It will be an impressive field of athletes lined up for the 100m final on Wednesday 13 August, and Germany’s Verena Sailer will surely have a big role to play.
Sailer, the champion from Barcelona 2010, has been in great form this season and achieved the time of 11.14 in Manheim on 5 July, the sixth fastest by a European.
She also posted a terrific 11.02 just a few weeks ago in Ulm, but that time does not count towards the European rankings due to the windy conditions.
At 28, Sailer has entered the prime of her career and will attempt to reproduce the run she had in Barcelona, where she held off the return of France’s Veronique Mang and Myriam Soumaré.
She will be up against Soumaré once again this year. The two have already battled it out at the European Athletics Team Championships in Braunschweig, the Frenchwoman taking first place in 11.35 and Sailer having to settle for third with 11.45.
“I had a good start but my finish was not strong, it shows that I still have a lot of training before Zurich,” Sailer told European Athletics in Braunschweig on 21 June.
Both of them will have their hands full with the new Dutch sprinting star Dafne Schippers, who leads the lists with 11.03 in Glasgow, and the defending champion from Helsinki 2012, Ivet Lalova of Bulgaria.
Although Sailer took a disappointing sixth place in Finland, she recovered well to lead the German relay team to gold in the 4x100m.
Sailer started getting noticed when winning gold in the 100m at the 2007 European Athletics U23 Championships in Debrecen.
She is also a strong indoor runner and proved it by taking European indoor bronze over 60m in Turin in 2009.
That same year at the IAAF World Championships, she anchored the German relay team to bronze in front of a wild home crowd in Berlin.
A lot was expected from her at the Worlds in Moscow last year, after she set a personal best time of 11.02 just a few weeks before the start of the championships.
She was eliminated in the semi-finals in 11.11 and never seemed comfortable on the Russian track. Sailer is in Zurich determined to set the record straight and demonstrate her speed when it matters most.
“It was important for me to stay healthy and be at my absolute best for Zurich, where it will probably take a sub-11 second race to win gold,” she said.
It will definitely be an explosive final in Zurich and Sailer knows what she has to do if she wants to stand on top of the podium once again.