The European Athletics U23 Championships will remain on Scandinavian soil in 2021 as the Swedish town of Gavle hands the baton over to Bergen in Norway from 8-11 July.
This will be the first time Norway has hosted this age-group championships which dates back to 1997 but there is a possibility that the biennial championship could be graced by one of the country’s most prolific and popular athletes.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen finally graduates out of the U20 ranks at the end of 2019 and he will be eligible to compete in U23 competitions until the end of 2022. Ingebrigtsen has torn the European U20 record book asunder over the last three seasons and his 1500m clocking of 3:30.16 in Lausanne in July also eclipsed the long-standing European U23 record.
Norwegian athletes have won eight gold medals in the history of the European Athletics U23 Championships. Jakob’s oldest brother Henrik won the 5000m title in 2013 and reigning world and European champion Karsten Warholm won the 400m hurdles title in 2017 in a championship record of 48.37. Other notable winners have included Sondre Nordstad Moen who won the 10,000m title in 2011 and Isabelle Pedersen in the 100m hurdles in 2013.
Five championship records were set at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Gavle last July. European champion Elvira Herman from Belarus concluded her age-group career by winning the 100m hurdles in 12.70 to eclipse the previous mark by 0.01 and Germany's Niklas Kaul provided a glimpse of the form that was to follow at the World Championships in Doha by winning the decathlon title in Gavle with 8572 points.
There was also success for the hosts as 19-year-old Henrik Larsson won the 100m title by 0.01 in a marginally wind-aided 10.23. He is one of six athletes who will be eligible to defend their titles in Bergen in 2021.
German topped the medal table in Gavle, winning nine gold medals across the four days of competition including a clean sweep of the medals in the women's shot put led by Alina Kenzel and a one-two in the women's 10,000m courtesy of Alina Reh and Miriam Dattke.