Injuries and illnesses during the 2011 Paris European Athletics Indoor Championships

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2013 Aug;23(4):e213-8. doi: 10.1111/sms.12027. Epub 2012 Nov 28.


This study aimed to record and analyse incidence and characteristics of injuries and illnesses incurred during the Indoor Athletics Championships. During the 2011 European Indoor Athletics Championships in Paris, incidence and characteristics of new injuries and illnesses were recorded prospectively by physicians and physiotherapists from national teams and local organizing committee in 631 registered athletes. Around 70% of athletes were covered by the medical teams (response rate: 84%). Thirty injuries, including eight time-loss injuries, were reported, representing an incidence of 47.5 injuries and 29.4 time-loss injuries per 1000 registered athletes. Injury and time-loss injury risk were highest in heptathlon and hurdles. Three-quarters of injuries affected the lower extremity. Thigh strain was the most common diagnosis (n = 7; 23%). Noncontact trauma (n = 9; 30%) was the predominant cause. A total of 18 illnesses were reported. Incidence of illnesses was 28.5 per 1000 registered athletes, with 17% resulting in time lost from sport. Upper respiratory tract infection was the most common diagnosis (n = 8; 44%) followed by upper respiratory tract allergy (n = 3; 17%) and gastroenteritis (n = 3; 17%). Injury and illness incidence and severity were lower during the 2011 European Indoor Athletics Championships than during outdoor championships, probably due to the shorter duration, the fewer number of events, and shorter sprint distances.

Keywords: championships; elite athletes; epidemiology; injury/illness surveillance; musculoskeletal injury; sports injury prevention; track and field.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Gastroenteritis / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Lacerations / epidemiology
  • Leg Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology*
  • Skin / injuries
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology*
  • Track and Field / injuries*
  • Young Adult