Amsterdam 2016 Diaries: European teams bound for Amsterdam, the view from Europe

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Hudson-RooneyFL1-Euros14.jpgHudson and Rooney, 2014 Euro Champs, photo by PhotoRun.net

AMSTERDAM TEAMS

BIRMINGHAM (GBR): British Athletics will be sending their largest ever squad for a European Championships to Amsterdam next month. The 98-strong team includes six reigning European champions: Martyn Rooney (400m), Greg Rutherford (long jump), Jo Pavey (10,000m) and Tiffany Porter (100m hurdles). Reigning European 100m champion James Dasaolu will only run the 4x100m relay while reigning European 200m champion Adam Gemili will contest the 100m and 4x100m relay. The British team will be particularly strong in the sprints with James Ellington and Richard Kilty also selected for the 100m while top-ranked European Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake will make his senior debut in the 200m alongside Danny Talbot and world finalist Zharnel Hughes. On the women's side, UK champion Asha Philip and Desiree Henry will run the 100m and world finalist Dina Asher-Smith and reigning silver medallist Jodie Williams will run the 200m. Former Olympic and world champion Christine Ohuruogu will run the 400m but has ruled herself out of the relay. On the field, Robbie Grabarz will compete in the high jump, a strong triumvirate of Shara Proctor, Jazmin Sawyers and Lorraine Ugen will challenge for medals in the long jump while world junior champion Morgan Lake goes in the heptathlon.

PARIS (FRA): A 72-strong French squad will compete in Amsterdam next month. Christophe Lemaitre has entered the 100m, 200m and 4x100m while joint European record-holder Jimmy Vicaut will just compete in the 100m and 4x100m. On the in-field, Renaud Lavillenie will be looking to claim his fourth pole vault title in succession while bronze medallist Kevin Menaldo will also challenge for another medal after clearing 5.80m at the French Championships. European silver medallist Melina Robert-Michon and world bronze medallist Alexandra Tavernier start as medal contenders in the discus and hammer respectively while European marathon champion Christelle Daunay, 41, could become the oldest woman to win a European title if she wins the half marathon.

ROME (ITA): Italy will be sending a squad of 75 to Amsterdam next month. The leading name on the team is world indoor high jump champion Gianmarco Tamberi who cleared 2.36m at the Italian Championships while Alessia Trost and Desiree Rossit will challenge for medals in a wide open women's high jump. Libania Grenot will defend her 400m crown next month while Italian champion and record-holder Matteo Galvan will challenge for the title in the men's equivalent. European marathon champion Daniele Meucci leads a strong men's half marathon team while former world marathon silver medallist Valeria Straneo also contests the half marathon.

PRAHA (CZE): Czech Republic is also sending the biggest team ever for European Championships with 52 athletes. They are 20 women and 32 men. Still two athletes are waiting for the possible place in their events (Lucie Sekanova in steeple and Lucie Majkova in triple). Only one missing due to health reasons is Eliska Klucinova, heptathlon. But all the other top stars are in the team with Zuzana Hejnova for 400 m hurdles, Barbora Spotakova in javelin, Jirina Ptacnikova in pole vault, Katerina Safrankova in hammer and young star Michaela Hruba in high jump. On the men side Pavel Maslak at 400 m, Jakub Holusa in the 1500 m, Jan Kudlicka in pole vault, Radek Juska in long jump, Ladislav Prasil and Tomas Stanek in shot put and top javelin throwers Vitezslav Vesely, Jakub Vadlejch, Jaroslav Jilek.

TALLINN (EST): Estonia will have 25 athletes with 7 more still hoping to be accepted. Rasmus Magi runs the 400 m hurdles and 4x400 m relay. Ksenija Balta is in long jump, Gerd Kanter in discus together with Martin Kupper. Strong javelin trio is Tanel Laanmae, Magnus Kirt and Risto Matas. Another strong trio in decathlon with Janek Oiglane, Kristjan Rosenberg and Mikk Pahapill.

DUBLIN (IRL): Ireland has named a full strength team for Amsterdam including reigning 800m bronze medallist Mark English. Two-time European cross country champion Fionnuala McCormack will contest the 10,000m and World University Games champion Thomas Barr will challenge for a medal in the 400m hurdles. Ireland will send teams for all four relay events and full teams for the men's and women's half marathon.

LISBON (POR): European indoor champion Nelson Evora leads the Portuguese for Amsterdam. The team is particularly strong in the women's long distances with Jessica Augusto in the half marathon while Sara Moreira and Dulce Felix have entered the 10,000m and half marathon. Triple jumpers Susana Costa and Patricia Mamona could challenge for medals as well. Also of note: 2004 Olympic 100m silver medallist Francis Obikwelu, 37, has been named in the 4x100m relay team.

BERN (SUI): Reigning European 400m hurdles champion Kariem Hussein leads a 48-strong Swiss team for Amsterdam. Other top names include Mujinga Kambundji in the 100m and 200m (but not the 4x100m), Selina Buchel in the 800m, Lea Sprunger in the 400m hurdles and Nicole Buchler in the pole vault.

MINSK (BLR): Belarus is sending a solid team to Amsterdam although one notable absentee is reigning world and European 800m champion Maryna Arzamasava. Medal contenders include world bronze medallist Alina Talay in the 100m hurdles, Yulia Leantsiuk and Alyona Dubitskaya in the shot put and Ivan Tikhon in the hammer.

WARSZAWA (POL): Poland will have in Amsterdam 73 athletes and will their biggest ever and one of the largest teams. Title defenders Anita Wlodarczyk and Adam Kszczot are the headliners. Missig from the elite are only high jumper Kamila Licwinko, hurdler Patryk Dobek and shot put Olympic winner Tomasz Majewski. But in his event Michal Haratyk and Konrad Bukowiecki achieved this year better results and will replace him with pride. Also Piotr Malachowski in discus and Pawel Fajdek in hammer are the top candidates for the win. In the men steeple Krystian Zalewski could be one of the favorites.

BRATISLAVA (SVK): Slovakia will have at least 21 athletes in Amsterdam but asked in their entry for more names depending on the number of athletes in each event concerned. Hammer throwers Marcel Lomnicky and Martina Hrasnova, Lucia Hrivnak Klocova entered for both 800 m and 1500 m, Veldakova twins Dana for triple and Jana for long jump are the headliners. Talented sprinter Jan Volko is in both sprints, Jozef Repcik in 800 m, Matus Bubenik in high jump. Alexandra Bezekova will go for both 100 m and 200 m, Iveta Putalova in the 400 m. Slovakia will also have both women relays.

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