MINSK, 9 September (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has arrived at the Dinamo National Olympic Stadium that is hosting the opening ceremony and the first day of competitions of The Match Europe v USA Minsk 2019 on 9 September, BelTA has learned.
The opening ceremony will also be attended by President of the International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe and President of the European Athletics Association Svein Arne Hansen. Earlier on 9 September, the Belarusian head of state met with them in the Palace of Independence. The Belarusian leader noted that hosting such an event is an honor for any country, including Belarus.
“You have overcome the prejudice that existed in relation to Belarus some time ago and did the impossible when you promised to do your best to hold this event, which will take place today and tomorrow, this gigantic match between Team USA and Team Europe here, in Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the meeting. “I know I should be grateful to you. Believe me, we have always returned favors and your efforts to promote athletics will be appreciated by us,” the head of state added.
President of the International Association of Athletics Federations Sebastian Coe praised the preparations for The Match Europe v USA. “I am convinced that you, as the country leader, the world leader, will share my view that sport helps build bridges between nations even in the most difficult of times. Here we feel like home. We really appreciate the opportunity to show the best of sport [athletics] here for the two days that are ahead,” Sebastian Coe said.
The Match Europe v USA program features hammer throw, javelin throw, discus throw, 100 meters, 100m hurdles, 110m hurdles, 200 meters, 400 meters, 400m hurdles, 800 meters, 1,500 meters, 3,000 meters, 3,000 meters steeplechase, 4x100 meters relay, mixed relay (200-200-400-800 meters), shot put, triple jump, high jump, long jump, pole vault. Each discipline features eight athletes (four from Europe and four from the United States). The winner of the competition in each discipline will get €7,000, the silver medalist - €5,000, the bronze medalist - €4,000.
The rights to broadcast the event have already been acquired by Belarus 5, Czech TV (the Czech Republic), DR (Denmark), YLE (Finland), France TV (France), BBC (the UK), MTV (Hungary), LT (Lithuania), TVP (Poland), RTS (Serbia), SR (Sweden), NBC (the United States).