Karamarinov: Athletics programme reaping rewards of multi-sport European Championships

For the second edition in 2022, the multi-sport event brings together the existing championships of the continent’s leading sports to create a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the champions of Europe
For the second edition in 2022, the multi-sport event brings together the existing championships of the continent’s leading sports to create a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the champions of Europe

By Will Jennings in Munich

Munich's unique atmosphere and the innovative nature of the multi-sport European Championships functions as the perfect precursor for this week’s athletics programme, according to European Athletics president Dobromir Karamarinov.

For the second edition in 2022, the multi-sport event brings together the existing championships of the continent’s leading sports to create a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the champions of Europe.

The European Championships builds the prestige and profile of the individual championships by uniting them every four years, with this year’s event being held at Munich’s storied 1972 Olympic Park to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the city hosting the Games back in 1972.

Artistic gymnastics, cycling, rowing, beach volleyball, canoe sprint, sport climbing, table tennis and triathlon all feature while the prestigious athletics event kicks off at the Olympic Stadium on Monday morning.

And Karamarinov has loved getting a taste of the atmosphere and enjoying the benefits the European Athletics Championships can reap from the multi-sport event.

He said: “I’ve been trying to watch as many of the other sports as possible – in general, I am a big fan of sports overall.

“I like this multi-sport concept and it brings us benefits.

“The atmosphere in Germany is always really great.

“I remember watching the 1972 Olympics on TV, and I was also here for the 2002 European Athletics Championships - it is always a great crowd.

“I always appreciate being here and I think we have a very big championship ahead of us.”

"After the event we will very carefully study the concept in our Council, but of course we will be happy if we can continue together with some kind of multi-sports format.’’

Karamarinov’s comment represents a shift in position by European Athletics, which had previously communicated it planned on reverting to a standalone championships in 2026.

The multi-sport European Championships has once again provided a huge boost to the pre-event broadcast plans for the European Athletics Championships programme, with 1,525 hours set to be broadcast on a live or delayed basis across Europe from Munich.

This is a massive 69-percent increase on the intentions for the last standalone European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam in 2016 - in the Olympic year - and an almost 30-percent increase on the 1,180 hours of intentions for the standalone Zurich 2014 European Athletics Championships.

British Athletics has selected its largest squad of all-time for a European Championships with more than 110 athletes set to don the GB vest over the next week in Munich.

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The team is headlined by newly crowned 1500m world champion Jake Wightman – who will contest the 800m after his Commonwealth bronze – while 400m ace Matt Hudson-Smith and female stars Dina Asher-Smith, Daryll Neita, Laura Muir and Kelly Hodgkinson will also feature.

Karamarinov is relishing the prospect of such a star-studded field and believes the profile of the athletes who have travelled speaks volumes about the prestige of the event.

“To have all these world champions here after the World Championships is amazing,” he added.

“Ιt means that for them, being a European champion has a big value and as European Athletics, we really appreciate that.”

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 Germany city. Watch daily live coverage across BBC One, Two, Red Button, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website