The large delegation of Belgian athletes at the European Athletics Championships did not result in significant returns in medals and places of honor. Some athletes have been accused on social media of having actually traveled to Munich as “tourists”. Statements responded by Elaine Berings in the De Tribune.
‘Six medals were ambitious’
The Belgian delegation counted 48 athletes who came to the European Athletics Championships in Munich. It was the largest delegation since the European Championships in 1950. This resulted in the gold medal for Navi Thiam and the silver for the Belgian Tornado.
As a result, the performance was below expectations. That was also the lesson Rutger Smith, the Flemish Athletics Association’s top athletics coordinator, learned next. It could not be different, because he had previously expressed his hope for six medals.
“I thought that was ambitious anyway,” Eileen Berings assesses the European Championships for the Belgians. “It was only possible in Best scenario. I’ve never seen more than six medal candidates before. And those ideal scenarios for everyone didn’t really happen in athletics.”
“The European Championship was decent, but there were really no outliers and some remained below their level.”
Hard workers for money
The fact that so many athletes died instantly during the series caused some people to have reservations. The word “tourists” spread here and there on social media.
“These kinds of statements always make me a little pissed off,” Eline Berings immediately jumps up at the rags. “Everyone can be decisive, but I think it is not underestimated that the difference in level between someone who is eliminated in the series and the person who directs the final is not that huge.”
“There are selection criteria for athletes. The person who meets this has taken their place. What it means to be 30th in Europe in terms of the number of athletics is underestimated. You are really not a loser. You are definitely a great athlete.”
What it means to be ranked 30th in Europe in an athletics event is unimportant.
Because there is no doubt about Ellen Berings: everyone who left for the European Championships worked hard to get their tickets. And that without money. At the European Championships, there were no prize money for anyone.
“Most athletes are still studying or have another job. They put a lot of themselves into their sport because of their passion.”
“For me, this is a very powerful generation.”
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