The extraordinary numbers of Roma 2024

An extraordinary event, which put Rome and Italy at the centre of the world for the past six days. The Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships closed their doors with a formidable tally in terms of sports performance, participation, entertainment and media coverage.

Six days of amazing sports performances

The choice bring forward the European Championships to the first week of June transformed them into a pathway to the Olympic Games in Paris, making them essentially the European Trials. This is confirmed by the wealth of great performances: the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships close with 15 championship records, 47 national records, 256 personal records, extraordinary statistical numbers.

There were 1474 athletes in the competition on the track and field of the Olimpico and on the road events on the streets of Rome, representing 48 European federations, of which gained medals and 35 saw their athletes finish in the top eight positions in at least one final.

Italy’s athletics team dominated the medal table thanks to the 24 medals awarded, of which 11 gold, acquiring a leadership position in the context of European athletics, followed by France with 16 medals (4 golds), and Great Britain & Northern Ireland with 13 medals (also 4 gold medals).

An inclusive event, closer to the public and athletes

Roma 2024 introduced innovations aimed at making this event a memorable experience, both for the public and for athletes. For the first time, the long and triple jumps were set up a few metres from the Tribuna Tevere stands, bringing athletes into close contact with the public. The renovated Stadio dei Marmi (main warm-up and training area) was accessible free of charge to all athletics enthusiasts. The race walk and the half marathon competitions ended with the finish line inside the Olympic Stadium, a triumphant entry for athletes in the trail of the iconic the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome. Finally, as many as 135 medals of the 147 total were delivered on the mega-stage at the Medal Plaza set up in the Piazza of the Fountain of the Sphere, giving medalists and the public other moments of great emotion and fan experience in the free-access fan village.

The approximately 20 hectares of the historic Parco del Foro Italico and the streets of Rome of the half marathon route, saw the presence of about 235 thousand people, including the 137 thousand spectators present at the Olympic Stadium.

Brilliant viewing figures and unprecedented media interest

Despite the great competition for media attention during the same week, (Tennis Open in France and the football friendlies ahead of the European Championships), Roma 2024 played a leading role in television and radio programming in major European markets and great attention across social media platforms.

Aggregate broadcaster viewing data confirms the positive trend, that sees Roma 2024 surpassing the already excellent numbers of Munich 2022 that reached 382 million global viewers and 720 million audiences across all media, digital and analogue.

In France, prime time tv figures  always exceeded one million viewers on event days, reaching 1.8 million on Saturday night. In the Scandinavian countries, the market share above 50%. In Germany, Sunday’s evening touched 4.1 million viewers on the flagship ARD channel.

In Italy, the evening of Tuesday, June 11, watched attentively from the stands by the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, obtained an aggregate of 4.9 million viewers between RAI 2 and Sky Sport. This peak was also touched last night (4.7 million viewers, of which 3.5 on RAI 2 and 1.2 on Sky Sport) with the host country’s Head of State present once again at the Olympic Stadium to follow the final evening.

The legacy

Italy’s athletics team increasingly the protagonists of the championships. A balanced budget. A sustainable legacy project, aimed at increasing the value of athletics, redeveloping the territory and contributing to the economic and tourist growth of the capital city and of the country as a whole. These are the traits of Rome 2024, which now hands over the baton to the city of Birmingham for the edition of the 2026 European Athletics Championships.

Future Leaders Forum: excellence gathers in Rome

Inaugurated yesterday, the Forum hosts leading figures in Athletics and sports management

The IX edition of the Future Leaders Forum, formerly known as the Young Leaders Forum, was officially opened yesterday morning at the Parco del Foro Italico in Rome. Organized by the European Athletics with the support of the Local Organizing Committee of the European Athletics Championships Rome 2024 and Deloitte as a supporting partner, the event brings together the current generation of sports leaders with young talents from across Europe, ready to take on leadership roles in Athletics in the near future.

