EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE EUROPEAN GAMES 2019
By Alessandro Poggi
6 May 2019
More than 4,000 athletes from 50 countries will take part in the second European Games in Minsk, Belarus from 21 to 30 June 2019.
A total of 200 sets of medals will be awarded across 15 sports and 23 disciplines, with the action shown live on Olympic Channel (restrictions may apply).
Four years ago, at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Russia topped the medal table (164) from hosts Azerbaijan (56), and Great Britain (47).
Here's our guide to the storylines, sports, stadia, schedule, and stars to watch out for at the 2019 edition.
Sport events at the European Games 2019
In eight sports, these European Games count towards Olympic qualification (more details below).
Competitors in athletics, karate, badminton, cycling (road and track), and judo can boost their hopes of reaching the Games in Japan.
The judo and boxing competitions will also serve as European Championships.
Minsk 2019 will also stage 3x3 basketball, canoe sprint, gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, acrobatic, and aerobic), and wrestling, plus two non-Olympic sports, beach soccer and sambo.
The last two Olympic gold medallists in women's road cycling, Netherlands' Marianne Vos and Anna van der Breggen, will race in Minsk.
Both are part of a strong Dutch team, which also includes 2017 road world champion Chantal Blaak and the 20-year-old up-and-coming sprinter Lorena Wiebes.
Track cycling fans will be able to watch many medallists from the recent World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland: sprinters Harrie Lavreysen, Jeffrey Hoogland and Roy van der Berg will be joined by Dutch team mates Kirsten Wild and former speed skater Laurine van Riessen.
Six-time Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny headlines Team GB's men's track team in Belarus.
European Games today, Tokyo 2020 tomorrow
Here's a summary of how the qualification system works for each of the eight sports where athletes can punch their ticket for Tokyo 2020.
- Archery - The winners in each individual Olympic and mixed team event will automatically receive quota places.
- Athletics - Qualification standards subject to meeting the IAAF and the EAA rules and regulations.
- Badminton - Ranking points awarded in the same value as for the Continental Championships.
- Cycling - UCI ranking points given in the same value as for all Continental Games will be allocated to each discipline according to the category of each one counting towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification system.
- Judo - IJF WRL points will be awarded to athletes for individual events and mixed team event of the Minsk 2019 European Games in the same value as for the Continental (European) Championships.
- Shooting - The winners in each individual Olympic event will automatically receive quota places.
- Table tennis - Three medallists in the men's and women's singles events, gold medallists in men's and women's team events, and gold medallists in mixed doubles event will receive automatic qualification.
Where will the European Games 2019 take place?
The opening and closing ceremonies, and the athletics events will take place in the Dinamo Stadium.
Prior to recent renovation, the venue hosted seven matches, including a quarter-final, during the football tournament at the Moscow 1980 Games.
The Chizhovka Arena, which will stage judo and karate, was previously home to the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.
Gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic and trampoline) and track cycling will take place inside the multi-purpose Minsk Arena complex, one of Europe's most advanced sports facilities.
The Minsk Arena has previously hosted major events such as the 2012 World Junior Figure Skating Championships and the 2013 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
The other venues are the Falcon Club (badminton), Sports Palace (sambo, wrestling), Olympic Sports complex(beach soccer, archery), Palova Arena (3x3 basketball), Shooting Centre (shooting rifle and pistol), Sporting Club(shooting shotgun), Uruchie Sports Palace (boxing), Tennis Olympic Centre (table tennis) and Regatta Zaslavl(canoe sprint).
The road cycling events will take place along the central avenues of the Belarusian capital.