European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen has congratulated Team Europe for a commanding victory at The Match Europe v USA in Minsk, Belarus on 9-10 September.
Team Europe had accrued a narrow lead of 12 points over the Americans after the first day of competition but eleven victories on day two took the hosts to a clear-cut winning margin - 724.5 to 601.5 points. Hansen commended Team Europe not only for their team effort but also the Americans for making the first chapter of The Match such a compelling spectacle.
“I would like to congratulate Team Europe on a fantastic victory at The Match and I would also like to pay tribute to Team USA who were great visitors and fought for every point right to the end,” said President Hansen.
“We brought not only a strong team to Minsk for the The Match but also a very diverse team. I was delighted that over 30 nations were represented on Team Europe which shows that athletics in Europe is in a very good place.
“Each and every one of them made a valuable contribution to the team and I warmly congratulate all of the athletes as well as the coaches, team officials and everyone else who made up our team,” Hansen added.
Hansen also warmly congratulated the Belarus Athletic Federation and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for their dedication in staging The Match which took place at the recently refurbished Dinamo National Olympic Stadium in the Belarusian capital.
“I also want to thank the Belarus Athletic Federation for their assiduous work in staging the first edition of The Match. We announced this concept in December and it has been a significant undertaking.
“Belarus has been a great supporter and a wonderful host of this competition and I am delighted that so many of the athletes - from Team Europe and Team USA - were enthusiastic about the concept but also so impressed by the quality of the facilities, organisation and hospitality in Minsk. I am sure the athletes will leave Minsk with only good memories,” he said.
President Hansen also wished Team Europe a very successful IAAF World Championships which begin in Doha at the end of the month.
“Team Europe won 17 events on the programme including nearly every field event on the second day. This bodes very well indeed and I wish all European athletes the very best of luck at the IAAF World Championships in Doha,” he said.