Berlin 2018: Markus Rehm ready to rule home Euros

Long jumper hopes next year's Championships will be best ever. 20 Aug 2017
three men celebrate with the flags of their countries

Markus Rehm (C) is excited at the prospect of a home European Championships at Berlin 2018.

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“I am already back in training and I’m really keen to show what I can do next year. The big motivation is on Berlin next year, definitely.”

Germany’s star long jumper Markus Rehm believes Berlin will live up to its reputation as one of the great hosts of world sport when the European Para Athletics Championships start in the city exactly one year from today (Sunday 20 August).

Berlin has a track record of delivering unforgettable sporting moments such as the 2006 football World Cup and the IAAF World Athletics Championships three years later.

Rehm says that the city can put on the best European Para Athletics Championships of all time.

“It’s going to be hard, Swansea 2014 was really great, I enjoyed competing there, but I think they are definitely going to try their best. Hopefully they will be the best yet,” said Rehm, who won long jump T44 European gold at Stadskanaal 2012, then Swansea 2014 and again in Grosseto last year.

Berlin 2018 will be Rehm’s fourth European Championships and he’ll be one of the star names in action, with more than 600 athletes from 40 countries expected to line up in the German capital.

Rehm won his fourth consecutive world title in London, Great Britain last month (July), adding to the two Paralympic gold medals already in his trophy cabinet.

While his winning jump at London 2017 was an impressive 8.00m, Rehm’s mark fell short of the world record 8.40m he leapt in 2015, and now the German is more determined than ever to put on a show for his home crowd.

“I couldn’t show what I was able to do this year, and I wasn’t happy about that to say the least,” explained Rehm.

“I am already back in training and I’m really keen to show what I can do next year. The big motivation is on Berlin next year, definitely.”

While Berlin has played host to the World Para Athletics Grand Prix series since 2013, next year’s European Championships, which take place at the Friedrich Ludwig Jahn Sportpark between 20-26 August, will be the biggest Para athletics event ever to take place in Germany.

“I think Germany needs an event like this,” said Rehm. “It’s a great chance to show that we can do a big variety of sports, not just football. We are a footballing nation and for kids and young athletes, it’s important to have more.

“We need events like this, we need big events. And I hope the European Championships next year can help show that we can do more.

“I remember when I started with the sport it was way smaller than it is now. It has improved a lot and people are getting interested; athletes are finding support from sponsors. We are growing, and that is really important for us and for our sport. But I think we can grow a bit more and I hope that the event next year will help with this.”

For more information on Berlin 2018 visit the official websites in English and German.