Altogether, some 29,000 spectators watched a thrilling international contest. Amid glorious weather, the men’s team from the German Athletics Association missed out on victory by a hair’s breadth, while the women finished third.
Jürgen Mallow, chief coach for the German Athletics Association (DLV), really enjoyed himself last weekend at the European Cup in Munich, even if the result wasn't quite the overall victory the men's team had been hoping for. “It was a fantastic event,” he affirmed.
Moreover: “That’s how exciting athletics can be. So thrilling, so dramatic,” he said, referring to the very close finish, where the French took the lead thanks to their higher number of second places despite having the same number of points and individual wins. “We came a happy and contented second. The ideal goal, for the men’s team to win, didn’t happen. But we’ll be celebrating anyway.”
Jürgen Mallow highlighted the “men’s team result that was so clearly jointly achieved”. The men achieved 15 first to third places, while the women's team, which came in third, deserved no less praise: “They certainly didn’t disappoint us.”
All in all, there had nevertheless been a German team there to “fight with spirit for the European Cup stir up excitement among the spectators." He preferred not to highlight individual athletes’ achievements.
There was satisfaction at the end of the two-day event for the association's leaders, too. DLV President Dr. Clemens Prokop had watched a “fantastic weekend”, which he believed was a “very positive advertisement for athletics”. Hansjörg Wirz, who heads the European Association, stated: “I hope we will be able to bring athletics back again to Munich and then enjoy a full Olympic Stadium.”
Appraisal by Olympic park boss Wilfrid Spronk
Even though spectator numbers at last weekend’s European Cup in Munich had fallen short of expectations, Wilfrid Spronk, Managing Director of Olympiapark München GmbH, regarded the event in the city’s historic Olympic stadium as very positive.
“The fantastic atmosphere was very encouraging," he pointed out. "A lot of athletes and athletics enthusiasts were there. It was a particular highlight for the Olympic park venue. The stadium really showed off its star qualities."
On the Sunday evening, Wilfrid Spronk was still at a loss to explain why only 29,000 spectators had attended the European Cup: “We had expected more feedback after a widespread promotional campaign. We’re really not sure why it didn’t work out.”
At the present time, there are no definite dates for the top-class athletics event to return to Munich's Olympic stadium. Nevertheless, the teams are working hard to bring it back, reported Wilfrid Spronk: “The association’s representatives have made me realise that the tradition of athletics must in Munich must be continued. We’ll be looking into this in future.”
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