Glasgow to host European Indoor Athletics Championships in 2019

Fireworks at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park, Glasgow.    Picture: Jane Barlow
Fireworks at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Glasgow was awarded athletics’ 2019 European Indoor Championships yesterday after an 11th-hour pitch that promised innovation and a safe pair of hands.

It saw off rival offerings from Dutch contender Apeldoorn, Polish candidate Torun and pre-vote favourite Minsk to bring the showpiece back to the city for the first time since it was held at the Kelvin Hall in 1990.

Earning nine of the 16 available votes from members of the European Athletics Council, the decision followed a 15-minute presentation from a delegation led by UK Athletics president Jason Gardener and teenage sprint prospect Finette Agyapong.

It underlined the technical strengths of holding the event at the Emirates Arena as well as the financial security offered by local organisers. And the bid team flew home from Amsterdam yesterday to start drafting what they promise will be a new-look championships when it is staged over four days in March 2019.

“We’ll look to do something distinct with Glasgow, whether it’s with having a medal plaza in the city somewhere like George Square or maybe having a field event there in the centre,” said UKA events director Cherry Alexander. “The IAAF, through Seb Coe, have said they’re up for innovation and how we can showcase the sport. And we know with European Athletics, we’ll be pushing through an open door.”

It gives the UK three major championships in consecutive years with the world outdoors next summer in London, followed by the world indoors in Birmingham in 2018 and Glasgow 12 months later.

“I’m sure it will be an amazing championships that athletes and the community will be proud to be part of,” said former European 800m champion Lynsey Sharp.