9 Aug 2018

Athletics Preview - Thursday 9 August

Germany poised for javelin showdown

With three German throwers contending for gold, the men's javelin final on Thursday promises to be a high point of the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships for many fans in the Olympic Stadium.

World champion Johannes Vetter, who leads the world this year with 92.70 metres, has missed a month with injury but was top qualifier here with 87.39m.

Andreas Hofmann threw 92.06m in June, and Olympic champion Thomas Rohler has reached 91.78m this season.

Magnus Kirt is the man most likely to prevent a German 1-2-3. He beat Rohler and Hofmann at last month's IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rabat, setting an Estonian record of 89.75m.

Greece's world and Olympic pole vault champion Katerini Stefandini will defend her European title against 2018 joint world leader Anzhelika Sidorova (ANA) and Great Britain's Holly Bradshaw.

Norway's world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm will look to add another major title to his CV before pushing on in search of a double in Friday's 400m flat.

Home hopes will lie with world bronze medallist Pamela Dutkiewicz in the 100m hurdles against a field that is likely to include the two Belarus athletes who currently top this season's European lists - Alina Talay and Elvira Herman.

Turkey's world 200m champion Ramil Guliyev will expect to turn his European 2016 silver into 2018 gold. But he will have to beat Spain's defending champion Bruno Horteano plus two Britons who took world 4x100m relay gold last summer - 2014 European champion Adam Gemili and Nethaneel Mitchel-Blake

France's two-time Olympic silver medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad seeks a fourth 3000m steeplechase title, and a fifth European gold overall, against a field that includes compatriot Djilali Bedrani, Spain’s Fernando Carro and Napoleon Solomon of Sweden.

Belgium's world and Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam begins her campaign for a European title in the two-day multi-event. Germany's Carolin Schaefer and defending champion Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands will be ready to profit from any slip-ups by the favourite.