Athletics

European Team Championships 2014: Dates, Schedule, Top Athletes and Preview

Bohdan Bondarenko, of Ukraine, competes in the men's high jump during the IAAF Diamond League Grand Prix competition on Randall's Island, Saturday, June 14, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo/Associated Press
Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2014

Russia will be looking for its fourth consecutive win in the European Team Championships during the weekend of June 20-22, as the Super League descends on the German city of Braunschweig for the fifth edition of Europe's premiere team-athletics competition.

Athletes will compete in a multitude of events over the course of three days, with points evenly distributed to the winners of every event.

The three teams with the lowest amount of total points will be relegated to the First League, while an exceptionally strong field of contenders will do everything in their power to stop the mighty Russians from running away with yet another win.

The full schedules for every day of competition, per the event's official website:

Friday, June 20
Time (local)Event
13:00100m b-race W
13:07100m b-race W
13:14100m b-race M
13:21100m b-race M
14:204x100m extra W
14:274x100m extra M
european-athletics.org
Saturday, June 21
Time (local)Event
12:30Hammer Throw M
12:35Pole Vault W
12:42Shot Put M
13:00100m W
13:07100m W
13:21Hammer Throw M
13:27Shot Put M
13:35400m H M
13:42400m H M
13:50Triple Jump W
13:54100m M
14:00100m M
14:05Discus Throw W
14:10400m M
14:16400m M
14:22800m W
14:29High Jump M
14:323000m W
14:47Triple Jump W
14:53Discus Throw W
15:01400m H W
15:07400m H W
15:181500m M
15:29300m SC W
15:33Long Jump M
15:46400m W
15:52Javelin Throw W
15:54400m W
16:00500m M
16:204x100m Relay W
16:284x100m Relay W
16:32Long Jump M
16:38Javelin Throw W
16:454x100m Relay M
16:514x100m Relay M
european-athletics.org
Sunday, June 22
Time (Local)Event
12:30Javelin Throw M
12:37Shot Put W
12:45High Jump W
13:00110m H M
13:07110m H M
13:21Javelin Throw M
13:27Shot Put W
13:35100m H W
13:42100m H W
13:50Triple Jump M
13:58800m M
14:05Hammer Throw W
14:081500m W
14:15Pole Vault M
14:223000m Steeple Chase M
14:38200m W
14:44200m W
14:47Triple Jump M
14:55Hammer Throw W
15:01200m M
15:11200m M
15:315000m W
15:35Long Jump W
15:40Discus Throw M
15:553000m M
16:124x400m Relay W
16:224x400m Relay W
16:29Discuss Throw M
16:34Long Jump W
16:424x400m Relay M
16:514x400m Relay M
17:05Victory Ceremony
european-athletics.org

 

Top Athletes

France's team is headlined by pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie, who set a new world record in the event just a few months ago. The 2012 Olympic Champion is fresh off a win in Ostrava and has started the season on fire, something he told Newsdaily's Luke Phillips:

Of course, it's a good start to the season because I've finished first in each of my five competitions. I want to stay focused now for Zurich.

If there's a good wind, there's maybe a chance, we'll see how it will be. 5.90 or 6.00m would be a good performance.

[...] It's not easy to find good conditions to vault high. I had my best opportunity to jump high at Donetsk. That was a good day for that.

The Frenchman will hope for good conditions on Sunday, though it seems unlikely he'll be making a run at his own record.

Abeba Aregawi will be Sweden's best hope for glory, the 1500m Women's world champion greatly impressing during the Diamond League even in New York, per Global Sports Comm:

Aregawi's win didn't go smoothly, and she was greatly tested by Ethiopian supertalent Dawit Seyaum in the final lap. The level of competition should be lower in Germany, however, and Aregawi will go into the race as the heavy favourite for the win.

John Minchillo/Associated Press

Via European Athletics, Germany's Betty Heidler was phenomenal in Ostrava, and she will perhaps give the home crowd the best chance of celebrating an event win in the hammer throw:

Linda Stahl is also in the form of her life, dominating all javelin events in recent weeks. The German women seem to be rounding into form at just the right time, but the form of their male colleagues could hold the team back when competition starts.

Lastly, Pavel Maslak will lead the newly-promoted Czech team, and as the European champion in the 400m, he will no doubt give them their best chance at an event win and some vital points in their bid to avoid relegation.

 

Preview

While the French and German teams will compete with star-studded line-ups, the biggest strength of both the Russians and Great Britain has always been their depth.

Both teams will earn a lot of points with finishes near the podium, and over the course of 40 total events, those extra points add up. Germany's lack of strong runners has hurt them in the past, and don't expect that to change in 2014.

France are fielding an exceptionally strong team this year, but it won't be enough to get past the Russians.

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