To mark six months to go, IPC Athletics has launched www.grosseto2016.com, the official website for the 2016 European Championships which will take place at Grosseto’s Carlo Zecchini Stadium, Italy, between 10 and 16 June.
Containing information about the competition, its rich history, and the host city itself, the website is the place to find all the latest updates, spectator and volunteer information, athlete interviews and biographies.
Grosseto 2016 will be the fifth edition of the European Championships having last taken place in Swansea, Great Britain, in August 2014. Many of the athletes who starred there and at this October’s World Championships in Doha, Qatar, will be in action in Grosseto, a city that is an ever-present on the IPC Athletics Grand Prix calendar.
Ryan Montgomery, the IPC’s Director of Summer Sports, said: “Next year is set to be the biggest and busiest year yet for IPC Athletics and one of the many highlights will be June’s European Championships.
“Grosseto is a venue that is extremely familiar with most of the athletes on the circuit having staged Grand Prix events since 2013. It’s also a venue that has witnessed a number of world records in recent years. With Rio 2016 fast approaching, I’m confident we’ll see many more next summer as athletes aim to qualify for Rio and lay down a marker to their rivals.”
Local Organising Committee President Sandrino Porru said: “It’s a huge pride for our country to host a major para-athletics event for the first time in our history after the Rome Paralympic Games in 1960. With six months to go, we are working hard to offer athletes and teams our warm welcome in Grosseto and to ensure the best conditions to compete on the track of the Carlo Zecchini Stadium. This will be a great opportunity for them to show their abilities ahead of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and for us to raise awareness on para-sport and cultural values to inspire citizens across Italy and Europe”.
Having topped the medals table at the last two European Championships, Russia will start as favourites to win the most medals at Grosseto 2016 with the likes of Margarita Goncharova, Evgenii Shvetcov and Dimitrii Safranov amongst their ranks.
For the hosts, 100m and 200m T42 world record holder Martina Caironi is expected to star on her home track and will be looking to retain the 100m title she won two years ago in Swansea. In the field shot put F11 world champion Assunta Legnante will start as a strong favourite and may even fancy her chances in the discus after setting the European record in Grosseto in May 2013.
Ahead of June’s European Championships where 193 gold medals will be up for grabs, Grosseto will stage its annual IPC Athletics Grand Prix between 8-10 April.
Around 700 athletes from nearly 40 countries are set to compete in Grosseto, in what will be the last major regional competition before September’s Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
For further information, please visit 2016 IPC Athletics European Championships website.