To meet the needs of the growing city and urban area, a modern tramway system has been designed for Tampere. The key goals of the tramway system include making the everyday life and transportation easier in the municipality, supporting the growth and development of the urban area, and increasing the appeal of the city.
Four Finnish athletes know what it is like to win a World Championship medal at home field. The most recent one to experience this was long jumper Tommi Evilä, whose jumps at Helsinki Olympic Stadium are now part of Finnish sports history. Who will succeed next at IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere?
Audiences at home prefer sprinter Samuel Purola, hurdler Viivi Lehikoinen and javelin thrower Elina Kinnunen, who all brought medals back home from last summer’s European Athletics U20 Championships. In addition pole vaulter Saga Andersson, discus thrower Helena Leveelahti and shot putter Arttu Korkeasalo may be counted as Finland’s possible success athletes.
Purola runs and plays
Samuel Purola, 18, who runs for Oulun Pyrintö, is a sprinter in the second generation. Purola has developed quickly under the supervision of his father and coach Mika Purola. A tall (188 cm) sprinter placed third at 100 metres and fifth at 200 metres in the European Athletics U18 Championships in 2016. Last summer he ran silver at 100 metres and bronze at 200 metres in the European Athletics U20 Championships.
– I was surprised that I was able to place so well, Purola confessed in Grosseto.
When this text goes to print, Purola’s records at 100 and 200 metres were 10,31 and 20,84. He tries to be in his best shape in Tampere.
– For the last few weeks I have run better than ever in the rehearsals. I’m waiting for the World U20 Championships with confidence, said Purola.
Purola, who likes to spend his free time playing drums has a background in wrestling and football. His brother Eeli is a sprinter as well.
Lehikonen knows how to have a good timing
Hurdler Viivi Lehikoinen knows how to do her best in the most important races. In 2016 she won 400 metre hurdles with her record 58,28 in European Athletics U18 Championships. A year ago she ran bronze in the European Athletics U20 Championships with the Finnish record in her age group, 56,49.
– When I saw my result at the board I was shocked. I had trouble realising what I had just done, Lehikoinen said in Italy.
Lehikoinen is coached by Jussi Ihamäki who coached Nooralotta Neziri when she won European Athletics U20 Championships and placed third in the European U23 Championships in 100 metre hurdles.
– The progress was as expected during the training season and my technique became better and better. Now during the summer the results have improved step by step. U20s are the main goal of the season, Lehikoinen says.
Lehikoinen, 18, graduated from Mäkelänrinne sports high school this spring.
Kinnunen switched skis to a javelin
Javelin thrower Elina Kinnunen comes from Uusikaupunki, Southwest Finland. Former cross country skier has developed fast under the guidance of her coach Tuomas Laaksonen. Kinnunen has the talent necessary to rise to the international top in her sport.
Kinnunen, 19, placed third in the European U18 Championships in 2016 as well as in the last year’s European U20 Championships.
– Now my goal is to take a brighter medal in Tampere, Kinnunen says about her plans for the coming season.
Her best result so far, 54,30, shows promising signs regarding the upcoming World U20 Championships.
Like Lehikoinen, Kinnunen also graduated from high school this spring.
The fourth place isn’t enough for Andersson anymore
Pole vaulter Saga Andersson wants to put a stop to her row of fourth places this summer in Tampere. She placed fourth at Youth Olympic Festival at Tbilisi, Georgia 2015, as well as in the European U18 Championships hold at the same place a year later. The third fourth place was achieved at the European U20 Championships in Grosseto, Italy, last year.
Andersson, 18, is a pole vaulter in the second generation. Her father Björn Andersson is also her coach. Her record is 442 indoors and 440 outdoors.
– Training has gone well. I have become stronger and faster. I have especially improved the beginning of the jump, Andersson says.
Andersson has competed in a good company for a long time, as Wilma Murto, who jumped the junior’s world record, is just one year older than her. Andersson studies in Swedish speaking high school, Helsinge gymnasium.
