Victory of the heart

BRATISLAVA, May 15, 2017  – Excactly twenty years since the world half marathon championships in Košice, which are being considered as one of the best in the history by the IAAF, Slovak Republic will have the next chance to welcome the top world runners. The candidacy of Šamorín for the European Cross Country Championships 2017 became successful by beating Dublin in the EA council members poll on 9 November 2015.

At the meeting in Frankfurt, 12 of 15 members of the EA Council voted for the organisation of the 24th  European Cross Country Championships in 2017 for the sports complex x-bionic® sphere in Šamorín. Only three raised their hands for the favoured Irish Dublin. The running festival will take place on Sunday 10 December 2017.

„For the first time in the history we gained the chance to organise some of the major European athletic events. It is a big challenge for the whole Slovak athletics and it is also a big chance to prove that we are able to organise major events here,” reacted the president of the Slovak Athletic Federation Peter Korčok. “There was the team of eleven people working at the presentation for a couple of months. We managed it well, we answered all the question without hesitation. The things we showed to the council members were considered so interesting that they gave us the chance. They said the felt the strong aspiration to get this event for Slovakia.”

The evaluating committee of the European Athletics (EA) praised the sport complex in Šamorín in September 2015. Despite this fact, they recommended to the Slovak Athletic federation to not to take part within the candidacy in 2017 but the year later. However, the Slovak representatives did not quit.

 Majstrovstvá Slovenska v cezpoľnom behu, 16.11.2016, x-bionic sphere Šamorín, FOTO: Pavol Uhrin

Majstrovstvá Slovenska v cezpoľnom behu, 16.11.2016, x-bionic sphere Šamorín, FOTO: P. UHRIN

Author of the candidacy idea of Šamorín was the athletic fan, businessman and philanthropist Ladislav Asványi. It was less than a year since his initial idea of the candidacy. „We just presented the reality. We played the clean and fair play with the council members, we did not exaggerate anything,“ expressed Asványi. „We all consulted in advance.“
Peter Korčok as well as the director of the  x-bionic® sphere Juraj Bača emphasized the role of the race walk world champion from Beijing 2015 (he was not the Olympic champion at the time yet) Matej Tóth in the last 15minute presentation before the voting.

„We offered the concrete and real facts but Matej´s input was the humanity and his successful story. That was maybe the strongest point,” added Bača.

“I presented that I will be the ambassador of the event and that I will run the open public race which will be the part of the championships program,” described his performance in Frankfurt Tóth.

Organisers of the ECh 2017 with the expected budget of 750 000 Eur know well that the victory over Dubliun was just a beginning. „We are very glad for this success but we are only at the starting line. We feel like we won a qualification but there will be the final in two years,” said Juraj Bača. (gb)

Athletic championships in Slovakia

  • World Half Marathon Championships (KOŠICE): 1997
  • European Cross Country Championships (ČILISTOV/ ŠAMORÍN): 2017
  • European Race Walking Cup (DUDINCE): 1998, 2001, 2013
  • European Team Championships (BANSKÁ BYSTRICA): 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2013 (championships of lower categories)