It has been two decades since Gothenburg hosted the European Athletics U23 Championships but the biennial event will be returning to Swedish soil one month today (11).
Situated approximately 170 kilometres to the north of Stockholm, Gavle will play host to the biennial championships for the first time from 11-14 July with the European Athletics U20 Championships taking place the following week in Boras.
The event was first held in 1997 - replacing the European U23 Cup in 1992 and 1994 - primarily to facilitate the transition from the U20 to the senior ranks but it is conceivable that some of the medal winners will play a significant role at the IAAF World Championships in Doha later this season.
At the last edition of the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Norway’s Karsten Warholm won the 400m hurdles title in a championship record of 48.37 a month before winning the world title in London while Ukraine’s Yuliya Levchenko followed up her European U23 high jump title with silver behind Mariya Lasitskene in London.
Warholm and Levchenko were duly crowned male and female Rising Stars at the Golden Tracks award ceremony the same year and at 21, Levchenko is also eligible to defend her high jump title in Gavle.
Sweden won two titles in 2017 courtesy of Fanny Roos in the shot put and Andreas Kramer in the 800m. Kramer is also eligible to defend his title in Gavle and he could have his sights on the long-standing championship record of 1:45.21 which was set by the soon-to-be Olympic champion Nils Schumann from Germany in 1999.
Another eligible winner from Bydgoszcz two years ago is Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki. Bukowiecki broke the championship record in the shot put in both qualifying (21.26m) and the final (21.59m) and the 22-year-old recently broke David Storl’s European U23 outdoor record with 21.97m to win the Rome Diamond League on Thursday.
Reigning European indoor and outdoor long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou from Greece is also confirmed for Gavle while Niklas Kaul, who broke the world U20 decathlon record at the European U20 Championships in Grosseto two years ago, has been named on Germany’s combined events team.
Tickets are available to purchase here and the championships will also be streamed live on the European Athletics website.