European Athletics U20 Championships get special permission from Estonian govt

  • 2021-05-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The government has given a special permission to the Estonian Athletics Association to stage the European Athletics U20 Championships at Kadriorg Stadium in Tallinn from June 15-18 this year.

Estonia might also host the 2021 U23 European Championships, a week before the U20 event, in accordance with an application filed earlier this week that is about to be handled by the government at the earliest opportunity. 

The Estonian Athletics Association on Thursday described the championships as important events on the international athletics scene which, given the current restrictions, cannot be organized at a high level without a special permission. The U20 competition will bring to Estonia around 1,500 participants and people linked to the organization of the event from 48 European countries. At the U20 European Championships, Estonia will be represented by a nearly 40-strong youth team.

"That international competitions take place is particularly important for the age groups of young people. Major competitions ignite the passion in young people who have trained under conditions of restrictions for a long time and help to maintain their motivation to engage in sport at the highest level," Erich Teigamagi, president of the Estonian Athletics Association, said.

Teigamagi said that registration for the U20 championships has taken place already and it has demonstrated that interest towards the competition is higher than expected. 

"The number of first registrations is 10 percent higher than usual for athletes in this age group. This shows how important the opportunity to compete is for young athletes from all over Europe. Many of the competitions have been on hold or canceled for a long time, so we thank the Estonian government for giving us permission to bring title competitions to the local stadium after a long time," he said.

The president of the Estonian Athletics Association said that during the competition all valid rules will be observed in close cooperation with the Health Board. 

"European Athletics has established strict rules of procedure and codes of conduct that we follow when organizing and conducting sports events. In addition, the Estonian Athletics Association, in cooperation with the European governing organization, will set out a COVID-19 hygiene and sanitary protocol for the safe organization of the competitions. Among other things, we have set up a medical working group made up of international experts under the auspices of the organizing committee," Teigamagi said.

Live TV coverage of the competitions will be provided by ERR and European Athletics. Whether or not spectators will be allowed to the stadium is subject to the national restrictions in force at the time of the competition and the decision of the Health Board. The organizers will inform about the possibilities through public channels.

The official international partners of the European Athletics U20 Championships in Tallinn are  Spar and Le Gruyere, the broadcasting partner is Eurovision and the official cooperation partner is Mondo. The sponsors of the competition are Audi, Cramo, Kalev, NIKE, Postimees, Tradehouse, Utilitas and Varska Vesi, and the event is supported by the Estonian Ministry of Culture and the City of Tallinn.