Bydgoszcz 2021: Looking back at the Euros

Poland will host the European Para Athletics Championships for the first time from 1 to 5 June 21 Feb 2021 By World Para Athletics

The seventh edition of the European Para Athletics Championships will kick off in Bydgoszcz in 100 days from now with the Polish city set to host 600 athletes from over 35 nations. 

June will also mark 18 years since the first Euros took place in Assen, Netherlands. 

Time to go back in time and look at the each of the previous editions.

Assen 2003

The Dutch city was home to the opening Euros from 15 to 21 June with nearly 700 participants. France topped the medals table with 15 golds, but it was Germany that had the most overall medals with 53.

Annette Roozen became the hosts’ first European champion in the women’s 100m T42. Belarus’ Tamara Sivakova was one of the top performers, setting new world records in the women’s shot put F12 and women’s discus throw F12.

Espoo 2005

Finland hosted edition number two in 2005, this time as the European Open Championships including 13 nations from outside Europe and a total of 715 athletes.

The Euros marked the international debut of one of Para athletics’ greatest superstars, Ireland’s Jason Smyth. The sprinter set two Championships records in the men’s 100m and 200m T13 only broken by himself 13 years later in Berlin.

Stadskanaal 2012

After a seven-year hiatus, the Euros returned and once again took place in the Netherlands with nearly 500 athletes from 40 countries.

During four days, Stadskanaal saw in action some of the names who would amaze the world just two months later at the London Paralympics, such as Great Britain’s Richard Whitehead, Germany’s Markus Rehm and home idol Marlou van Rhijn

Russia finished atop the medals table with 29 golds and 76 overall medals. Poland’s Barbara Bieganowska set a world record in the women’s 1500m T20  still stands.



Swansea 2014

The biggest Para sport in Great Britain since the London 2012 Games, the six-day Euros gathered 550 athletes from 37 nations.

Russia again finished first in the medals table with 41 gold medals and 88 podiums. France’s Marie-Amelie Le Fur was responsible for one of the seven new world records established in Wales in the women’s 400m.



Grosseto 2016

The European Championships moved to Italy for the first time, and once again served as preparations for the Paralympic Games just three months later in Rio.

Impressive 25 world records were set at the Carlo Zecchini Stadium with Great Britain’s Georgina Hermitage responsible for two of them, in the women’s 200m and women’s 400m T37.

Hermitage also won the 100m T37 and took another gold medal in the women’s 4x100m relay T35-T38.



Berlin 2018

The German capital hosted the last edition of the European Championships three years ago at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark.

Poland topped the medal standings for the first time (26 golds, 61 overall). Polish athletes also set six out of the 15 world records achieved in seven days of competition. 

Germany’s Markus Rehm delighted the home fans breaking his own men’s long jump T64 world record by one centimetre – a mark he will try to beat in June in Poland before travelling to Japan in search of his fourth Paralympic gold.

More information about previous European Championships can be found here.

You can follow all the stars of Bydgoszcz 2021 and all the action in the lead up to the Euros on World Para Athletics pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.