The Presidential Cup in Track and Field
Track & field competitions in Latvia have been organised in the town of Valmiera since 1995, and the President of Latvia has traditionally been the patron of the event. President Zatlers attended the opening ceremony, watched the competition and provided awards for the winners for the first time on July 17, 2008. The competition includes events such as javelin, pole vaulting, long jumping, the shot put, the triple jump, etc.
In 2008, the Presidential Cup was held for the 14th time. Teams from Latvia’s historical regions – Vidzeme, Kurzeme, Zemgale and Latgale, as well as from the city of Rīga – took part in nearly all of the 39 track & field disciplines that are known. The winners received their awards at the Rīga Castle on July 21, 2008.
In 2009, the Presidential Cup was held in Valmiera on July 3, and on July 29, President Zatlers again welcomed the winners to the castle: “This is a very traditional, but also unusual event in that the cups are awarded at the Rīga Castle and not the stadium. I am delighted that the competition has become a popular tradition and that athletes have done so well in it.”
On July 16-17, 2010, the 16th Presidential Cup in Track and Field will be held. As always, it will be held at the Jānis Dāliņs stadium, and teams from Rīga and Latvia's regions will compete to demonstrate the best results in running, javelin, the pole vault, the shot put, race walking, the triple jump, the discus and others -- 39 track and field sports in all.
There is one Latvian record that was set at the Presidential Cup. In 2007, Vaira Kumermane threw the hammer for a distance of 58.59 metres. Aigars Fadejevs, a race-walker, set a Latvian record at the Presidential Cup in 1998, as did Dace Dzalbe, who threw the hammer for a distance of more than 40 metres for the first time in her career.