sign in to the European Championship vision and idea.”

The Olympic Park was filled with triathlon fever over the three days of races with 100,000 people flooding the park's pathways and hills to watch the best European athletes in action.

European Triathlon Union vice president Chris Kitchen said before the start of the first race he urged volunteers to draw the people towards the triathlon finish line.

The main stand filled up in 20 minutes and on the second day and there were hoards of people outside the venue hoping for a seat.

Bertrandi added: “I know that the Germans are very enthusiastic about triathlons but something like that is absolutely amazing, exceeding really every expectation.

“The only similar crowd I have ever seen was during the Olympics in London.”

Bertrandi believes some of the benefits triathlon have received by being part of this concept include increased attendance, revenues and visibility.

“Triathlon is a fantastic sport and the people that watch it are automatically engaged with this because it's the best sport in the world,” he said.

“We had the possibility to be shown to millions of spectators.

“Those numbers are very, very difficult to reach without events like this.”

The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the German city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website