The four-day Forum was inaugurated by the Presidents of European Athletics and World Athletics, Dobromir Karamarinov and Lord Sebastian Coe, respectively, who addressed an audience of 68 promising future leaders from 42 European federations.

Following the theme “You as a Leader,” today’s and tomorrow’s sessions will focus on “Current issues in Athletics”, concluding with a day centered on “Managing the Future”. Numerous prominent figures in Athletics and sports management will discuss these topics, including Lea Sprunger, former European gold medalist in the 400 meters hurdles and entrepreneur, Alessio Gorla, Italian sprinter and tech entrepreneur, Esther Akihary, Dutch Olympic sprinter and Vice President of the Royal Dutch Athletics Federation, Donna Fraser, four-time British Olympia and leader in equality, diversity, and inclusion in business and sports, Scott Grace, National Technical Lead for Athletics England for youth development and creator of a renowned youth development program, Sasho Belovski, sports business expert, Karin Grute Movin, Vice President and Executive Committee Member of European Athletics and Chair of the Development Commission, Alessio Punzi, Head of Running and Mass Participation at World Athletics.

In addition to panel discussions, participants will engage in hackathons (organized in collaboration with Deloitte, ed), mentoring sessions and interactive workshops. They will also have the unique opportunity to attend the European Athletics Championships Rome 2024, experiencing the competitions firsthand alongside their peers.

These formative moments will not only enhance their technical and managerial skills but will also open doors to idea exchange, the creation of lasting professional networks, and the exploration of innovative solutions to the challenges modern Athletics faces. The sessions are designed to strengthen leadership skills, identify and enhance personal potential, and transform personal passions into significant contributions to their respective federations. Participating in this Forum represents a tangible opportunity to grow professionally and make a meaningful impact on the future of Athletics.

The numbers of an extraordinary debut

Great performances, top event ratings, passion and enthusiasm for the Rome 2024 European Athletics Championships in the capital’s historic Foro Italico complex. An extraordinary weekend for athletics and for the host nation’s team (known as ‘Azzurri‘ after the colour of their jerseys), projected towards an unprecedented medal haul.

Crowds and viewers celebrate Athletics at the Foro Italico

The growing audience numbers follow the brilliant performances of European athletes over the first days of the competition and of Italy’s own Azzurri team. Aggregate pre-sale of tickets exceeded 120,000, with around 40 thousand spectators present at the Olympic Stadium to watch a magical Saturday of Italian athletics.

The Fan Village and the Medal Plaza in front of the Sphere fountain at the Foro Italico also benefit from the heightened attention to the event, with bustling crowds in the free-access fan area cheering their favourite athletes the awards ceremonies. The excitement is building up for Sunday evening’s event at 23.20, when Marcell Jacobs and Chituru Ali (the historic double Gold-Silver medal winners in the 100 meters) will take to the stage as well as Mattia Furlani for his silver in the long jump. At 19.20 the stage and Italy’s national anthem will play once again for Lorenzo Simonelli, who dominated the 110 hurdles final yesterday.

European protagonists grip TV and Media viewers

International media at the covering the event included 41 TV and radio broadcasters, supported by 625 production crew members present at the Olympic Stadium, in addition to 725 accredited journalists and photographers for the first two days of competitions.

The first television viewing data confirm great interest in European Athletics’ prime event: Saturday evening national broadcaster RAI 2 recorded an average audience of over 2.2 million in its prime time slot, with peaks of 2.5 million and a viewership share of 17%. In addition the entertainment show “L’ Acchiappa Talenti” on the flagship RAI 1, also dedicated time to the championships, including a live insert of the 100 mt men’s final won by Italy’s Marcell Jacobs,  which reached  a 14.03% audience figure.  

On Italy’s Sky Sport HD, the Saturday evening session attracted 1 million athletics fans. The viewership peaked at 21.20 approximately, with 350 thousand viewers connected for the shot put final dominated by Leonardo Fabbri, and the men’s 100 meters final, which attracted 319 thousand spectators.

