After Bydgoszcz, Poland staged the 2017 edition of the event, the European Athletics U23 Championships will be heading to Gävle, Sweden from 11-14 July.
The European U23 Championships was first staged in Turku, Finland in 1997, replacing the European U23 Cup which was held in 1992 and 1994. The championships has been staged biennially since 1997 and it is designed to facilitate the often difficult transition from the U20 ranks to the senior stage.
Two years after winning the U20 title, Great Britain’s 100m sprinter Ojie Edoburun moved through the age-groups by claiming the gold medal in Bydgoszcz. He articulated the importance of the championships after winning the 100m title.
“It is hard to go just from a youth straight to being a senior. I think there should be even more emphasis on a championship such as this one because it is a transition championship,” he said.
The championships could potentially feature many medallist from the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships including Sweden’s teenage pole vault sensation Mondo Duplantis along with his compatriot and 800m silver medallist Andreas Kramer.
Other Berlin 2018 medallists who will be eligible to compete in Gavle include Greek long jump winner and reigning European U20 champion Miltiardis Tentoglou, Hungary’s hammer bronze medallist Bence Halasz and Belarus’ 100m hurdles gold medallist Elvira Herman as well as Poland's Berlin 2018 shot put silver medallist Konrad Bukowiecki, who set two championship record at the last U23 championships in 2017 culminating in a distance of 21.56m
Another four championship records - including a 400m hurdles championship record by Norway''s' Karsten Warholm as a prelude to winning the world title a month later in London - were set at the 2017 European Athletics U23 Championships and there are high hopes the same standards will be reached in Gavle.
Another athlete to win medals at both championships was Ukraine’s high jumper Yuliya Levchenko who won gold in Bydgoszcz before silver in London. They were both duly anointed male and female Rising Star of 2017 at the Golden Tracks award ceremony in Vilnius, Lithuania in October.
Consequently, it's certainly possible that a few medal winners in Gavle will stand on the podium again at the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 and the championship will act as a form guide to who might take the prestigious end-of-season continental honours, especially those won by Warholm and Levchenko last year.
A total of 29 Member Federations - along with one Authorised Neutral Athlete - won medals in Bydgoszcz. Germany topped both the medal and placing tables with 18 medals in total, including four titles.
Official website: https://www.gavle2019.com/