News detail

12 August 2014

The 2014 European Athletics Championships come to Zürich!


OMEGA serves as Official Timekeeper and introduces new timekeeping technology. From 12 to 17 August, OMEGA will have a major presence in Zurich’s Letzigrund Stadium as the brand assumes the responsibilities of Official Timekeeper for the 2014 European Athletics Championships.

Taking advantage of its experience as Official Timekeeper at 26 Olympic Games as well as at a number of international athletics competitions, OMEGA will deploy an expert team of timekeeping professionals to this popular and highly anticipated sporting event, armed with a veritable arsenal of new and advanced timekeeping and measurement equipment.

OMEGA’s official timekeepers ensure timely delivery of the official results to everyone involved in the competitions they support. OMEGA is also responsible for the competitor displays for the athletes and their support teams along with the public displays for spectators at each venue. Additionally, the brand delivers official results in real time to broadcast, network and print media who in turn relay results and commentary to remote audiences around the world.

OMEGA takes its role as Official Timekeeper very seriously and is proud to be at the service of the men and women who will travel to the brand’s home country to demonstrate their athletic abilities on a world stage.

New technology at the European Athletics Championships
For more than 80 years, OMEGA has developed and delivered state-of-the-art sports timing and measurement equipment that has continued to underscore the brand’s commitment to accuracy and precision.

At the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zurich, OMEGA will unveil four new pieces of timekeeping equipment: the OMEGA Scan’O’Vision MYRIA photo-finish camera, a new false start detection system and two types of upgraded scoreboards.

Perhaps the most widely known sports timekeeping device used in athletics is the photo-finish camera, the equipment set up at the finish line of sprints, hurdles and other races. The OMEGA Scan’O’Vision MYRIA is a combination of a time detector and a chronograph. Photo-finish images are produced using a high-tech image-capture device that records up to 10,000 digital images per second. Improved light sensitivity means that images are of higher quality than with previous versions of the photo-finish camera and thanks to its compact size it takes less time to assemble and disassemble.

The starting blocks are enhanced with built-in sensors which are a key component in OMEGA’s advanced false start detection technology. These sensors measure the athletes’ force against the footrest 4,000 times per second.

In the event of a false start, the detection system will instantly send the force measurements to an on-site computer and create a “force curve” so the starter can visually analyse the reaction – this is possible because of new software and enhanced communication technology between the starting blocks and the false start detection system.

The three- and two-sided scoreboards situated along the race course and at the finish line respectively have been re-designed and are operated by new software that enables them to display not only text, pictures and live information, but also animations and videos. With higher resolution and 16 million colour options, the improved scoreboards benefit spectators in the stadium as well as those watching from home. Winners’ names, results and their nation’s flag can be boldly displayed, adding to the drama, thrill and excitement of each event.

How it works: Timing the 100m sprint
To highlight the brand’s technology and to demonstrate the steps involved in measuring and distributing the results of the 100m sprint, OMEGA has created an animated video titled “How it works: Timing the 100m sprint”.

OMEGA and European Athletics
The brand’s long-term support as an International Partner of European Athletics provides the sports with the means to develop and grow and enables the governing body to organize its extensive competition programme.

Since coming together in 2008, OMEGA and European Athletics have experienced a successful relationship and have recently extended their partnership until 2016.