Poland topped the medal table at the 2016 European Athletics Championships and 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships and they will be strong contenders to claim their first ever title at the 2019 European Athletics Team Championships in Bydgoszcz from 9-11 August.
Host nations have typically performed well at this now-biennial championships. Germany secured their second team title at the 2014 European Team Championships in Braunschweig before Russia prevailed the following season at the 2015 European Team Championships in Cheboksary.
Germany claimed their third team title at the 2017 European Team Championships in Lille Metropole with 321.5 points ahead of Poland (295 points) and hosts France (270 points). The German team had seven victories across the programme highlighted by a championship record of 42.47 in the women’s 4x100m relay.
The Poles had five victories in Lille Metropole but in a championships of such fine margins, they lost valuable points in three potentially high scoring events: Adam Kszczot was disqualified in the 800m and Ewa Swoboda and Karolina Koleczek were both disqualified in the sprints for false starts.
Talking of fine margins, Switzerland secured promotion into the top flight of continental athletics for the first time in event history, finishing third in Vaasa - just 2.5 points ahead of Turkey in fourth. Sweden and Finland were also promoted back into the Super League, finishing first and second respectively in Vaasa.
Belarus and the Netherlands finished 10th and 11th in Lille Metropole last year and were duly relegated from the Super League last year along with Russia who remain suspended by the IAAF. If the IAAF lifts the suspension placed on the All-Russia Athletics Federation (ARAF), they will take their place in the First League.
Bydgoszcz has hosted countless championships at both continental and global level over the last two decades including the 2004 European Cup, the predecessor to the European Athletics Team Championships which first took place in 2009 in Leiria, Portugal.
The Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium was the setting for one of the outstanding performance in championship history in 2004 when Paula Radcliffe produced a gun-to-tape victory in the 5000m in a British record of 14:28.09 - just four seconds shy of the world record at the time.