Many talented throwers
The Finnish team has several talented throwers, like discus thrower Helena Leveelahti, 18, who comes from Virrat, middle Finland. She placed fifth in the European U20 Championships last year, and her record is 54,67. Shot putter Arttu Korkeasalo, 18, competes for the first time in the U20 Championships and had thrown 19,43 with 6-kilo shot.
– I have what it takes to throw more than 20 metres, Korkeasalo promises.
Also hammer thrower Kiira Väänänen and javelin throwers Teemu Narvi and Roosa Ylönen have chances to place in top 8 in their sports. Narvi is considered to be a truly promising Finnish javelin thrower.
The public broadcasting company Yle is broadcasting the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere from the 10th to the 15th of July. The championships are one of the biggest investments of the summer. In the midst of the FIFA World Cup Yle is providing the event in Tampere with over 40 hours of live coverage.
For six days the channel TV2 and the web service Areena will cover live stream from both the morning and evening sessions of the championships in Tampere. The amount exceeds the coverage of the European Championships held in Berlin in August.
– It´s great that future and current stars of athletics are presented in Finland. Finns understand athletics well and appreciate top performances, regardless of nationalities. Finnish experts in the sport will with no doubt organize a great competition and Yle will in return arrange spectacular representation on tv, says the managing editor of sports events of Yle, Sasha Ikonen.
The last time Finland hosted an athletics competition of this size was in 2005 when the fight for world champion took place in Helsinki. The U20 championships differ from the adult ones by not being dominated by a few nations. In the previous sixteenth championships of the age group 105 nations got to celebrate with medals.
In other words no clear prediction is possible, allowing upcoming great surprises in Ratina in July. 1700 athletes from over 170 nations will compete in the world U20 championships.
When it comes to environmental responsibilities of sporting events, the IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere are taking the extra mile by setting concrete sustainability goals to reduce waste and emissions during the event. The event organisers are making visible sustainable choices to become pioneers in large scale sports events.
Drink responsibly, Water without waste
One of the goals is to considerably reduce the amount of the most difficult waste of them all; plastic.
At sports events, water plays a big role. Yet, the side product of keeping everyone hydrated is the abundant amount of thrown away plastic bottles. The event in Tampere is set on reducing plastic waste by making sure that disposable plastic bottles will become a thing of the past.
For most people in the world the idea of drinking water straight from the tap feels like a strange or even scary idea. In Finland on the other hand, it is a no-brainer to choose what water to drink. In addition to being completely safe and fresh, Finnish tap water makes disposable water bottles completely useless. The IAAF World U20 Championships have taken on the mission to ensure that each and every visitor and partaker is aware of the liquid gold available at every household or public tap in Finland.
All roughly 2500 team members and athletes will be provided durable bottles, made of BPA free plastic, which they can fill with water wherever there is a tap at hand. The bottles work as motivation to drink responsibly, without producing any plastic waste from bottles or cups. In fact, disposable water bottles will not be provided at all, since Finnish tap water is proven purer than most bottled water. As it is customary in Finland even the event hotels and restaurants provide water pitchers with tap water, reducing plastic waste considerably.
City bikes from Ecofellows
The company Ecofellows Ltd. promotes the championships sustainability plan by providing 30 city bikes to be used during the event.
The IAAF World U20 Championships promote sustainable choices in transportation and together with Ecofellows are able to provide a more sustainable alternative for a car. The city centre of Tampere is compact and distances are easy to tackle by bike. The Tampere Stadium is in the heart of the city, which makes moving by bike not only more responsible, but also easier.
“It is important to consider environmental aspects in events like this. Ecological arrangements are necessary and sensible. Many things are easier to do by bike, without having to use a car”, the project manager of Ecofellows, Olli Vakkala explains.
The citybikes are primarily offered to help the local event organisers and team members to get around quickly and efficiently.
The main goal of the world championships regarding the preservation of the environment is to underline the quality of Finnish tap water and how it is the primary source of drinking water. Unlike in most countries in the world, the water coming from any household or public tap is completely safe to enjoy and even purer than most bottled water.
