IPC European Athletics Championships 2014: Event Schedule, Live Stream, Preview

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IPC European Athletics Championships 2014: Event Schedule, Live Stream, Preview
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

More than 550 athletes from around the continent make their way to the south coast of Wales this week for the beginning of the 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships.

Paralympians of all codes will seek to assert their impact across a multitude of events, Russia having dominated the medal table two years ago in the Dutch town of Stadskanaal.

Great Britain's bastions in particular will be hoping that home advantage will see them over the finish line in winning fashion, however, and a five-day thriller awaits at Swansea University.

 

Start Date: Monday, August 18 

End Date: Saturday, August 23

Live Stream: Competition streamed live on Swansea2014.com. 

 

Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Sporting figures have already started to descend upon the Athletes Village in Swansea. Among them is David Weir, named as the leader of Great Britain and Northern Ireland last month.

The six-time Paralympic gold medallist is in a strong vein of form after collecting his first-ever Commonwealth gold in Glasgow at the end of July, triumphing in the men's 1,500-metre T54.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

Swiss wheelchair star Marcel Hug has plans to dethrone the Scot, however, and recently spoke to BBC Sport regarding his desire to excel in the 400-metre, 800-metre, 1,500-metre and 5,000-metre T54 disciplines.

One of those stars under Weir's leadership and hoping to continue his own success is discus giant Aled Sion Davies, who finished second at the Commonwealth Games and recently told BBC Sport of his desire to improve:

It's made me a lot more hungry for the gold. I tasted silver and didn't like it.  It wasn't meant to be and I only just lost out. I got a silver medal so I can't complain. It was always going to be difficult with both categories combined. It was always going to be a challenge and we knew we had to deliver a world class performance.

I was going up against the best guy in the category above, therefore I knew it was going to be very, very tough. Competing in a combined category is a rare thing but getting the opportunity to compete at the Commonwealth Games as a disability athlete is even rarer. It will make me a better athlete in the long run and I'll take a lot from it.

Now I'm looking forward to the European championships and competing in my own category. I want to end the season with the two colours that I want.

Jones isn't the only athlete looking forward to the Swansea extravaganza, though.

Britons from all corners have taken to Twitter to announce their excitement ahead of proceedings, including sprinters Rhys Jones and Sophie Hahn, as well as javelin and discus thrower Nathan Stephens:

It's been a summer of sizzling heat in Wales for much of the recent months, but the weather has taken a turn for the worse of late and could make for adverse conditions in Swansea.

Ashleigh Crowter of BBC Wales Today depicts the latest rain updates from the event, which don't make for hopeful viewing:

In the end, though, with nearly 600 athletes in attendance, it's inevitable that the spectacle of this week's extravaganza beams through, ensuring Europe's elite perform to their optimum on the biggest of continental stages.

Russia finished the 2012 contest with 12 more gold medals than any other nation and 35 more overall, but will the Eastern machine be able to retain their place at the head of the table when travelling to Wales?

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