100 days until the European Athletics Team Championships

Aurel Manga
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The European Athletics Team Championships Super League takes place in Bydgsozcz, Poland from 9-11 August

There are only 100 days until one of the busiest weekends of the calendar when the four divisions of the European Athletics Team Championships take place from 9-11 August.

And the stakes will be even higher this year as changes to the format which were formally agreed by the European Athletics Council in November will have important ramifications on promotion and relegation across the four divisions.

The European Athletics Team Championships Super League will be streamlined from twelve to eight countries in 2021, thus reverting to the format of the European Cup which was replaced by the European Athletics Team Championships in 2009.

This means five countries will be relegated from the Super League which takes place in Bydgoszcz, Poland and only the overall winners of the European Athletics Team Championships First League in Sandnes, Norway will gain promotion into the Super League in 2021.

This pattern will be repeated across the divisions with the bottom five countries in both the First League and Second League to be relegated  while only the champions from the Second League and Third League will gain promotion.

The Super League and First League will take place from 9-11 August while the European Athletics Team Championships Second League in Varazdin, Croatia and the European Athletics Team Championships Third League in Skopje, North Macedonia will take place on 10-11 August.

Germany were crowned overall champions at the European Athletics Team Championships Super League in Lille Metropole two years ago but Poland, who have topped the medal table at the last two editions of the European Athletics Indoor Championships, will surely push for their first title as a collective on home soil this August.

The Ingebrigtsens will undoubtedly feature on Norway’s team for the First League which takes place in their hometown of Sandnes, situated just to the south of Stavanger.

Reigning world and European champion Karsten Warholm was one of the stars across the four divisions in 2017 when he set a championship record of 48.46 in the 400m hurdles and he is also likely to feature in their push for promotion in Sandnes. Norway took part in the Super League as recently as 2015 but Turkey, Belarus and the Netherlands will also be strong contenders for promotion.

At the European Athletics Team Championships Second League, Bulgaria will be looking for promotion. Their team will almost certainly include one of the stalwarts of the event in Ivet Lalova-Collio who has accrued nine victories at the European Athletics Team Championships since 2009, as well as five victories at the European Cup between 2004 and 2008.

Other contenders for promotion include hosts Croatia who can boast two reigning Olympic champions in Sara Kolak in the javelin and Sandra Perkovic in the discus, and Slovenia who missed out on promotion in Tel Aviv, Israel by 2.5 points in 2017.

The Third League takes place in the recently refurbished Philip II Arena in Skopje, the first time the city has played host to a European Athletics Team Championships event.