Following hot on the heels of the Commonwealths, many of the British athletes who starred at those Games will now head to the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, beginning on 12th August. They will be competing against the cream of Europe but just who can we expect to come out on top and which events look set to light up the six days of action? Let's look at some of the men expected to take centre stage.

The 100m field boasts a start list filled with several men who have already run under 10 seconds, a benchmark for world class sprinting.

It may take a performance of that level to take the gold, with the French pair of Lemaitre and Vicaut looking to repeat their 1-2 from the last championships of 2012 in Helsinki. James Dasaolu of Team GB is rounding into form and could repeat his sub 10 seconds clocking from last season, with his compatriot Dwain Chambers looking to sneak into the medals as well. Others to watch out for could be the German,Julian Reus, and last times' bronze medallist Saidy Ndure. Lemaitre heads the Euro list in the 200m so should feature strongly in that event also, where Britain's Adam Gemili will be seeking to turn silver from Glasgow into gold in Switzerland. Expect them to be challenged by Talbot (3rd last time) and the holder, Martina of the Netherlands, in a line up featuring four sub 20 seconds athletes.


The middle distance races feature a host of top names. Bosse of France set a National record of 1:42.53 in Monaco recently in the 800m beating the Olympic Champion, Rudisha, in the process. Indeed only World lead Amos (not elegible for the championships) has run quicker this year. Kszczot and Lewandowski of Poland should provide stiff competition, along with Osagie of Britain who will be keen to put his disqualification in the Commonwealths behind him.

Over the 1500m distance, this should turn into a close battle between defending champion Ingebrigtsen from Norway, Tesfaye of Germany and Turkey's Ozbilen. Carvalho and Bustos won silver and bronze last time so their big race temperament could pull them into contention in a tactical race.

Olympic and World Champion Mo Farah is expected to compete in both 5k and 10k events, and so will be a hot favourite to double up successfully.

However, much will depend on how he has recovered after recent illness and lack of training forced him to pull out of Glasgow. Should his form dip, then Abdi, Tahri and Gabius could challenge, and seem likely to contest the medals.

There appear to be hot favourites in both the steeplechase where two time champion Mekhissi-Benabbad from France returns and also in the high hurdles (110m), where Lagarde has run sub 13 seconds this season. Sharman, Shubenkov and Bascou should contest the minor medals behind Lagarde. 

The marathon as ever is hard to predict, depending as much on the weather conditions as how the athletes feel on the day of the race. Local favourite, Viktor Rothlin, won in 2010 and was second in 2006 so would be a popular winner in what may well be his final race.

Fellow Swiss Abraham and the Pole, Szost also boast impressive best times but in all likelihood the minor medals could go to any of a number of athletes in the field.  

There are two walks for the men over 20km and 50km distances. In the shorter event, Ukrainian Dmytrenko boasts the best time for the season, but Strelkov and Lopez could feature. Over the longer event, Diniz returns to defend his title but on best times for the year, Robert Heffernan of Ireland looks set to make an impression. Britain look capable of winning both of the relays, but will have to be at their best to beat France and Germany in the 4 x 100m event, with the Dutch being dark horses. They also seem likely to be challenged over the 4 x 400m relay by the Borlee brothers led Belgiums, with Russia, Germany and maybe the Poles involved.

There should be some top class field events on show in Zurich. The shot put could turn into a battle between World and defending Champion Storl of Germany and Olympic champion Majewski from Poland, but expect pressure from other 21 metre throwers Vivas, Fortes and Lesnoy. Another Germany-Poland shoot out looks likely in the discus, with Harting maybe just having too much for Malachowski, but Kanter and Maric should compete well. Distance wise, the hammer throw should result in Pars and Fajdek contesting the major medals as the only men in the field over 80m this season so far.  

The stand out performer in the pole vault is Renaud Lavillenie. It would be a major shock if the indoor World Record holder at 6.16m does not come away from Zurich with a gold medal but Lisek and Scherbarth are not far behind outdoors on height cleared.

From the other jumps, expect Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford of Britain to have a close competition again with his European Team championships conqueror, Christian Reif. They should be pushed by Sdiri and Tsatoumas. The high jump includes three men over 2.40m this season, as Olympic Champion Ukhov and World Champion Bondarenko lock horns, but Protsenko has the form to compete with them. Look forward to some high class competition and great head to heads over the six days of top class athletics.