– I'm proud of being the ambassador not only of the great Copernicus Cup meeting, but also of the European Athletics Indoor Championships. It will be one of the most important competition next year, because I defend the European indoor title for the third time. For sure, this championships will be my last, so I'm glad to host them on our soil in Poland - said Lewandowski during the Friday press conference at the Arena Toruń.
The preparations for the largest athletic event in Poland for 45 years - exactly that many years ago the European Indoor Championships were held in Katowice - are going according to the plan. - You only need to look at the venue to know that we are well prepared. Big international events are organised here for six years and it's the place where the world records were broken. Recently, we have made some additional investments at the venue, because we know we have to meet the highest technical standards. Several days ago we were checked by the technical delegation of European Athletics and the evaluation is really good - said the Mayor of Toruń, Michał Zaleski.
During the press conference the official mascot was revealed - it will be the gingerbread named Katarzynka. - We, the inhabitants of Toruń, certainly know, that we are best identified by Nicolaus Copernicus and gingerbreads, but when choosing the mascot we used the questionnaires and multiple consultations. Katarzyna will promote us at other athletic events in the Arena Torun like indoor meeting Copernicus Cup or National Indoor Championships - explained Mariola Soczyńska, Head of Sport and Recreation Department.
The athletes who will represent Polish Team in the Arena Toruń emphasize the importance of the championships. - The preparations are going well, I easily won the polish cross country championships. Unfortunately we cannot go to training camps in the mountains, so I decided to go to Warsaw to train in the hypoxic conditions. I hope that I can fly for the high altitude training camp to South Africa in January - added Marcin Lewandowski
- My preparations are going right, we had a training camp in Karpacz. I was shocked that I can be so tired at my age. I'm ready to do my best and I hope I will be in a good shape three times in Torun at the Copernicus Cup meeting, National Indoor Championships and the European Athletics Indoor Championships. - said Paweł Wojciechowski, who will be defending the European indoor title in the pole vault. Wojciechowski will spend a lot of time in the Arena Toruń in the near future, because this venue is his training spot for the indoor season.
When he was asked about the idea how to beat Armand Duplantis, who in 2020 set a world record at the Orlen Copernicus Cup, he replied that there is only one solution. - I have to break the world record, because Mondo jumps in a different league. However, we must remember that this is a sport. When I was on my way to Glasgow in 2019, I wasn't a favourite. It was a close call, I would not win any medal at all, but finally I took the gold - added Wojciechowski.
The organisers have a hope that the situation with the coronavirus pandemic will step down by March and allow the fans to enter the stands. - We live with a great hope that the restrictions in our country will be reduced by 4 March and we will be able to have the fans in the Arena Toruń. We really count on it - said the Mayor of Toruń. - We have a plan and various solutions - added Krzysztof Wolsztyński, the CEO of the European Athletics Indoor Championships and the President of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Athletic Association.
It's known that the championships will take place in the highest sanitary regime. - The athletes who will arrive to Poland are obligated to have a negative PCR test. We will pick them up from the airport with a separate transport and the will be transported to the Arena Toruń for another tests. After the negative test onsite the can go to the hotel. Everyone will be tested - athletes, volunteers, organisers, officials. We're doing that to make everyone safe during the competition - added Wolsztyński.
The volunteers' recruitment is already started. - On Saturday we will celebrate the International Volunteer Day, so we highly encourage you to join our team. A great adventure is waiting for you in Toruń - explained the CEO of the championships. The recruitment is ongoing on the official website www.torun2021.pl and finishes on 31 January 2021. Only adults with the English language knowledge at the communicative level are expected.
The European Athletics Indoor Championships will take place in the Arena Toruń between 4-7 March 2021. The organisation of the championships is supported by the city of Toruń and the Marshall Office of the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship.