History: Championships are back in Switzerland after 60 years

Zürich 2014, held from 12 to 17 August 2014, will be the 22nd European Athletics Championships. The first edition of the event was held in Turin in 1934. Switzerland will be hosting the championships for the second time.

Benr 1954

Bern 1954: the legendary Emil Zatopek (701) in the men’s 5000m final.

60 years after Bern 1954, Switzerland will have another opportunity to stage the athletics mega event – a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all parties involved. Especially Swiss athletes will be excited to be able to compete in front of their home crowd.

Bern 1954

Pulling a larger than expected crowd

The 1954 European Athletics Championships were held at Neufeld Stadium in Berne.

The event was such a huge success with the public that temporary tribunes had to be installed, at very short notice, to accommodate all 24 000 spectators. The organisers had expected merely 10 000 to 15 000 people to attend.

The performances of the two running legends Emil Zatopek and Roger Bannister were two of many highlights during the 1954 championships.

The best Swiss performers in Berne were Jean-Jacques Hegg (400 m) and Fritz Portmann (triple jump), who both placed fifth in their finals.

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