Berlin 2018: A European Championships history

A lookback at key moments from the previous five editions 23 Jul 2018 By IPC

Berlin 2018 will be the sixth edition of the European Championships, with around 600 athletes from 39 countries set compete between 20 and 26 August at the city’s Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark. Here is a reminder of some of the highlights from previous years.

Grosseto 2016

The last time the European Championships took place was in June 2016, less than three months before the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

A phenomenal 25 world records were broken, with three new records going the way of T37 sprinter Georgie Hermitage. The Briton led the way in the women’s 100m T37, 200m T37 and 400m T38 and was part of the winning quartet in the women’s 4x100m T35-38.

Fellow Briton David Weir won four individual titles in the men’s T54 class, while Jonnie Peacock saw off Germany’s Felix Streng to win the men’s 100m T44.

Seventeen of the world records broken in Grosseto took place out in the field - Denmark’s Daniel Wagner leapt 6.70m in the long jump T42; Ireland’s young teenager Noelle Lenihan threw 32.14m in the women’s discus F38 and Poland’s Ewa Durska reached 14.10m in the women’s shot put F20.

Swansea 2014

Seven world and 14 European records were set at Swansea 2014 - a competition which placed legacy at the heart of its planning.

French star Marie-Amelie le Fur was one of those in record-breaking form, taking more than one second off her previous best in the 400m T44 with a time of 1:01.41.

Swiss wheelchair racer Manuela Schaer claimed no fewer than four gold medals, winning every event she took part in, from the 400m up to the 5,000m T54. Teammate Marcel Hug wasn’t far behind – he won the men’s 800m, 1,500m and 5,000m T54 as well as 400m T54 bronze - losing out to Dutchman Kenny van Weeghel over one lap.

Local schoolgirl Molly Hopkins became the face of the event when she travelled to Berlin, Germany, to train with Dutch world and Paralympic champion Marlou van Rhijn before the competition got underway – van Rhijn went on to clinch 100m and 200m T44 gold as well as 400m T44 bronze behind le Fur.

Stadskanaal 2012

The 2012 European Championships took place less two months before the London 2012 Paralympic Games in Stadskannal, the Netherlands.

Nearly 500 athletes from 40 countries took part, with 13 world records broken over the course of the competition.

Amongst those re-writing the history books were Briton Richard Whitehead, who clocked 24.93 seconds in the men’s 200m T42. Whitehead went on to lower that time even further when he won Paralympic gold at London 2012.

Four world records went Ukraine’s way – Dmytro Ibragimov threw 15.46m in the shot put F46, Inna Stryzhak leapt 4.96m in the women’s long jump T38 and Mariia Pomazan scored a golden double thanks to throws of 11.34m in the women’s shot put F35/36 and 28.88m in the javelin F35/36.

Espoo 2005

The second edition of the event took place in Finland in August 2005, with the then IPC President Sir Philip Craven and Finnish President Tarja Halonen in attendance.

More than 700 Para athletes took part in the week-long competition which saw 12 world and 20 European records fall.

Gold medallists included Spain’s David Casinos, who saw off Austrian Bil Marinkovic to win the men’s discus F11, while Danish thrower Jackie Christiansen beat Germany’s Jorg Frischmann to gold in the shot put F44.

On the track, Leo-Pekka Tahti scored a win for the host nation in the 100m T54; Irishman Jason Smyth won the sprint double in the men’s T13 class; Frenchwoman Assia El Hannouni won 200m, 400m and 800m T12 gold; Briton Robert Matthews took gold in the men’s 5,000m T11 ahead of Portugal’s Nuno Alves and Dame Tanni Grey-Thomson added to British successes with wins in the women’s 100m, 200m and 400m T34/53.

Assen 2003

The first European Championships took place in Assen, Netherlands in June 2003.The competition opened with a spectacular ceremony involving parachutists, motorbike riders, music corps, dancers and a theatre group performing in front of nearly 3,000 spectators.

Nearly 700 Para athletes took part, and 46 world and 29 European records were broken throughout the week.

France finished top of the medal table with 15 golds, while Germany had the most medals overall with 53.

Top performers included Belarussian Tamara Sivakova, who set new world records in the shot put and discus F12, whilst the Netherlands’ Marijke Mettes set a new Pentathlon world record.