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All EAA targets met says Wirz

Hansjorg Wirz flanked by Pavel Maslak and Angelika Bengtsson. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Hansjorg Wirz flanked by Pavel Maslak and Angelika Bengtsson. Photo: Chris Sant Fournier

Hansjorg Wirz hailed the organisation of the European Athletics Convention that came to a close at the San Ġorġ Corinthia in St Julians, yesterday.

The European Athletics Association (EAA) president told a news conference that all objectives were reached and also reserved words of praise for Athletics Malta who hosted the three-day assembly.

“This was the second time for us to come here and again everything went according to plan. Athletics Malta did great things and we have to say that the warmth of the people here always puts a big smile on the faces of our delegates.”

During the meeting, officials from federations around Europe discussed the schedule of events for the 2013 season besides attending other meetings for different regional committees, in-cluding the Nordic countries, Mediterranean federations and the small states’ forum.

Wirz said 2012 was a very successful year for EAA.

“We are proud of our achievements as although our major championships were held in a year that featured the Olympics, we still attracted a lot of attention and our events provided several memorable moments from those taking part.

“Away from the track, the EAA also launch a campaign towards mass participation and in Malta we continued to emphasise the drive of having greater numbers involved as we believe our sport can help lead to a healthier lifestyle.”

The convention officially came to a close last night when the EAA hosted its awards night at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta.

Team GB duo, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis, were the winners of the Athletes of the Year awards but did not make the trip to Malta due to other commitments.

In their absence, Farah’s award was received by London 2012 Organising Committee chairman Sebastian Coe, who was here on a very short visit, while Ennis’s trophy was collected by her coach Tony Minichiello.

The award for the Rising Stars of 2012 went to 400m European title holder Pavel Maslak, of the Czech Republic, and Sweden’s pole vaulter Angelika Bengtsson.

Maslak told the media yesterday that he is still coming to terms with the excellent results he achieved in 2012.

Maslak, 21, said: “I have worked very hard this year and I’m pleased that my efforts reaped dividends.

“However, I’m determined to reach higher goals in my career. Winning a gold medal at the Europeans is just the start for me.”

Bengtsson, the world junior pole vault champion, is also eyeing lofty targets.

The 19-year-old said: “There were some great champions like Jessica Ennis who won this award in the past. I hope this will turn out to be a good omen for me and I can scale the same heights as Ennis did.”

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