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From Oropesa del Mar to Brussels! A look ahead to an action-packed 2023 season

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Athletics is a sport for all seasons - and all surfaces as well!

With the festive break over and the first results emerging from the roads, cross country as well as the track, we look ahead with anticipation to what promises to be another action-packed and exciting season of athletics in 2023. 


ECCC Cross Country - Oropesa del Mar (5 February)

The longest running cross country event on the European Athletics calendar takes place for the 58th time in the Spanish coastal town of Oropesa del Mar, just to the north of Castellon.

And hosts Playas de Castellon will be hoping for another successful outing on home soil. In last year’s event in Oeiras, Ethiopia’s Likina Amebew and Burundi’s Rodrigue Kwizera - both of whom are based are train in Spain - took the individual senior titles for Playas de Castellon who also won the inaugural edition of the mixed relay.

The course which runs adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea is largely flat but there will be some challenging technical elements, including a 260 metre-section on sand and a sharp 180-degree turn known as La Curva de la Muerte – or ‘The Death Turn.’

DNA Indoor U20 Match - Madrid (22 February)

The latest instalment of the fast-paced DNA takes place in Madrid, featuring teams from six countries taking part across 11 events in a non-stop two hour programme.

After winning the senior equivalent in Glasgow last February, will the Spanish U20 team repeat on home soil next month? They will face teams from Great Britain & NI, Czech Republic, Ireland, France and Türkiye.

European Athletics Indoor Championships - Istanbul (2-5 March)

Europe’s flagship indoor championship takes place over four days in the Atakoy Stadium in Istanbul for the first time, the host venue for the 2012 World Athletics Indoor Championships. 

High profile names who have already announced their intentions to compete include reigning Olympic and European champions Marcell Jacobs and Jakob Ingebrigtsen, both of whom won gold medals at the last edition in Torun 2021.

Jacobs is planning another full indoor season which begins in Lodz on 4 February while Ingebrigtsen is planning an assault on the world indoor 3000m record in Madrid en route to Istanbul.

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European Throwing Cup - Leiria (11-12 March)

The host city of Leiria will be a familiar setting to many participants as this will be the fifth time the European Throwing Cup has been held in the Portuguese city since 2015.

Last year’s event was highlighted by Auriol Dongmo winning the shot put on home soil and Kristjan Ceh beginning his year with a victory over all three Olympic medallists in the discus, a precursor to his victory at the World Athletics Championships.

But the event and venue is most synonymous with Johannes Vetter who threw a humongous 92.70m to smash the championship record in the javelin when the 2018 European Throwing Cup was held in Leiria. 

European Race Walking Team Championships - Podebrady (21 May)

Podebrady has a similar affinity with the race walking community with race walking events having been organised in the picturesque Czech spa town ever since the turn of the 20th century.

The biennial European Race Walking Team Championships will be held in Podebrady for the fourth time since 2017. Highlights in the 2021 edition included Antonella Palmisano winning the 20km race walk title en route to Olympic gold in Tokyo 2020 and Antigoni Ntrismpioti winning the inaugural women’s 35km title.

European 10,000m Cup - Pacé (3 June)

The European 10,000m Cup returns to Pacé in north-west France for its second of three outings at the start of June.

In last year’s event, France’s Jimmy Gressier was a runaway winner of the individual title and led the hosts to team gold while Türkiye’s Yasemin Can showed some of her form of old, winning the individual women’s title before regaining her European 10,000m title a few weeks later in Munich.

Past winners of the European 10,000m Cup include Fernanda Ribeiro (1998, 2003) and Paula Radcliffe (1999, 2001) on the women’s side and Dieter Baumann (1997), Mo Farah (2010) and Richard Ringer (2018) on the men’s side. 

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European Athletics Team Championships - Silesia (20-25 June)

For the first time in event history, all divisions of the European Athletics Team Championships will be held under one roof as part of the third edition of the European Games.

Hosts Poland will be seeking their third successive title in the Slaski Stadium in Silesia after winning the trophy in both 2019 and 2021. The 1st Division takes pride of place in the timetable and occupies the evening session of the last three days of competition.

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European Athletics U23 Championships - Espoo (13-16 July)

The Finnish city of Espoo, situated just to the west of Helsinki, will be staging this year’s edition of the European Athletics U23 Championships, a key stepping stone for athletes who have just graduated from the U20 ranks.

Highlights at the last edition in Tallinn included Kristjan Ceh and Yaroslava Mahuchikh winning gold with championship records in the discus and high jump respectively. Mahuchikh also remains eligible to defend her title in the high jump by virtue of a 2001 birthdate.

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European Athletics U20 Championships - Jerusalem (7-10 August)

Many of the athletes who struck gold at the European Athletics U18 Championships last July are likely to make a return journey to the Givat Ram Stadium to contend for U20 honours as they continue their journey through the age-groups.

Highlights at last year’s European Athletics U18 Championships included Mattia Furlani winning a long jump and high jump double, Niels Laros sweeping to gold in the 1500m and 3000m and Angelina Topic winning gold in the high jump with 1.92m.

SPAR European Cross Country Championships - Brussels (10 December)

Brussels will stage the SPAR European Cross Country Championships for the second time having previously hosted the event in 2008.

Belgian success at the most recent European Cross Country Championships in Turin came courtesy of Isaac Kimeli who won bronze in the senior race behind Jakob Ingebrigtsen who could potentially challenge for his seventh successive title across all age-groups in the Belgian capital.

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