I am very pleased to welcome everyone to the third edition of the European Athletics U18 Championships, not least because it has been four years since we were last able to stage a championship for this age group.
I would like to congratulate the Israeli Athletics Association for its imagination and initiative in bringing these championships to this wonderful country and I can say with great confidence that these championships should fulfil their promise of being a memorable affair and a milestone in the history of European Athletics.
The Israeli Athletics Association was awarded these championships at the European Athletics Council meeting in November 2019 and, despite the intervention of the pandemic, since then European Athletics staff and technical officials have witnessed preparations progressing professionally and efficiently and been hugely impressed.
The European Athletics U18 Championships bring together the continent’s top athletes in this age group and it is worth noting that a number of the winners from the last edition in 2018, which were held in the Hungarian city of Győr, are already making an impact in senior international competition.
Great Britain’s Keely Hodgkinson and Ukraine’s Yaroslava Mahuchikh both set impressive championship bests in the 800m and high jump four years ago and have quickly proved themselves to be formidable competitors in the senior ranks despite their youth, their prodigious talent demonstrated by them winning medals in their specialist events at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
I would not be surprised if one or two winners here are medallists at the Rome 2024 European Athletics Championships and I would expect many more to be on the podium of major championships a little further into the future.
With that in mind as a closing thought, I would like to wish everyone an enjoyable and memorable four days of competition.
I would also like to offer a heartfelt thank you on behalf of European Athletics to the Israeli Athletics Association, the Jerusalem 2022 Local Organising Committee, the city of Jerusalem, the other host institutions and partners as well as all the officials and volunteers.
European Athletics President