The top women from across Europe will do battle in the European Athletics Championships in Zurich next week. What events can we look forward to and who are the leading protagonists in each discipline? 

With the fastest times in the world in the shorter sprints mainly eluding the Europeans, instead expect close competition as they seek to edge closer to true world class. Myriam Soumare and Dafne Schippers lead the European rankings at 100m , but can expect a challenge from defending Euro champ Lalova from Bulgaria who is the only lady in the field boasting a sub 11 seconds personal best.

2010 champ Sailer and Britain's Asha Philip could also figure.

In the 200m, Schippers starts as slight favourite, but Soumare is a previous medallist at the Games so could take a medal again. However, the two Williams (not related) from Britain should be buoyed by their Commonwealth Games success and could also medal at the games. Russian competitor, Renzhina may also go close in the longer sprint.  

Over the quarter mile distance, former Olympic and current World Champion Christine Ohuruogu has interrupted her "light" year to incorporate the Euros after only doing the relay in Glasgow. If she can find her major games' pedigree then she could take the title, but a medal chance may be more likely.

Should she falter, expect Grenot from Italy with the Euro lead of 50.55 secs to go close, with a trio of Russians (Renzhina, Veshkurova and Zadorina) and Zemlyak of Ukraine to the fore.  

It will be interesting to see if Britain's Lynsey Sharp has recovered from the euphoria of her Glasgow silver (and the media attention it attracted) to raise her game again for the Euros over the 800m distance.

Originally second behind Arzhakova in Helsinki two years ago, she subsequently got the gold after her conqueror failed a drugs test. Her defence will be tough though with Poistogova of Russia being favourite. Rogozina, Arzamasova and Sharp's teammate Jess Judd could also feature.  

The 1500m looks set to be one of the hottest races of the championships, with Diamond League leader Aregawi of Sweden facing the Netherlands' Hassan.

Both ladies have run in the 3:57s this season and look to have the beating of the rest of the field, but in the race for bronze behind them expect the Brits of Muir and Steve Cram trained Weightman to go close. 

Only two ladies have gone under 15 minutes this year for the 5000m, so another potential Sweden - Netherlands battle could be on the cards. That possibility depends on whether Hassan decides to double up to take on Bahta of Sweden. In the shake up for the remaining medals, expect Bleasdale, Pavey and Gorecka of Britain to feature, along with Kuijken also of the Netherlands.

In the 10000m, defending champion Dulce Felix of Portugal looks likely to face the lady she pushed back into silver last time, Pavey.

Doubling up may be a tough call for Pavey though, after her exertions at the recent Commonwealths; so fellow Brit and Euro leader, Bleasdale may have a better chance if she is over her injury problems of late. Belete of Belgium and Calvin of France would look most likely to step in if the others fail.

As with the men, the medals in the ladies' marathon will be hard fought and a little difficult to predict (given how few marathons they run  each year). However, expect Jessica Augusto of Portugal to go in as slight favourite, with a host of Russians and Italians hot on her heels, particularly the 2010 champ, Anna Incerti.

There is the potential for Scandinavian delight in the steeplechase event, where Fougberg (Sweden) and Eriksson (Finland) top the Euro rankings.

Helsinki bronze medallist, Moldner-Schmidt will return but is some way down on that form so far this season. Kudzelich looks likely to be near the medals as well.

The women have only one walk to compete in around the streets of Zurich city centre over the 20km distance. There looks to be the potential for a 1-2-3 for the Russians as their 2010 medallists Kirdyapkina and Sokolova return, with compatriot Alembekova joining them. They shouldn't have it all their own way though, as timewise Giorgi of Italy and Olyanovska of Ukraine are not far behind this season.

In the relays, the Netherlands won the 4 x 100m at the European team championships earlier in the year so should be slight favourites, although the Britains ran quickly at the Commonwealth Games recently and France could go close also.

Expect a good race between Ukraine, Britain and Germany in the 4 x 400m with France and Russia also in the medal hunt. In general though, women's 400m times by the Europeans are not that fast this year, probably because of the absence of a World or Olympic title to chase.  

Expect a close race between Billaud and Porter in the 100m hurdles event. Both are capable of times around the 12.5 seconds time that marks world class and are close to that shape this season. Hildebrand of Germany could push them. The longer hurdles race over 400m looks to be quite open medal wise, with Rosolova seeking to turn Helsinki silver into gold here and Child of Britain seeking to go one better than her Glasgow efforts.

Davydova defends her title, but needs to shave some time off her best this year to have a chance. Titimets and Ryzhykova look likelier bets.    

The heptathlon does not feature fellow Britains' Ennis -Hill (had a baby) and Johnson-Thompson (only entered for long jump), so looks like a close call for the medals. Four ladies are over 6400 points this season, so expect Thiam, Broersen, Klucinova and Schwarzkopf to go well. Defending champion Nana Djimou can not be discounted if she can raise her performance levels again.   

The throws and jumps feature a number of ladies currently topping the Diamond League standings. In the discus, Sandra Perkovic has thrown over 70 metres this year and looks set for the title.

Similarly, Spotakova is coming back to her best in the javelin, but will have to be at her best against the likes of Stahl and Hatsko-Fedusova who top the Euro distances. In the hammer, the class of the competition looks likely to come from two ladies over 78 metres this year in the form of 2010 champ Heidler of Germany and Wlodarczyk of Poland. Only one woman has thrown over 20 metres in the shot put in the field, Christina Schwanitz, so goes in as hot favourite, but could be challenged by Kolodko of Russia and Dubitskaya of Belarus. 

In the high jump, Croatian Vlasic has shown good form all season, albeit some way down on her best of 2.08m. She will have tough competition from her fellow Croat, Simic, reigning champion Beitia of Spain and Kuchina of Russia.

The long jump could require a 7 metre effort to win gold, although none of the entrants have achieved that this time around. Klishina and Klyashtornaya have gone over the magic distance before and should be in for the medal hunt. Heptathlete Johnson- Thompson has been injured but could go well if recovered. In the triple jump, Koneva of Russia looks a firm favourite with 14.89m this year.Her compatriot, Sidorova should perform well in the pole vault, alongside Stefanidi of Greece and Germany's Ryzih.

The championships run between the 12th and 17th of August. Let's look forward to a host of top performances and close battles as European athletics puts on its showcase event!