Cyprus Athletics at the European Team Championships

by KOEAS

A great number of geographical readjustments which led to new European countries being forged, as well as the growth of the mass media and the creation of so many social media networks, were certain of the reasons that led the European Athletics into investing new impetus in the European Cup Bruno Zauli. So it was decided that 2008 would be the last year that the national men’s and women’s team would compete separately.

A new event was introduced in 2009, the European Cup’s successor. National teams would compete as one, with a joint point system, reflecting the mirror of every European national athletics federation. The first synthesis of the European Team Championships in 2009 was based on the performances of both men and women from all national teams at the last European Cup the previous year. So four new categories were created; the Super League, with the participation of the 12 top national teams, First League with a further 12 teams, Second League with 8 countries taking part and Third League, made up of the remaining teams.

In this special 2008 points system, Cyprus athletics ranked 32nd with 749, taking a much deserved position in Second League. However, the reality of being a small country meant we could not fill up all disciplines with top athletes, so there was quite the unstable course in the event, leading to our relegation in Third League, but also promotions and successes in Second League.

Out of the eight Cyprus athletics appearances at the European Team Championships, five were in Second League and three in Third League. What stands out during this time, was our athletes performances in Tel Aviv Israel, at the 2017 edition of the games, when we ranked 5th, our highest ever in the competition. The outstanding athlete of the games was the amazing Milan Trajkovic, who won the 110m hurdles with 13.31, equalising the stadium record.

Our national team dropped to Third League in 2019 at Varazdin, Croatia, mainly due to the European Athletics Federation decision on bringing about a new change in the number of countries taking part in every category and the relegation of five teams from Second League.

Out of individual performances in Second League, Eleni Artymata is the athletes with most wins, 6 in total, of which 3 in 200 meters, one in 400 meters and two as part of the 4X100m relay team. In the mean’s team, Milan Trajkovic took three wins in the 110 metre hurdles, while in Third League, three top places were secured by Dimitra Arachoviti at 100m hurdles, Eleni Artymata in the 200 meters and the 4X100m relay and Ramona Papaoiannou at 100 meters and the 4X100m relay team. In the men’s Third League, two wins were secured by Panos Ioannou in the 100 meters, Amine Khadiri in the 1,500m and 3,000m and Apostolos Parellis at discus throw.

CYPRUS’ POSITIONS AT THE EUROPEAN TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS

YEAR  CITY, COUNTRY                               L.            P.            P/P

2009     Banska Bystrica, Slovakia                     B             140         8/8

2010     Marsa, Malta                                         C             480         3/15

2011     Reykjavik, Iceland                                 C             469         2/15

2013     Kaunas, Lithuania                                 Β             155         7/8

2014     Tbilisi, Georgia                                      C             495         1/15

2015     Stara Zagora, Bulgaria                           Β             151         7/8

2017     Tel Aviv, Israel                                      Β             258         5/12

2019     Varazdin, Croatia                                  Β             260         9/12

* L.: League, P.: Points, P/P: Position/Participated countries