Svein Arne Hansen on Europe vs USA
SVEIN ARNE HANSEN is predicting “a match for the history books” when the newly-announced Europe v USA meeting takes place next September at the redeveloped Dinamo Stadium in Minsk, writes
The European Athletics president is confident the prize money on offer will attract the big names to an event which will be staged on September 9-10, just over two weeks ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Doha.
The official announcement came just a few days ago but eagle-eyed readers of AW’s Dip
Finish will remember we ran an exclusive story about the new event in our October 4 issue.
Further details have emerged now and every track discipline up to 3000m for men and women, excluding the 4x400m, will be included in the Ryder Cup-style showpiece – as will all throws, jumps and the 4x100m.
There will be also be a mixed medley relay, consisting of 200m-200m-400m-800m, with one woman and one man running 200m in the order defined by each team, then a woman at 400m and a man at 800m. The inclusion of this event is due to the appearance of a mixed 4x400m relay on the Olympic schedule for 2020.
Four athletes from each continent will compete for prize money in every event. Seventh and eighth place in each individual event will receive €500, with the pot increasing by position up to €7000 for each winner.
Winning relay teams will collect €6000 to share between the athletes, while second and third placed teams receive €4000 and €2000 respectively.
The intention is for the staging of the match to alternate between Europe and America in future years, while the European Team Championships in August will be used to pick a Europe team which will include at least 10 athletes from the host nation Belarus.
Hansen has been the driving force behind this event and, with few major outdoor athletics showpieces on the continent in 2019, set about adding what he hopes will be a popular fixture to the calendar.
“We found out that, almost 50 years ago, in 1969 it was the last match between USA and Europe in Minsk,” he said. “So I presented the idea to the Belarus federation and they were eager at once.
“I think it will be a match for the history books. The (200m) world champion Ramil Guliyev will come, I have talked to the Norwegians and they will come, as well as people like
Dina Asher-Smith. The USA are happy, too.”
He added: “It looks like people want matches between nations. They want to see their flag.”
The Dinamo Stadium in Minsk will host the Europe v USA match