The ERGO Arena, the venue for the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in the Polish city of Sopot, was officially opened on Sunday 16 February and almost 6,000 people flocked to the venue to get a glimpse of where the most important athletics event of the year will take place.
Among the activities, which included a variety of children’s events and r4elay races, was a VIP and celebrities race over one circuit of the arena, which was won by Polish international heptathlete Karolina Tyminska.
The official mascot Sopotek was on hand to cheer on all the participants throughout the day.
At a press conference held at the arena’s inauguration, 2014 World Indoor Championships ambassador and 2000 Olympic Games hammer champion Szymon Ziolkowski, now 37, revealed that he intends to try to compete in his sixth Olympics, at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
If he is successful, Ziolkowski will equal the Polish record for Olympic appearances and the athletics men’s ‘record’, which is currently held by Angolan distance runner Joao N’Tyamba and Serbian high jumper Dragutin Topic.
I regret that I will not be able to compete in Sopot, because my discipline will not be contested. However, that’s just as well, because I’d cause serious damage to such a beautiful hall, joked Ziolkowski.
The Polish Indoor Championships this coming weekend, on 22-23 February, will act as a test event for the World Indoor Championships, which take place 7-9 March.