The Swiss Army knife on the track from Tuesday

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The European Athletics Championships will start tomorrow, with hundreds of athletes following the dreams: or to be champion, or to be medallist, or to conquer the national standards to prepare Rio 2016. Each athlete has the own goals and on the track all of the goals can be reached, or not.

This morning the athletes had the unique opportunity to test the track and first impressions were about the hardness, with the surface being unforgiving for the long-distance athletes and very fast for the sprinters (the sprinters will use special spikes to run at Letzigrund Stadium). The very hard track will drive the athletes to the three medals goal, and the winners will receive a customised Swiss Army knife as a special gift to go with their gold medal. It is the Swiss hospitality and the generosity to all the participants of this European Athletics Championships.

The national teams in Zurich will also encounter logistical problems, with the significant distance between the official team hotels and all the tracks (there are 2 tracks for training sessions and 2 tracks for warming up – one each for jumpers/runners and one for throwers). For instance, the athletes will need to get a shuttle bus to the transfers between the warm-up tracks and the main stadium.

The Letzigrund Stadium will have the stands very close to the full occupancy (20,000 seats in each session) to support the best athletes of Europe. However there is a strong chance of rain during the six days of competition at Zurich, which will be good new for the longer events (race walking and Marathons), but bad news for the more technical athlete in the jumps and throws.

During the six days you can follow the European Athletics Championships through the eyes of the Portuguese reporter, Edgar Barreira, from the event, at Zurich here on Vinco through a collaboration with the most popular Portuguese athletics website: Atleta-Digital.com.

Edgar Barreira from Zurich — reporter of www.atleta-digital.com