"Karlsruhe springt" attracts world-class athletes to the heart of the city

World-class athletes, up close and personal – this time, though, not at the INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe, but on Karlsruhe's market square, right in the heart of the city at "Karlsruhe springt". On Saturday, visitors were able to visit free of charge – however, in compliance with the vaccinated, tested, recovered rule. This is because the "state parlour of the city" was transformed into an athletics arena: between the pyramid and the Ludwigsbrunnen, exactly on the axis of the "Via Triumphalis", there were two sporting facilities – for long jumpers and pole vaulters, framed by stands and standing-room areas, where the vaccinated, tested, recovered rule applied and masks were compulsory, too.  

The organisers admittedly already had the "image of the event in mind" during the planning in the run-up stage, Martin Wacker, managing director of Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH, says. "After the INDOOR MEETING without spectators we wanted to say a big thank you to the loyal fans – and simultaneously attract life into the heart of the city. The implementation, the atmosphere and the enthusiasm exceeded our expectations. That was pure city marketing." The sporting performances additionally contributed to this: Since, already during the first jumps of the pole vaulters and long jumpers, the sports-savvy audience made clear that they were having a great time. "It's simply fun," Christopher Ullmann, long jumper from Switzerland, says: "It's an incredible facility – and the spectators are cheering us on." Especially the corona-compliant proximity of the athletes created a special feeling among the more than 1,000 visitors. They returned the favour by cheering on and applauding the athletes. "It's really great to have such a world-class sport event in the heart of the city," Dietmar Mögenburg added. The former world-class high jumper and Olympic champion was in charge of the Norwegian jumpers.

Focus on sport

It was blow upon blow; long jumps and pole vaults in alternation. "With two facilities, there's always something going on," a delighted Sports Director, Alain Blondel, happily explained – and the exciting competition provided the best entertainment. Whether it was a three-way competition between the long jumpers Mohamed Reda Chahboun (7.70 metres), Ingar Kiplesund (7.89 metres) and the eventual winner, Henrik Flåtnes (7.98 metres), or a duel among the pole vaulters Iryna Zhuk (4.66 metres) and the eventual winner, Tina Šutej (4.71 metres), who both only just missed the respective national record: "Throughout, the athletes had praise for the atmosphere and the facility," Blondel reports on the athletes' feedback. "Naturally, we would have liked to break the national records," Šutej and Zhuk unanimously say, "but even without a record, it was a great event, especially thanks to the spectators who created such a great atmosphere."  

Popular sport: offers were well received

Within the context of the Springer event, approx. 20 clubs from Karlsruhe were able to present themselves on Friedrichsplatz, showcasing some of the sporting opportunities the city offers – and many people seized this opportunity to try out sports such as darts, football, softball, volleyball or frisbee – some even succeeding at attaining their sports badge. The special kick was that, on the long jump course, where the international stars jumped later on, the amateur athletes could do their jumps. "I am delighted that so many people participated and used the opportunity to get to know the wide range of activities on offer," Martin Lenz, mayor of the Sports Department, explained. "What is more, it was an excellent showcasing opportunity for the clubs." "Sport in the City" presented itself as a complete, successful concept that could be continued in cooperation with the clubs," Wacker said "with the combination of both popular and top-class sport." How closely and sustainably this is interconnected in Karlsruhe is also clearly demonstrated by the facility's jumping pit, because the approximately 5 cubic metres of sand will be donated to Karlsruhe kindergartens during these days. The evening finale to an all-round successful day of sport in Karlsruhe was then provided by the SCHLOSSLICHTSPIELE Light Festival Karlsruhe.

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