Other important aspects of the event are sustainable choices and the proper recycling of waste. The goal is to set an example as a pioneer of responsible large-scale events. The idea is to not only learn and teach, but to also ensure that future events in the city will automatically function in a responsible manner.
The city of Tampere aims to have a carbon neutral status by 2030.
Read more about the event´s Sustainability plan here:
Bottled water used in major events, especially sports events often produce a large amount of waste. Tap water in Finland is completely safe to drink, which is why it is our responsibility to provide a better and more sustainable option to water bottles – let the project Water Education begin!
Project Water Education in a nutshell
One of the main goals of the IAAF world U20 Championships is to reduce waste production. A huge step towards this goal is to use refillable water bottles and quality tap water. Instead of handing out new water bottles each time, athletes and volunteers are provided with refillable durable water bottles, which can be filled with fresh tap water. This way the bottles can be reused throughout the event and long after. The bottle also serves as a nice memento for the athletes.
To ensure fresh drinking water during the event at both competition areas, as well as training facilities, water from the local water supplier Tampereen Vesi is provided to where it normally is not available. To many visitors it might feel like a strange idea to fill a bottle with tap water – Yet, Finnish tap water is completely safe to enjoy and a pleasure to drink.
Restaurant Day and responsibility
During the worldwide food carnival Restaurant Day, held on the third Saturday of May, 19.5, the marketing team of the World Championships launched the project Water Education by setting up a water station in the Koskipuisto -park in Tampere. The first 200 visitors were given fresh drinking water from Tampereen Vesi in reusable water bottles. The project gained extremely positive feedback, along with popularity due to the conscious environmental choice. The importance of environmental responsibility is ever growing and even small changes and decisions move towards more sustainable actions.
Tampere U20 World Championships encourage each and every one to join the project Water Education – let’s reduce waste together by drinking tap water! #drinktapwater
Students of local schools in Tampere are thrilled that the IAAF World U20 Championships are hosted in their home city. In fact, third and sixth graders of the Wivi Lönn -elementary school have taken on a special project to get acquainted with the cultures represented at the sports event and share their art and knowledge with the whole city of Tampere, including visitors and partakers of the event.
Over 200 students are creating introductory posters for countries taking part in the Championships. Students are releasing their inner artists by drawing flags and working on their global knowledge by writing short introductions for each nation.
“I believe it was a great idea to involve students in the marketing for the Championships. This way they get to experience some variety to normal school, while getting to know different nations all around the world”, says one of the organisers of the school project Mikko Uotila.
The 9 to 13-year-old students were thrilled about the project since it was a different kind of task than what they usually get in school. Students were given the artistic freedom to make the posters look original, while following the same guidelines.
“The art looks great and will definitely gain interest and admiration around the city”, says Uotila.
The artwork is displayed all around the city centre of Tampere, bringing joy and interesting facts to people passing by during and around the IAAF World U20 Championships in July.
With 50 days to go until the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018, the host nation and its athletes are adding the finishing touches to their preparations for the event on 10-15 July.
It will be the first time a Scandinavian city has hosted a global age-group athletics championships and it looks set to be one of the biggest yet. With the deadline for preliminary entries having now closed, 1718 athletes from 171 teams have signalled their interest in competing in Tampere.
Those numbers can be expected to fall slightly by the time the final entry period closes, but they may not be too far off the record entry figure of 1566 athletes from the 2012 edition in Barcelona.
The local organising committee is ready to welcome the world to Tampere and has this week published the official bulletin for the event.
“With 49 Olympic track and field champions to date from a population of only five million, Finland punches above its athletics weight and is arguably the modern spiritual home of athletics,” said IAAF President Sebastian Coe.
“Finland was one of the 17 founding members of the IAAF in 1912 and has since developed a world-renowned reputation for successfully hosting major athletics events, including one Olympic Games, two World Championships and three European Championships.
“The combination of an unrivalled national athletics culture, vast hosting experience and an athletics-loving city will ensure that the IAAF World U20 Championships Tampere 2018 this July will be an athletics meeting to savour.”