In Germany, the national network ZDF reached 3.1 million viewers, with a share of 16.4%. Dutch broadcaster NPO3 reported a 17.6% market share, while YLE TV in Finland reached a record share of  56%.

The medal table: for Italy it is already a record at the European Championships

In a country where sports coverage is usually dominated by football, athletics fever spread as the number of medal winning Italian champions confirmed the country’s high level participation in the event. With Sundays’s gold medal from Yeman Crippa, silver from Pietro Riva and the team gold in the half marathon, Italy currently dominates the medal table, with 13 medals, of which 7 gold, 5 silver and 1 bronze, an unprecedented haul compared to the previous 25 editions of the European Championships from 1934 to today (the maximum result for Italy was 12 medals and 5 golds in Split, in 1990).

Technical performance of the highest level

The competition has expressed a high technical level in the first days, with 8 European Championship records established so far (including those of the Italians Nadia Battocletti in the 5,000 metres, Leonardo Fabbri in the shot put and Yeman Crippa in the half marathon), the 15 national records (of including 5 Italians, with Lorenzo Simonelli in the 110 meters hurdles – then improved in the final – Nadia Battocletti, Sveva Gerevini in the heptathlon and the 4×400 mixed relay) and finally the world and European Under 20 record of Mattia Furlani in the long jump. The event recorded two best world performances of the year, plus three best European performances. There are already 102 personal records set by the competing athletes, including 15 by the Italians.

The competition continues until Wednesday

After Sunday’s morning session (the gold-silver double by Yeman Crippa and Pietro Riva in the half marathon and the over 4 thousand amateur runners who took part in the Roma10K race starting from the Fori Imperiali) Gianmarco Tamberi took his first jumps at the Olimpico, and the fan-favourite known affectionally as “Gimbo” qualified for the highly anticipated Tuesday evening final of the high jump, in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic Sergio Mattarella, scheduled to be present at the Stadium. 

Monday will see the 200 meter and 400 meter dash specialists, among others. In the same session, the Dutch champion Femke Bol be the protagonist in the 400 meters hurdles. Grand finale on Wednesday with the 4×100 and 4×400 relays and the Swedish pole vault phenomenon Armand Duplantis. Pure sporting entertainment and growing participation, also thanks to the new promotional sale for youths which allows all under 18s and accompanying adults to participate in the evening sessions for just 5 Euros.

The colours of Roma 2024 at the Olympic Stadium

The Olympic Stadium as you’ve never seen before. With four days to go before the start of the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships, the atmosphere of the big event scheduled from 7-12 June, is already in the air at the Foro Italico Park.

The stadium has been set up following the unmistakable theme of Roma 2024, its colors, shapes and photos of some of the great champions who will compete for six consecutive days.

An event that has been awaited for 50 years will see more than 1,600 athletes representing 48 European federations competing in 24 different disciplines.

Just today the Eternal City welcomes the first superstars ready to perform at the Olympic Stadium: expected to arrive in the evening are world 400-meter hurdles champion Femke Bol (Netherlands) and European high jump queen Yaroslava Mahuchikh (Ukraine).

The new track of the Olympic Stadium is ready to host the competitions, which will officially begin Friday morning from 9:35 a.m. with the first qualifying session. At 6 p.m., the opening ceremony is scheduled in the Medal Plaza set up in the Fountain of the Sphere Square, open free to all and ready to welcome from 6:35 p.m. the passage of the athletes engaged in the first final of the European Atheltics Championships, the women’s 20km race walk, on a course designed inside the Foro Italico, with arrival inside the stadium.

Before taking the applauses of the fans inside the stadium – where entry will be allowed only to ticket and season ticket holders – the racewalkers will make 19 laps around the Medal Plaza and the Stadio dei Marmi, which has also been totally restored and equipped with a new athletics track. During the Championships, the athletes, surrounded by the magnificent marble statues, will use the facility as the main warm-up area for the event.

