The history of the European Athletics Team Championships is a young one. Heraklio public will witness the sixth edition of this fairly new competition only since the inaugural 2009 event in Leiria/Portugal, where the German team dominated.
The league system of Super, First, Second and Third League includes promotion and relegation in between the leagues. And, this can be regarded as a milestone, the results of men and women in the 20 competitions are then combined. As in the Super League, twelve teams compete in the First League, eight teams in the Second League and the remaining teams in the Third League. The European Athletics Team Championships are an annual event but not staged in the years of the Summer Olympic Games.
The European Athletics Team Championships‘predecessor was the European Cup, which was staged for the first time in 1965 in Stuttgart (men) and Kassel (women) and for the last time in Annecy/FRA in 2008 with its 29th edition. In its final format, the European Cup was also staged in different leagues, the top league named the Super League and contained eight male and eight female teams. The male and female teams were separate teams, which meant that the female team of one country could get relegated while their male counterpart would stay in the Super League as long as they had enough points. Below the Super League were the First and Second Leagues, which contained other European countries that did not qualify for the finals.
Host Cities for the European Athletics Team Championships 1st League
2009 Bergen, Norway
2010 Budapest, Hungary
2011 Izmir, Turkey
2013 Dublin, Ireland
2014 Tallinn, Estonia
2015 Heraklion, Greece