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European Team Championships 2019

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  • Occasional Hope
    I liked it better when it was the Europa Cup.

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  • teamevents
    started a topic European Team Championships 2019

    European Team Championships 2019

    The European Team Championships is a fabulous competition, and it never gets as much media attention as it deserves! Where else do you see such big teams competing with each event counting equally, and the team jerseys colour scheme is good on the eye too.

    It's very well organised and designed, and viewers get to see an athlete from their country (x 47) in each event (x40), which draws their interest into each event, and it has the excitement of the battle to attain promotion or to avoid relegation in-built every year.

    I wish all who take part the best of luck this year (in early Aug 2019 over 4 tiers of competition).

    The way I see it, the battle for the top spot is fairly and surprisingly wide open between usually five countries (GB, Fr, Pol, Ger & normally Rus). This year, they have put Russia into the second level, where its nearest challengers will be Turkey, Belarus, Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. Three of these will attain promotion into the top level, and going by the form of the previous events, it should be Rus, Blr and either Nor or Ned, but my thorough analysis of all stats on IAAF website has shown that Turkey could, if it brought its top people, win promotion instead of Belarus, who tends to do much more well in this competition than one would ever think from viewing the IAAF top stats info.

    Similarly, GB could, my research has proven, win the top level trophy this year, if it brings its top people, ahead of Ger A2, Fr A3 & Pol A4, but previous editions of this event have not had GB at its best, and it was usually beaten by 3 or 4 other teams overall. This year any of these four could win (though I don’t get it how Poland always does so well with so few top athletes at their disposal, having finished second last time and top Eur tm in the world cup too!). Very exciting!

    There is quite a gap between 4th and 5th this year, so we can view the battle for 5th as a completely separate contest occurring at the same time. The front runners for 5th place are Spain, Italy and Ukraine, and it will be very interesting to see which one of these teams gets 5th place this year, and who 6th.

    Then there is a very very big gap behind these top seven and the rest, this year so we won't see anyone else make the top 7, but five other teams have made it into the line-up and this year the race for 8th place will be between Sweden (A8), Greece (A12), Czech Republic (A9), Finland (A11) and Switzerland (A10), though my research has shown that Greece (A12) would be lucky to stay in contention with any of these, and may even be beaten by both Finland and Switzerland for the first time ever! These three are fairly certain to be relegated, but each of these could beat one of the other teams. I think the Swiss could clinch 10th place (which my number crunching supports), but staying up would be a big reach, as Sweden (A8) and Czech (A9) have such a lot of talent to pick from. If any of these five could ever come close to the 7th placed team I would say Sweden could, with all their best athletes competing at their best, come semi-close to (and within 20 points of) the Ukraine.

    The top four level two teams this year are Russia (B1), Netherlands (B2) and Turkey (B3), but Turkey rarely bring their best athletes and so either Belarus (B7) or Norway (B4) are likely to clinch promotion, alongside Russia and the Netherlands, neither of whom should ever fall into the second level again, as long as they bring an equal share of their best talent as what the others do to these teams contests. Russia and the Netherlands will be approximately 55 (Rus) and 25 (Ned) points above the third placed team, which could be any of these teams.

    There is a chance that Portugal (B5) or Belgium (B6) might manage to beat one of the aforementioned teams; my prediction is they both only just edge poor flailing Belarus, which would be its worst ever finish!

    There is not much chance, though, that any of the other five can get ahead of these seven though, in the race for a place in the top half of the second level. If any of them, Romania (B8) could make it. In fact these top eight second tier teams would, if they ever assembled all their best people, beat Finland and Greece (two teams who have made it into this year's top 12 competition) and Belarus (who were in the three previous top 12s).

    This leaves us with a 4-team scramble to avoid relegation into the third tier: Ireland, Hungary, Estonia and Slovakia. It would be a miracle if Slovakia manage to beat any of their opponents overall, but I wish them good luck, as they are going to find it very hard up in the second tier, and finishing more than 30 points behind the next-lowest would be painful for them, especially as Estonia’s population is so much smaller than theirs.

    The third tier contest will be a close and exciting battle between Lithuania and the three neighbours Slovenia, Serbia, and Croatia. The battle for 5th place in the third tier will be between Latvia, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Israel. The battle for the last non-relegation places at the bottom of the third tier will be between Austria, Bosnia, Denmark and Luxembourg. Denmark and Luxembourg will finish 35 points behind all the others - or can be very proud if they come any closer than this (much like Greece in A and Slovakia in B), and for Denmark this will be very painful, as they have only just been relegated from the second tier and will now fall into the 4th tier.

    According to Wikipedia Georgia and not Serbia will be in the third tier this year. This would be a disaster for Georgia who would finish 50+ points behind C11th, whereas Serbia would win the 4th tier by the same margin.

    Iceland will win the 4th tier by a margin of at least 40 points, followed by Montenegro (their best ever finish) and then Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova (who has never finished below Azerbaijan or Georgia before).

    It would be very interesting if we had a link-up with other countries from around the world, but the US would need to be split into teams for one state to be a fair match against anyone else.
    My global top 20 at the moment is 1 US (which would need to be split into either 50 states as 50 teams or at least into East Central and West), 2 GB, 3 Australia, 4 Ger, 5 Fra, 6 Pol, 7 Can, 8 Rus, 9 SAf, 10 Jam, 11 Spa, 12 Ken, 13 Ita, 14 Brz, 15 Ukr, 16 Ned, 17 Swe, 18 Chn, 19 Tur, 20 Nor.
    Even an alliance between Kenya and Jamaica would not beat team US or even Team Asia.
    A Visegrad alliance (Pol, Hun, Czc Svk) would narrowly defeat Australia, the Caribbean Isles and West Asia or East Asia, but this battle of teams would be very close and very exciting, which is hard to achieve in a 40-event set-up. For example, Canada and Brazil are far ahead of Cuba and Mexico; and Japan v India would be very close, but none of the others in Asia (apart from Turkey) would come close (and NZ would beat the next team from Asia).

    Please, let the winner of each of the above sub-groups be treated as a massive achievement. Most of the teams are not going to stand any chance of winning their league this year, so please just view their battle within the sub-group as a contest of its own.