On 7 June will also celebrated the “School Day”: school students from all over Italy and their companions (relatives or teachers) will be able to enter the Curva Sud, Curva Nord and Distinti Sud stands for 1 euro.

The “Last Call” promotion also continues: all tickets and packages for Roma 2024 are on sale at a 40% discount here

Future Leaders Forum setting pathway forward

From June 8 to 12, 2024, Rome will be the stage for the IX edition of the Future Leaders Forum, formerly known as the Young Leaders Forum. This year’s theme, “Be the Leader of Tomorrow”, reflects the inspiration behind the event. Organized by European Athletics with the support of the Local Organizing Committee of the European Athletics Championships Rome 2024 and with Deloitte as the supporting partner, the event continues the tradition of successful editions held alongside previous European Athletics Championships. The Rome Future Leaders Forum will be a particularly significant milestone, thanks to the growing importance placed on nurturing young talent in the European sports landscape.

«We thank Deloitte for their generous support of this year’s edition of the Future Leaders Forum. The success of our sport at all levels depends upon its relevance and engagement with young people. It’s important that the current generation of leaders and the future generation of leaders have opportunities like this to learn from one other. The current generations have valuable knowledge and experience, but we must also be open to innovation and the ideas of the emerging younger voices in our sport in an ever-changing world» declared Dobromir Karamarinov, president of European Athletics.

«Leadership in athletics is one continuous relay race. As leaders we must run our legs as best we can, but also ensure the baton is safely passed on to the future leaders so they have the best chance of succeeding. We look forward to a successful 2024 Future Leaders Forum at Roma 2024» he added.

Promising young individuals, aged 20 to 30, from various European federations will gather at the Parco del Foro Italico in Rome to participate in five intensive days of training activities and networking. The primary goal of the Future Leaders Forum is to equip these young individuals with the skills necessary to become the leaders of tomorrow, capable of guiding and innovating the world of athletics.

The Forum’s program stands out for the quality and variety of its activities: interactive workshops, mentoring sessions, roundtable discussions, and presentations by prominent figures in athletics and sports management. The group of experts represents an extraordinary blend of knowledge and experience from various fields within and beyond athletics. Each speaker is a leader in their own sector, ready to share insights, experiences and visions for the future of athletics.

These formative moments will not only enhance the technical and managerial skills of the participants but also promote the exchange of ideas, the creation of lasting professional networks, and the exploration of innovative solutions to the challenges facing the world of athletics. The sessions will focus on developing leadership skills, identifying personal potentials, and harnessing individual passions to benefit their respective federations.

Investing in training future leaders is seen as a strategic investment for athletics: each participant will return to their federation with an enriched vision and new skills, ready to significantly contribute to the growth and success of the sport. The training received at the Future Leaders Forum aims to transform participants into ambassadors capable of disseminating the knowledge acquired and inspiring new generations of athletes and leaders.

The Future Leaders Forum is not just an event but a fundamental step towards a brighter and more dynamic future for European athletics. This initiative reflects European Athletics’ commitment to investing in the personal and professional growth of young people, ensuring that the sports sector can continue to thrive thanks to qualified and motivated leaders.

Furthermore, the Forum is part of a broader context of events and initiatives aimed at making athletics an increasingly inclusive, innovative sport that can attract new generations of enthusiasts. The choice of Rome as the venue for the event underscores the city’s historical and cultural significance, offering participants a stimulating and inspiring environment.

The Future Leaders Forum thus represents a unique opportunity for young talents to establish themselves as the future pillars of athletics, in a journey of personal and professional growth that will help define the future of the sport in Europe and beyond.

‘Last Call’ tickets promotion for the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships

One week before the start of the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships, scheduled from 7-12 June, the special ‘Last Call’ promotion has been extended. All tickets and packages for all the stands of the Olympic Stadium are on sale at 40% discount here.

The Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships will open on 7 June with a special promotion dedicated to young people: school students will in fact be able to buy tickets at the symbolic price of 1 Euro to follow at the Olympic Stadium, in the Curva Sud, Curva Nord and Distinti Sud stands, both sessions (morning and evening) of the first day of competition.

