European Athletics President’s Welcome Message
I am very pleased to welcome everyone to Jerusalem and the European Athletics U20 Championships.
This is the 27th edition of these championships, which is one of the oldest continental age group events in the world for our sport and can date its origins back more than half a century.
It has historically provided a crystal ball into the future of our sport and a myriad of gold medallists at these championships over the past 53 years have gone on to become Olympic, world and European champions.
It is also worth noting that many athletes who did not stand on the podium as U20 athletes built upon their experience of competing in these championships to become world-class athletes later in this career.
Consequently, it almost goes without saying that the European Athletics U20 Championships are a crucial milestone in the development of our continent’s star names of the future, and it has a special place in the European Athletics calendar.
After expanding on the importance of the championships in general I would like to turn my attention to the Jerusalem 2023 local organisers.
Twelve months ago, this iconic and historic city were magnificent hosts the 2022 European Athletics U18 Championships, and European Athletics is hugely impressed by the Israeli Athletics Association’s enthusiasm and commitment in taking on the organisation of another of European Athletics’ most important events in such a short space of time.
Last year’s championships were a feast of athletics with some outstanding performances and there will many competitors from last year who will returning with fond memories of coming to Jerusalem and the Givat Ram Stadium to once again try to make an impression on the continental stage.
It will be very interesting to see how far those athletes have progressed in the intervening period between the two championships.
As I said in my welcome message to the U18 Championships, although realistically, it may be too soon for winners here in Jerusalem to also climb onto the podium at the World Athletics Championships later this summer, I would not be surprised if a few of the winners here are among the medallists at the Rome 2024 European Athletics Championships.
To conclude, I would also like to offer again a big thank you on behalf of European Athletics to the Israeli Athletics Association, the Jerusalem 2023 Local Organising Committee, the city of Jerusalem as well as all the other host institutions, partners, officials and volunteers.
I would like to wish everyone an enjoyable and memorable four days of competition.
European Athletics President