I am very pleased to welcome everyone to the 21st edition of European Throwing Cup.
As most people will know, this competition was scheduled to take place here 12 months ago but had to be cancelled at short notice owing to the prevailing situation in Portugal at that time with respect to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, I am happy that Leiria have reaffirmed their commitment and enthusiasm in continuing to be the Cup hosts and, on behalf of European Athletics, we are very happy to return here.
This will be the fourth time in less than a decade that this city will stage the European Throwing Cup, with it having previously taken place in Leiria in 2014, 2015 and then in 2018.
European Athletics originally awarded the European Throwing Cup to Leiria again in March 2019 barely 12 months after the last occasion it had been staged in this marvellous city and the decision was an easy one considering the excellent facilities and their previous organisational experience at staging the Cup.
Our confidence in the ability of Leiria and the Portuguese athletics federation to successfully stage this competition can be seen by the fact that the Cup will also return here in 2023 and 2024, in keeping with our original agreement for Leiria to stage this competition for three consecutive years.
From the Cup’s relatively modest beginnings in 2001, it has become established itself as a hugely important competition.
Many of the top throwers in Europe – and given our continent’s traditional strength in the shot put, discus, hammer and javelin, I can say top throwers in the world – have the Cup as an important date on their calendar and, writing this welcome message a little before the entries are known, I would expect a number of last year’s Olympic medallists to be in action here.
The Cup has become an attractive early season showcase for the continent’s top exponents in the four throwing disciplines who want to test their mettle and results in the past have shown that Leiria is a place where they want to do it.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks to the Federação Portuguesa de Atletismo – the Portuguese athletics federation – and the local authorities in Leiria for their warm welcome and unstinting support for our sport and European Athletics.
European Athletics are also very grateful to all the officials and volunteers with the Local Organising Committee for all their hard work and commitment, and I wish everyone an enjoyable and successful weekend.
European Athletics President