📩 11/03/2023 12:43
European Athletics Association President Dobromir Karamarinov found Tuğba Danışmanz's home championship in the Triple Jump “touching” and saw Nafi Thiam's World Record in Pentathlon as the bright spot of the “Magnificent” European Indoor Athletics Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
Summarizing the matches that took place a month after the earthquakes in Turkey and neighboring Syria, in which thousands of people lost their lives and became homeless, Karamarinov said, “The championship took place in the shadow of the devastating earthquakes that took place in Turkey a month ago. Our first thought and priority was to commemorate and honor the victims of this natural tragedy.”
“At the same time, the Organizing Committee, the Turkish Athletics Federation and the Turkish public authorities did a fantastic job in organizing the Championship in very difficult conditions, despite having family and friends in the earthquake zone.”
“I would like to applaud everyone who contributed locally to the organization of this Championship at a very emotional time for Turkey for their personal dedication and say that the European Athletics Association will never forget the sacrifices they have made for our sport.”
“One of the most touching moments of the championship was when Turkey's own athlete Tuğba Danışmanz won the gold medal in the women's triple jump with a national record, but there were many exciting events during our time in Istanbul, most notably Belgian Nafissatou Thiam's 5055 points. It was his win in the penthatlon with the world record.”
Among the host athletes who were in the middle of such a trauma was Kayhan Özer in the men's 60m competition.
Two days before the February 6 earthquakes, Özer spoke to the European Athletics Association from Adana with a population of 160 million, which is about 1,7 km from the epicenter of the first earthquake, and said, "300 people (dead) and 25 buildings collapsed in Adana."
“My family went to the highland, they stay there because my sister is very afraid.”
“She doesn't want to go home.”
“Every family is like that.”
In the first week after the disaster, Ozer did not train and during this time he did not plan to compete in the Championship, but soon reconsidered.
"After the second week I said 'OK, I'm going back for the country, I'm going to run for my friends,' and now I feel better," she said.
In addition to Thiam's World Record, Poland's Adrianna Sulek surpassed the previous world record, breaking 3 Championship records, 4 world leader titles and 12 European leader titles, as well as 47 national records in the competition, in which 593 athletes from 39 countries participated.
Television audience data is still being compiled, but with 30 international broadcasters and European Athletics Association live streams available worldwide, it is expected to be comparable to the previous European Indoor Championships, while European Athletics Association social media channels are seeing record attendance numbers for this event.
The European Athletics Association said that one of the unforgettable memories of the championship was the solidarity and support of the athletes, member federations, spectators and international media against those who lost their lives in the earthquakes and the warmth of the Turkish people in the international competition despite these difficult conditions.
The next European Athletics Indoor Championships are scheduled for 6-9 March 2025 in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands.