Following the successful and graceful cooperation of all parties including the respective Local Organising Committees, the SPAR European Cross Country Championships will now be held in Fingal-Dublin in 2021 and in Torino-La Mandria Park in 2022.
Fingal-Dublin was due to host next month’s event on 13 December but the event was cancelled in 2020 owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Having previously staged the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in 2009, the event will now take place in the Irish capital for the second time in 2021 at the Sport Ireland Campus on the outskirts of Dublin on 12 December.
Initially awarded the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships, Torino-La Mandria Park will now host the 2022 edition.
European Athletics Interim President Dobromir Karamarinov said: 'Unfortunately, Dublin was unable to host this year’s SPAR European Cross Country Championships this year but we would like to thank Torino-La Mandria for their cooperation to allow Dublin to stage next year’s event.
“Ireland and Italy both have a rich tradition in staging not only continental but also global cross country events so we are naturally delighted to reallocate the next two editions of the championships to two proud and passionate cross country running nations.”
Liam Hennessy, Chairman of the Fingal-Dublin 2021 Local Organising Committee, said: “We are delighted to be hosting the SPAR European Cross Country Championships for 2021 and we would like to thank European Athletics and FIDAL for their support in facilitating the event returning to Ireland next year.
“Covid-19 had resulted in the championships which were set to take place in Fingal, Dublin next month being cancelled, but we can now look forward to working with Fingal County Council, Sport Ireland and RTÃ‰ to ensure the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships scheduled for 12 December is a memorable occasion for both athletes and spectators.”
Maurizio Damilano, who is part of the Promotion Committee for the Torino-La Mandria 2022 SPAR European Cross Country Championships, said: “Together with the Piemonte Region and FIDAL, we have immediately accepted in the spirit of collaboration the request of European Athletics and the Dublin LOC to postpone our SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Torino-La Mandria Park to 2022
“In this difficult time throughout Europe, it seems important to us - with the sporting spirit that has always characterised Italian Athletics - to show our availability towards European Athletics and our friends in Dublin. We fully understand the efforts of those who continue working with great dedication for the support and growth of European Athletics.”
Italy will become the first country to have staged the SPAR European Cross Country Championships on four occasions after previous editions in Ferrara in 1998, San Giorgio su Legnano in 2006 and Chia in 2016.
The 2022 SPAR European Cross Country Championships will be held at the La Mandria Park, the second largest enclosed park in Europe. All seven races are due to finish in the courtyard of the La Mandria Castle.