Slobodan Brankovic about organization of EICH 2017
13.02.2017, 11:14h

Slobodan Branković, former athlete, record holder, national team member. Now General Secretary of the Athletic federation of Serbia and the Director of the Local Organizing Committee. What is the main connection between the two functions of one personality?

  1. I am a former athlete and ational team member but I am still the record holder. The main connection is the sport of athletics. The most important aspect of it is the possibility to perform my duties. There is a common phrase that goes with a pinch of romance: every journalist has to pass through mailroom, over the reporter position to eventually become the editor… It was exactly my case when it comes to this sport.

As an athlete you competed on one side and as a functionary you ‘compete’ on the other. How much does your demanding position benefit from the experience of an athlete?

  1. I felt that need of having better training conditions in both my club and the National Team. It should have been invested in much more, even though it is a basic sport. I still feel like it now, but this time it is me that takes care of it in many ways. I do as much as I can and I constantly ask myself whether I could have done more.

Do you find it easier to understand the needs and requirements of today’s elite athletes?

  1. Of course, but I feel that the whole situation is better now. The elite sport is being invested in, perhaps not as much as it should, but it is. It goes without saying that I find it easier to find the common grounds with the athletes because I understand their demands and needs…

The conditions in which you trained athletics back in the day compared with the present ones?

  1. Athletics progressed a lot. Ways of training, preparations, fitness, experts that support the athletes…teams are at play and nothing is left unattended. The science took over every aspect of training.

What are the basic conditions of doing sports, especially athletics?

  1. First of all, physical predisposition, willingness, dedication to sport followed by the outer factors like coaches, teamwork and financial situation.

Serbia is soon facing the biggest challenge both in organization and competition. What are the first impressions? Can we fulfill all demands and ‘harvest’ medals before the home crowd?

  1. No doubt as far as the organization is concerned. We have proved our worth many times over. Kombank Arena will be ready and the infield perfectly designed and I am sure Belgrade itself will shine for all the guests to see. Medals will be won as well. We have exceptional contenders so I am sure that the competition will be excellent.

Maybe it is too early, but what is your prognosis about the number of medals for Serbia?

  1. It is really difficult to predict for Belgrade will host a great number of elite athletes with only one goal – to be the best. We have our own aces and I count on them.

Are the preparations going as planned and are they financially covered?

  1. Everything is going as planned. The funds are secured and distributed so there is no confusion there either. It is now up to athletes to give their best to prepare and to show it.

What kind of support did the Government of Serbia give to this grandiose manifestation?

  1. The Government of Serbia supports us through the Ministry of Youth and Sports by financing the organization of this event. The City of Belgrade also provides enormous support and donations in order to help us organize the Championships at the highest possible level so I am sure it will pass with flying colors.