Svein Arne Hansen (right), has backed the concept behind the 2018 European Sports Championships ©Getty Images

Svein Arne Hansen, the newly-elected President of European Athletics, has claimed he is fully supportive of the model for the 2018 European Sports Championships, which will be held in Glasgow and Berlin.

The aim of the event, which will see existing European Championships come together in a multi-sport format every four years, is to create a strong new brand on the world stage, and increase television audiences and sponsorship opportunities.

Hansen was briefed on the concept here having been voted as the replacement of the outgoing European Athletics President Hansjörg Wirz earlier this month.

The Norwegian claimed the 50 Member Federations will get behind it when it is formally presented to them at either one of the first two European Athletics Conventions under his stewardship, due to be held in Lausanne this October and Funchal, Portugal, next year. 

Around 2,900 athletes will take part in events in Glasgow, which will host cycling, rowing, swimming, triathlon and golf, with a further 1,500 competing at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin.

“It’s really a good idea and it will increase for sure the media attention, the spectator attention, and the audiences around this in the future,” said Hansen at the SportAccord Convention World Sport & Business Summit, which finished here yesterday. 

Asked about how the synergy between Glasgow and Berlin will work, Hansen added: "I think it’s more a television thing because they’re trying to show [it on] the television, and the television viewer will not really see if it’s Glasgow or Berlin.

"All the other sports are in Glasgow but they’re trying to combine it together and I have a feeling we’re in the driving seat in Berlin but there’s still a lot of things to be worked out with that.

"I talked to Glasgow - they were very happy about this.

"We have to see how it works and how it's going to be."

The Olympiastadion in Berlin will stage the 2018 European Athletics Championships
The Olympiastadion in Berlin will stage the 2018 European Athletics Championships ©Getty Images

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) reached an agreement with the governing bodies of Europe’s leading Federations last month, to bring the EChampionships to television audiences.

The inaugural edition of the Championships is due to be staged over a 12-day period during the summer of 2018, offering audiences more than 2,700 hours of free-to-air programming.

Hansen received 26 of the 50 Member Federation votes in the Presidential election at the European Athletics Congress in Bled, Slovenia, with Jean Gracia of France, who was later re-elected as one of three vice-presidents, polling 19 and Antti Pihlakoski of Finland receiving five votes.

He has targeted five key areas for change in his manifesto Leading Change - boosting Member Federations, energising and rewarding athletes, consolidating and reinvigorating commercial activity, re-casting the competition schedule and bringing more recreational runners into the International Federation’s orbit.

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