The promotion will also be valid for people accompanying students at the stadium, whether relatives or teachers.

The morning session on 7 June will open at 9.35 a.m. with the discus throw qualifiers, then there will be space for many other disciplines: shot put, hurdles, 1500m, 800m, 3000 steeplechase, triple jump and long jump qualifiers, as well as the first Heptathlon competitions.

In the evening session, the first medals of the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships will be awarded, starting with the women’s 20km race walk, with a course designed around the Stadio dei Marmi and the Fountain of the Sphere culminating inside the Olympic Stadium.

The other scheduled finals will be the women’s discus throw, the women’s shot put, the mixed 4×400 relay and the women’s 5000m, while the sprinters will compete in the men’s 100m qualifiers.

The spectacular challenges of Roma 2024 will fill six consecutive days of competition until 12 June, with over 1559 European athletes representing 48 different countries competing in 24 different disciplines. 

Credit photo: Grana\FIDAL

Nine world champions headline final entries for Roma 2024

The final entries for the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships which take place from 7-12 June have been published and are available to view (tickets and packages on sale here).

The entry-lists are headed by nine individual gold medallists from the 2023 World Athletics Championships: Jakob Ingebrigtsen (1500/5000m), Karsten Warholm (400m hurdles), Gianmarco Tamberi (high jump), Armand Duplantis (pole vault), Miltiadis Tentoglou (long jump) and Daniel Stahl (discus) on the men’s side and Femke Bol (400m hurdles), Yaroslava Mahuchikh (high jump) and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (heptathlon) on the women’s side.

In total, 34 individual champions from the Munich 2022 European Athletics Championships will be looking to add to their title hauls in Rome including Croatia’s Sandra Elkasevic who is seeking a record seventh successive European title in the discus.  

At the time of writing, the entry-lists also feature six athletes who lead the 2024 world lists in their respective disciplines: world record-holders Duplantis (6.24m, pole vault) and Mykolas Alekna (74.35m, discus) along with Ingebrigtsen (3:29.74, 1500m) Brits Keely Hodgkinson (1:55.78, 800m) and Molly Caudery (4.86m, pole vault) and Germany’s Max Dehning (90.20m, javelin).

The oldest athlete entered for Roma 2024 is 44-year-old French discus thrower Melina Robert-Michon, born 18 July 1979, who is contesting her seventh European Athletics Championships while the youngest entrant is 16-year-old Romanian 400m hurdles Alexandra Stefania Uta, born 6 October 2007,, the bronze medallist at the 2023 European Athletics U20 Championships.

A late addition to the decathlon entry list is the world record-holder and 2017 and 2022 world champion Kevin Mayer – also a three-time European indoor heptathlon champion – who does not have the entry standard but has received a wildcard for Roma 2024.

“The French Athletics Federation requested a wild card for Kevin Mayer which the European Athletics Executive Board carefully considered,” explained European Athletics President Dobromir Karamarinov

“We recognised that Kevin is a two-time world champion in the decathlon, most recently in 2022, and the current world record-holder. Given his exceptional achievements, there was considerable merit in granting this wild card.

“European Athletics knows that it will add great interest for the public when they see a global star and world record-holder like Kevin competing at Roma 2024 and we are happy to welcome Kevin,” he added.

Link to entry list

Foro Italico Park is open to everyone during Roma 2024 with a Medal Plaza

The countdown to the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships is almost over. From 7-12 June, the top athletes of the continent will compete at the Olympic Stadium and at the Foro Italico Park (tickets and packages on sale here).

An amazing setting for an inclusive event that will allow sports fans and families to follow the Italian and international champions up close and meet them every day at the Foro Italico Park.

The Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships will be also a big opportunity to enjoy an area rich in history and charm, renovated by Sport e Salute for the benefit of citizens, families, and young people, and that will remain free for the public and accessible to all.

During the six days of the Championships, outside the Olympic Stadium, the ‘Fontana della Sfera’ (Sphere Fountain) square will be transformed into the ‘Medal Plaza’ of Roma 2024, where medal-winning athletes will be awarded every day. The award ceremonies will be held twice a day in the Medal Plaza (starting at 6 p.m. and around 11 p.m.), while the award ceremonies for the half-marathon on 9 June will take place inside the stadium at the end of the race. 

The Medal Plaza will be the heart of the Roma 2024 Fan Village and will be open free for all, even for those who do not have tickets for the European Athletics Championships.

On 7 June, after the first morning session scheduled from 9.35 a.m., the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships will officially start at 6 p.m. with the Opening Ceremony in the Medal Plaza. It will be a show full of energy, including music, dance and visuals show. 

This will be followed (18.35) by the women’s 20km racewalk final. All fans will be able to enjoy the challenge of the race walkers outside the stadium on an inimitable course: the athletes will start from the Viale del Foro Italico, then run 19 laps around the Fontana della Sfera square and the Stadio dei Marmi, before ending the race inside the Olympic Stadium, which will only be accessible to ticket holders. The following day, in the evening session on 8 June, the men will then compete on the same course in the men’s 20km race walk final.

The Stadio dei Marmi, restored and renovated with a new athletics track, will be the main warm-up area for the athletes, and many of them have already said that “it is the most beautiful stadium in the world’. During the European Athletics Championships it will be possible to closely follow the training sessions of the champions surrounded by statues.

The totally redeveloped Sphere Fountain will also come back to life and it will start working again as a real fountain. Another historical symbol of Foro Italico will become the centre of a village open to all, operating during the European Athletics Championships from 9 a.m. until midnight, for a total of 90 hours. An area with more than 800 square metres of food & beverage services, refreshment and shopping areas, but that’s not all: in the Fan Village a dedicated sports practice area will be set up for athletes and young people, thanks to the collaboration between Sport e Salute, FIDAL and sports clubs. In the Village there will also be spaces dedicated to art and body painting, to innovation, thanks to the ‘Sport and Innovation Made in Italy’ project curated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and to health-care, through the ‘Sport is Health’ campaign conducted in cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Health.

Among the 50 stands of the Fan Village of Roma 2024 there will also be points dedicated to the merchandising of Karhu, the Official Supplier of the European Athletics Championships, and other sponsors and partners of the event including Fastweb, Unicredit, Net, Humangest, Le Gruyere and Wurth.

RDS will be the official radio of the Roma European Athletics Championships and with its speakers will bring energy and passion to the Medal Plaza, which will be animated with lots of music, games and fun, creating a festive and engaging atmosphere.

On 12 June, during the last evening session of Roma 2024, the British singer-songwriter Grace Davies will perform in two different moments on the Medal Plaza stage with the official song of the Championships, ‘Illuminate’, accompanied by the dancers, and with her other song ‘Roots’, appointing everyone to the Birmingham 2026 European Athletics Championships.

Ten days to go until Roma 2024 with the largest Italian team ever

“There have never been so many Italian athletes at the European Athletics Championships. In the coming days we will officially announce the team for Roma 2024 but we can already confirm that our national team will have more than 100 athletes for the first time”. This was announced by FIDAL and EuroRoma 2024 Foundation President Stefano Mei with 10 days to go until the European Athletics Championships, scheduled to take place at the Olympic Stadium and the Foro Italico Park 7-12 June.

In the meantime, ticket sales continue: until 9 a.m. on Thursday, 30 May, all tickets and packages are on sale here with a 40% discount, while children from all schools in Italy, together with their carers, will be able to buy tickets for the symbolic price of 1 euro to follow the morning and evening sessions of the opening day on 7 June.

Stefano Mei spoke at the end of the morning training session of the relays of the Italian national athletics team at the Stadio dei Marmi, that will be the main warm-up area for the Roma 2024 European Athletics Championships.

