European Athletics interim President Dobromir Karamarinov told World Athletics in a recent interview that he was delighted to see the strength that athletes and athletics community showed in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karamarinov was appointed as caretaker president in March after the former President Svein Arne Hansen suffered a serious stroke and passed away in June.
Karamarinov expressed his sorrow to Hansen’s death: “This has been particularly challenging for us and for me personally with the loss of our president on June 20, after a period of three months when he wasn’t well.”
During the pandemic, several EA competitions of 2020 including the European Athletics Championships, which was set for August 25-30 in Paris, were rescheduled or canceled.
But Karamarinov, also a member of the World Athletics Council, was once again heartened by the resilience the sport and its athletes displayed.
“I was very proud by the positive reaction by the European athletes, in particular to the postponement of all athletics events, including the Tokyo Olympics and the European Athletics Championships in Paris,” he said. “They coped very well.”
“Let’s congratulate everyone in athletics for adapting so well to this pandemic – our member federations, athletes, coaches, and event organizers,” He added.
Now with more and more athletes back on track, Karamarinov expressed his concern over a possible second wave of the pandemic.
“We must be careful of a second wave,” he said. “Athletes must stay alert and practice social distancing and follow the correct guidelines.”
Karamarinov disclosed that more than 90 percent of their national federations had already scheduled their national championships.
“Most of them will be in the window proposed by World Athletics on August 8-9. We also have many one-day meetings scheduled. Hopefully, they’ll go on in August and September,” he said.