The European Athletics Team Championships is one of the great dates on the calendar – and Lille Métropole’s countdown to staging the Super League in June has seen the launch of their website for the event.
On Thursday this week, 1 December, ticket sales went on sale for the championships, where all details can be found at www.lillemetropole2017.com, with all the information in both French and English.
Formerly known as the European Cup, Lille hosted that competition in 1995 and now 22 years later they will welcome the teams in the top division of the championships.
Infact, France had a rich tradition in being the venue for the European Cup, hosting it fives times in the past as their website reminds its readers.
Along with Lille in 1995, it was staged in Nice in 1975, Paris in 1999 and in Annecy in 2002 and 2008.
The following year came the transformation into its guise, now as a joint competition for men and women, with the first European Athletics Team Championships Super League in Leiria.
Next year between 23-25 June will be the first occasion any French city has held these championships in any of the four divisions.
Belarus, Czech Republic, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, Holland and France will compete, while the presence of Russia is subject to a future decision to reinstate the Russian federation by the International Association of Athletics Federations.
But one fact is for sure - the French athletes will be wanting to win the title for the first time, with their best performance being at the last European Athletics Team Championships in Cheboksary in 2015 when they finished third.
It was a weekend where they won seven events – Christophe Lemaitre (100m), Mourad Amdouni (5000m), the men’s 4x400m team of Mame-Ibra Anne, Mamoudou Hanne, Teddy Venel and Thomas Jordier, Renaud Lavillenie (pole vault), Floria Guei (400m), Renelle Lamote (800m) and Melina Robert-Michon (discus) – and has a series of fine seconds and thirds as their team combined brilliantly.
If you want to see if France can go all the way this time, visit lillemetropole2017.com where you can find out about purchasing tickets and how the competition format works.