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Preface EAA President
Hansjörg WirzEAA

The European Athletic Association has realised that there has been a need to create Championships for athletes who have recently left the junior age. Most of them are not yet ready for Olympic competitions and therefore need an intermediate step on the way towards the very top.

The European Championships under 23, which are now being staged for the fifth time, offer an excellent opportunity for aspiring European and Olympic Champions to compete against the best athletes in their own age group. We are pleased to note the great and still growing interest in these Championships all over Europe.

The European Athletic Association greatly appreciates the efforts made by the Deutscher Leichtathletik Verband, the German Athletic Association, and the local organisers in preparing these Championships in the wonderful Steigerwald stadium in Erfurt, which has seen so many successful events in recent years.

Hansjörg Wirz
President of the European Athletic Association

Welcome Message from the DLV
Clemens ProkopDLV

German athletics is honoured and happy that the European Athletic Association has awarded the 5th edition of the European Championships for Athletes under 23 to the city of Erfurt. Three years after the successful European Championships in Munich the German Athletics Federation (DLV) is proud to organise another important EAA Event.

The modern Steigerwaldstadion in Erfurt, the staff and volunteers of the Athletics Federation of Thuringia as well as the local sports enthusiasts have proven many times that Erfurt provides excellent conditions to host these championships. High quality competition facilities in and around the stadium and the adjacent indoor hall offer perfect conditions for top performances. The committed and well trained judges are very experienced and have been engaged at various other major competitions in Germany. Last but not least Erfurt is known for its competent spectators. The fantastic atmosphere at our National Championships in the Steigerwaldstadion in 1994 and 1999 is well remembered.

It gives me great pleasure to welcome the young athletes of the EAA Member Federations to Erfurt, the "green heart" of Germany, for the 5th European U'23 Championships. The German Athletics Federation and the Athletics Federation of Thuringia are working with great dedication to make this event memorable for all participants and to inspire outstanding performances. I also cordially invite the officials of the Federations and athletics fans from all over Europe to visit the European U'23 Championships. The previous four area championships for this age group have shown that this event is the show case for future World and Olympic Champions gaining first experiences at big championships.

Let us look forward together to four exciting athletic days in Erfurt in July 2005!

Clemens Prokop
President German Athletics Federation

Welcome Message from the City of Erfurt
Manfred O. RugeErfurt

Dear guests in the Thuringian capital Erfurt,

I am delighted to welcome you to the European Athletics Championships for Athletes under 23 in the renovated competition arena called "Steigerwaldstadion" here in Erfurt.

It is an historic moment, which the athletics enthusiasts in Erfurt have especially longed for. Erfurt is proud of its tradition for athletics and the international sporting successes it has brought with it. Former Olympic Champions like Johanna Schaller-Klier, Siegrun Sigel, Hartwig Gauder, Nils Schumann and many other international medal winners, after a lot of hard work and with the magnificent support of outstanding coaches like Siegfried Herrmann, Siegfried Meissner, Eberhard König, Dieter Hermann and many others, have here developed to icons for the german athletics and the sport in Erfurt. This successful history in combination with good facilities, a special sports school and a high support by the city, the federal country and the athletics sports structure helps many young athletes to follow the way of their stars. We hope for a high standard of identification with the participants of the European Athletics Championships U 23 and motivation for their own training.

Supported by the federal and regional governments, the city has in recent years modernised selected facilities to meet international standards and in addition has built new facilities, like the new athletics indoor arena , the stadium tribune with 4000 seats under a roof and the new stadium track. For the first time of Erfurt's history, we are very proud, to host European Championships in athletics in these facilities.

I would, at this point, like to extend a special thank-you to all our supporters and sponsors. It is through their support that these European Championships U 23 have been made possible.

Erfurt is proud of its medieval history and enjoys combining this with modern life. The Erfurt open-air festival on the cathedral steps has been a national and international attraction in the world of art. We hope, to gain the same from the organization of international sport events.

I would like to wish all participants in the European Athletics Championships U 23 the best of success and I hope that they accomplish all their sporting aims. The organizers deserve a smooth running Championship and you, my dear guests, should experience not only exciting competitions in athletics, but also a pleasant stay in our town Erfurt. As Lord Mayor of Erfurt, I am looking forward to experience these Championships personally

Yours warmly

Manfred O. Ruge
Lord Mayor

Welcome Message from the LOC
Ralf HafermannTLV

Dear Athletes, dear Athletics Friends,

On behalf of the Members of the Local Organising Committee, I am happy to welcome the best young athletes of European athletics to the European U23 Athletics Championships in Erfurt.

The Steigerwaldstadion in Erfurt will be the venue of these championships which will be held from
14 - 17 July 2005.
Since the foundation of the Athletics Federation of Thuringia in 1990 these are the first international championships to be organised in Erfurt. In the past years the sports facilities offered excellent conditions for national athletics highlights such as the German Youth Championships or the German National Championships.

With the support of the city of Erfurt and the federal state of Thuringia we will be able to present these European Championships on renovated athletics facilities in the Steigerwaldstadion.

We are doing our best to prepare best possible championships and to provide excellent conditions for top athletics performances. At the same time the athletes, officials and guests shall experience not only a sporting highlight but also a cultural event in the capital of Thuringia.

We wish all athletes and teams the best possible preparation for the European U23 Athletics Championships 2005. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need any assistance prior to the event.

Ralf Hafermann
President Athletics Federation of Thuringia