Official EIC 2017 press conference
03.03.2017, 09:00h

Today in the Belgrade City Assembly, there was the official media conference a day before the athletics spectacle in the Kombank Arena – European Indoor Championships (3-5 March 2017).

The European Championships is going to last 3 days; the start is tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. while the opening ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. Belgrade hotels are full of sportspeople and tourists from the whole Europe. During these three days, 800 competitors will participate in 24 disciplines. Out of 12 Serbian athletes, eight are performing the very first day.

At the conference, there were:

- President of the European Athletics Federation Svein Arne Hansen,

- General Director of the European Athletics Federation Christian Milz ,

- Belgrade Mayor Siniša Mali,

- President of the EIC Belgrade 2017 Local Organisational Committee Slobodan Branković, and

- President of the Athletics Federation of Serbia Veselin Jevrosimović,

as well as some of the stars of the athletics championships:

 - Olympic champion in heptathlon, Belgium’s Nafissatou “Nafi” Thiam,

- Reigning European indoor and outdoor champion in long jump, the best Serbian female athlete ever Ivana Španović,

-Reigning European indoor champion in 60m sprint, Britain’s Richard Kilty,

- European champion in shot put (Indoor 2013), Asmir Kolašinac,

- Heptathlon bronze medalist from the European Indoor Championships 2013, Serbia’s Mihail Dudaš.


“Welcome to the 34th edition of the European Athletics Indoor Championships. After the European Championships, this is the biggest competition in our calendar, and Serbia is the 14th country to host this event. Belgrade already has an important place in the history of European athletics after organising the European Athletics Games in 1969 at the Belgrade Fair. It is a great pleasure to be here today and see so many good athletes from Europe, Olympic and world champions. I must say that this is one of the best arenas I have ever seen. I would like to thank you all for coming here, to our host the Athletics Federation of Serbia and to our sponsor SPAR for their support. I wish you the best of luck and can hardly wait for the competitions to begin.”

The Mayor of Belgrade Siniša Mali thanked the European Athletics Federation for the confidence and trust – The City of Belgrade is going to be a host to the best athletes of Europe and thousands of tourists visiting the city. The small hall of the Kombank Arena is for the first time functional, and after the event it will be used by young sportspeople. We are proud to have made the Arena so representative. All those who come here will be satisfied with the atmosphere. I am using this opportunity once again to call citizens to come and support our athletes.

President of the Athletics Federation of Serbia Veselin Jevrosimović thanked the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Youth and Sports, the city of Belgrade and all sponsors headed by the general sponsor Telekom Serbia who all supported and helped the organisation of such a big event. – When I said to Mr. Hansen and the people from EAF, 2 years ago in Prague, that this was going to be one of the best championships ever, they were a little bit suspicious. Now all the suspicions are gone. We did a great job. The European Athletics Indoor Championships is the biggest competition in individual sports ever held in the country. There are 800 athletes, 2500 people accompanying them, 650 accredited media representatives, 450 volunteers, and 300 security guards. This was a major project regarding complexity and some technologies will be applied here for the first time – said Jevrosimović.

LOC President Slobodan Branković pointed out that all the hotels in Belgrade are full – Today is the rehearsal of the competition and I hope that tomorrow at 9:30 a.m., when the first race starts, everything will follow the plan we have been preparing for the last two years. I am sure that everybody will leave our city with the best possible memories.

CEO of the EAF, Christian Milz, said that, if anyone has any doubts about the venue, it is enough for them to come to the Arena to see that everything has been already prepared. He also announced a special anti-doping programme aiming at the clean athletics in the future.

The Serbian athletes pointed out that the full Kombank Arena will not make them stressed.

“I’ve been preparing to attack the throne and defend the European indoor champion title from the last year. There’s no room for pressure; I am prepared for a jump over 7 meters and I’m sure I’ll do my best,” said Ivana Španović.

“We will be surrounded by home audience, they will cheer for us and there can be no bigger motivation than to prove ourselves in front of the people who mean a lot to us. The competition is extremely strong. I know they’re in good form, but I’m too,” said Dudaš.

“I created my own pressure for myself. This is my third EIC and, hopefully, my third medal. A shot over 21 m is going to bring a medal and I’m ready to throw that far. It’ll be tough, but I count on the support from the stands.” said Kolašinac.