The athletics calendar across Europe has been severely afflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic but some countries are thinking creatively in order to offer their athletes competitive opportunities in a season without any significant major outdoor championships.
While adhering to strict social distancing and containment guidelines, the Czech Athletic Federation will be staging six micro-meetings in June while the Bislett Games organisers recently launched an exhibition-style Impossible Games in Oslo for 11 June. Meanwhile, Belarus is arranging a long-distance shot put head-to-head which takes place on Thursday (30) evening.
All competitions in Belarus until at least the middle of May have been either cancelled or postponed but rival throwers from Vitebsk and Brest will have a chance to face off against each other albeit from afar.
There will be two head-to-head competitions both featuring one thrower from the two regions. Reigning European U20 champion Aleh Tamashevich will face Dzmitry Karpuk in the senior event and Aliaksei Aleksandrovich goes head-to-head with Ilya Misouski in the U20 equivalent.
Stay tuned for more information on the online shot put competition that’s going to happen this Thursday in Belarus! pic.twitter.com/lwpvyZBcRa— Belarus Athletic Federation (Ã‘ÃÂ¤Ã›Ã) (@athleticsBLR) April 26, 2020
Tamashevich and Aleksandrovich are based in Vitebsk while their respective rivals Karpuk and Misouski reside in Brest. Each thrower will get six throws at their respective training sites and quite simply the athlete who produces the longest throw in each of the two head-to-head competitions wins. There will be officials on-site in both Brest and Vitebsk to measure the throws and check for any fouls.
The competition will be streamed live and to boost fan engagement, the Belarus Athletic Federation is also running a prediction contest through their federation website and their official Instagram account. The winner will receive official kit which was worn by the victorious Team Europe at the first instalment of the The Match in Minsk last September.