11/08/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/08/2018 08:34
The Norwegian city of Sandnes has been confirmed as the host venue for the 2019 edition of the European Athletics Team Championships First League from 9-11 August.
Situated immediately to the south of Stavanger, Sandnes is the eighth largest city in Norway by population. The combined urban area of Stavanger-Sandnes is also the third largest in Norway after Oslo and Bergen, the latter hosting the 2010 European Team Championships Super League.
The Sandnes Stadium - which can accommodate around 5000 spectators - regularly plays host to the Norwegian Championships and the city has grown in familiarity to athletics fans in recent years as it is the hometown of the Ingebrigtsen family.
Jakob and Filip Ingebrigtsen were late withdrawals from the 2017 European Team Championships in Vaasa, Finland due to travel difficulties but the Ingebrigtsens will play a consequential role in Norway's bid to gain promotion back into the Super League for the first time since 2015.
Norway finished sixth overall in Vaasa but a full-strength team must be capable of pushing for promotion off the back of a successful Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships in which they finished eighth on the medal table and tenth on the placing table.
Out of the participating nations in Sandnes next August, only Belarus and the Netherlands - in eighth and ninth respectively - finished ahead of Norway on the placing table. Belarus also won three gold medals at the European Championships and are also tipped to push for promotion back into the Super League.
The Netherlands were also relegated from the Super League in Lille Metropole last June and they will be hoping that Dafne Schippers - who played a pivotal role in their ascent from the First League in 2015 when she won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay - will return to team action.
The Norwegian bid for promotion will also be boosted by the inclusion of reigning world and European 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm on their team. Warholm produced one of the standout performances of the 2017 European Team Championships First League, winning his specialist event in cool conditions in a championship record of 48.46.
Other participating nations in Sandnes including newly promoted Hungary, Slovakia and Lithuania. While Hungary won the division by an unassailable 66.5 points, Lithuania only secured the third promotion spot by 2.5 points ahead of Slovenia.