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Belgrade and Tbilisi land European Athletics events

The European Athletics Council has awarded its 2017 Indoor Championships to Belgrade, while Tbilisi has landed the inaugural edition of the Youth Championships in 2016.

The Serbian capital fended off competition from the Turkish city of Istanbul and the Polish city of Torun to secure the hosting rights to the 2017 Championships. Belgrade has experience in organising athletics events, most recently with the European Cross Country Championships in December 2013.

European Athletics said: “The Serbian Athletics Federation demonstrated their passion and desire and will use these championships to promote athletics as the most popular sport in Serbia. In addition the success of athletes such as Emir Bekric, Ivana Spanovic and Amela Terzic added to the hosting of the championships will continue to strategically influence the development of Serbian athletics.”

The Georgian capital of Tbilisi defeated a rival bid from the Italian city of Rieti to secure the 2016 Youth Championships. Preparations are already underway as the city will host the European Athletics Team Championships 3rd League this year and then the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2015 for which the new Athletics Stadium of Tbilisi is being built.

The next edition of the European Indoor Championships is due to take place in Prague in 2015. The Youth Championships are a new event, with Tbilisi set to host the inaugural edition.