The Italia team, which will be officially defined shortly, had been a maximum of 101 athletes in the previous edition in Munich 2022, then dropped to 98 due to three defections before the start. This time it will go further. And if it is also partly the result of the increase in specialities over time, it is above all thanks to the broadening of the base that has taken place in the last three years for Italian athletics.

“We have important numbers that show the technical investment made during the last seasons. I am sure that it will be an amazing event in the Olympic Stadium, driven by the great results that our Italian girls and boys are achieving, but also by the great international stars present, like Femke Bol, Armand Duplantis, Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Karsten Warholm and many others.” said Mei.

Among the Italians involved in the training session at the Stadio dei Marmi was also the Olympic 4x100m relay champion Filippo Tortu: “This is the right setting for great satisfaction,” he said.

“In this stadium a few days ago I did one of the worst performances of my life, but I am arriving at the European Athletics Championships in a completely different spirit, to do well in the 200m and the 4x100m relay. Livio Berruti‘s race in Roma 1960 Olympic Games inspired me since I was a child: this is not the time to look for comparisons with the past but only to give the best of ourselves. It is the right opportunity to show again that we are a good team. We need the fan’s help to do our best.” said Tortu.

Asher-Smith seeking Roma 2024 redemption

The European Athletics Championships have provided contrasting experiences for Dina Asher-Smith, and she is hoping Roma 2024 will provide another golden memory.

“I’m really excited for both the Europeans and the Olympics this year. It goes without saying both the Europeans and Olympics are big markers on my calendar this year,” she says, talking on European Athletics Ignite podcast series.

The British sprinter won her first senior title in Amsterdam 2016, racing to 200m gold, a distance she went on to become world champion at in Doha in 2019.

At Berlin 2018, she enjoyed an almost faultless championships, racing away with 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles. But at Munich 2022, as an athlete with huge ambitions, she was disconsolate to come away with 200m silver and eighth-place in the 100m, pulling up with cramp in the final.

Then having returned from last year’s World Athletics Championships in Budapest empty handed, placing eighth in the 100m final and seventh in the 200m, Asher-Smith took the bold step of switching from her long-time coach John Blackie in London to Edrick Floreal in Austin, USA.

And if her early season form is anything to go by, it has revitalised the effervescent Brit, who has chalked up numerous victories and leads the 2024 European list over 200m with a 22.29 clocking. She has also demonstrated her range extends beyond 200m with a 51.2 relay leg in the 4x400m at the Texas Relays. 

Looking to Roma 2024, she says: “It’s likely I’ll be just doing the 100m and the relay (4x100m). The last European Championships I did not have a good one. Long story. It’s done. 

“So, I am really excited for these Europeans, I have big goals for myself, very big aspirations of what I want to run, especially when I run the 100m and how I want to run and how I want to win it. 

“I love Rome, I love doing the Rome Diamond League. That stadium is beautiful with all the statues in the warm-up area. I think they just had it resurfaced, and the football stadium is so historic. 

Rome is a beautiful city anyway. Everybody is really excited that the Europeans are in Rome. It’s going to be great.”

Twice an Olympian and six-times a World Athletics Championship participant, Asher-Smith is now a well-seasoned international athlete. But she has a special affection for the European Athletics Championships.

“It is one of our favourite championships because track and field is so popular and so loved in Europe,” she says. “When you are inside the stadium at a European Championships, the atmosphere can feel very much like a World Championships, with the passion of the fans and the calibre of the performances. It’s tough. To be a European Champion is not easy.”

And she is eager to get back to her best after the disappointments of Munich 2022. “I came off Eugene (2022 World Athletics Championships) running almost 10.7 and 21 in the semi and getting a global bronze,” she recalls.

“Then I had not a fab Munich. In hindsight, me and my team know why. I’m not going to go into the detail. At the time, living it and experiencing it didn’t really make sense for me because I was in like PB shape. End of story. Did not go the way I wanted it to, so this time I would like it to go the way I want it to.”

Credit photo: Getty Images

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