The team captains for the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 arrived in the eastern Czech city yesterday ready and eager to continue in their promotional roles ahead of this weekend's competition.
Colin Jackson, the captain for Team Europe, Team Americas captain Mike Powell and Asia-Pacific captain Jana Pittman arrived at Ostrava Airport Wednesday evening where they were greeted by local school children each wearing the colours of the four respective teams. Africa captain Nezha Bidouane of Morocco, a two-time world champion who competed in three IAAF World Cups, arrived later in the evening.
"I'm really excited already for the competition," said Jackson, a former world record holder in the 110m hurdles who competed in four World Cups, winning in 1992. "Of course I've been with my other captains traveling so there's been a lot of competition off the field already."
"I love coming here to Ostrava, I was here just a few months ago," said a two-time world long jump champion who has held the world record in the event since 1991. "I feel good, I don't have to worry about competing myself. We have a strong team so I feel lucky."
"I think it'll be a great chance to come and see all the countries come together in continents," said Pittman, a two-time world champion in the 400m hurdles from Australia, who competed in the World Cup in 2002.. "You don't get a chance to do that very often as athletes so it'll be really nice to see the combined effort."
The four have a busy schedule on their slate over the next three days, with activities that include a Kids camp, a visit to the IAAF Heritage World / Continental Cup – 1977 To 2018 – Exhibition in Ostrava's city centre and a live chat with fans on the IAAF Facebook page on Thursday evening at 18:00 local time. And of course, they’ll be meeting with their respective teams to share their experiences at the IAAF’s quadrennial team competition.
Competition gets underway on Saturday afternoon at 14:30 local time. A sell-out crowd is expected at Ostrava's Mestsky Stadium.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF