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After Istanbul success, next stop Helsinki

Natalia Dobrynska

Natalia Dobrynska

For the vast majority of the European medallists at the World Indoor Championships, their next big competition will be this summer’s European Athletics Championships in Helsinki.

Finland’s capital will stage the continent’s showpiece event from 27 June to 1 July.

“Winning a world title is great but I am equally excited about defending my European title in Helsinki. For pole vaulters, this is going to be a great event,” said France’s Renaud Lavillenie, whose World Indoor Championships pole vault gold medal will be on display at home alongside those he’s won from the most recent European Athletics Championships and European Athletics Indoor Championships.

Ukraine’s combined events star Natalia Dobrynska is another Istanbul champion who will be looking to also make her mark at the 2012 European Athletics Championships.

“I have to be honest and say that I haven’t planned my summer completely but I have never won a European title, indoors or outdoors, so competing in Helsinki is very appealing,” said the 2008 Olympic Games heptathlon gold medallist who made history in Istanbul when she became the first woman to score over 5000 points in the pentathlon, winning with the magnificent score of 5013 points.

Great Britain’s World Indoor Championships triple jump gold medallist Yamile Aldama said, “I’m already thinking about the Europeans. If Olha (Saladuha, from Ukraine, the 2011 world champion outdoors) is there then it could be a great competition.”

In total, 13 European countries saw their flags raised in the Ataköy Athletics Arena as a result of their athletes gaining medals, with Europe’s leading nation being Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The British team finished second in the medal table behind the United States with two gold medals, three silver medals and four bronze medals.

Another eight European Athletics Member Federations had athletes finish in the top eight of their event, again showing their strength and depth of the sport across Europe.

European athletes were also on the podium of 22 of the 26 events contested in Istanbul.

Of course, everyone is focussed on this summer’s European Athletics Championships in Helsinki but it should also not be forgotten that in less than 12 months’ time the Swedish city of Göteborg will play host to the 2013 European Athletics Indoor Championships from 1-3 March next year.

Statistics prove that it is certain many of the European medallists from Istanbul will try to add continental indoor honours to the global accolades they acquired over the weekend.

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