European Athletics Championships: closing balance
The 21st European Athletics Championships took place at the Olympiastadion in Helsinki from June 27 to July 1, 2012. Fifty nations participated to this event, which marked a profound change in the event’s formula: in fact, from this edition, the European Championships will be held every two years instead of four as in the past. This change resulted in the Finnish edition coinciding with the Olympic year, and its proximity to the opening of the Games has resulted in the elimination of the racewalking and the marathon from the Championship program. Many of the favourites managed to win gold in other disciplines, showing excellent form in view of London 2012, amongst which: Christophe Lemaitre for France in the 100 m; Mo Farah for Britain in the 5,000 m; David Storl and Robert Harting for Germany respectively in the shot put and discus; Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad for France in the 3,000 steeplechase and fellow athlete Ranaud Lavillenie in the pole vault; Mariya Ryemyen and Olha Sladukha for the Ukrainian respectively in the 200 m and triple jump; Anita Wlodarczyk for Poland in the hammer. First place in the medals went to Germany with 16 medals (6 golds), ahead of Russia (5 golds) and France (5 golds). These were the third European Athletics Championships for the Finnish capital hosted in the Olympic stadium after the 1971 and 1994 editions; the first to be held on Mondotrack, which was installed in the stadium in 2010.