Everything you need to know about the European Games 2019

Olympic champions Majlinda Kelmendi, Abdulrashid Sadulaev, and Jason Kenny among those taking part in the second edition of the multi-sport event in Minsk, Belarus from 21 to 30 June.

By Alessandro Poggi

European Games daily blogs and action streamed live on Olympic Channel

We'll have full coverage of the 2019 European games through our daily live blogs on the website and app, and you can watch the European Games action via live streams on the Olympic Channel in certain territories and countries. Click here to see if that's available in your area.

European Games 2019 Preview

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.

Athens 2004 100m champ Yuliya Nesterenko hands the Flame of Peace to Rio 2016 trampoline gold medallist Uladzislau Hancharou

Sport events at the European Games 2019

In eight sports, these European Games count towards Olympic qualification (more details below).

In archery, table tennis, and shooting there are automatic quota places for Tokyo 2020 on offer.

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.

Lesik, the Minsk 2019 official mascot

Which athletes are going to the European Games 2019?

Teams have been announced by National Olympic Committees in the last few weeks and here are some of the athletes confirmed to compete in Minsk.


With the exception of double Olympic gold medallist Teddy Riner, who is taking his time to return to competition after one-year break, the biggest European stars are expected to be in attendance.

One is judo Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi, who is seeking her fourth European title.

Reigning world champions Daria Bilodid of Ukraine, Nikoloz Sherazadishvili of Spain, France's Clarisse Agbegnenou and Georgia's Guram Tushishvili are all set to take part along with Italy's Rio 2016 gold medallist Fabio Basile.


Despite the absence of double Olympic uneven bars champion Aliya Mustafina, who pulled out of the event for injury, the artistic gymnastics field looks pretty strong and is headlined by Rio 2016 parallel bars gold medallist Oleg Verniaiev, six-time European champion David Belyavskiy and fellow Russian star in the making Angelina Melnikova.

In rhythmic gymnastics, Russia's Arina Averina looks the favourite for the gold medal.

The three-time World champion will face a strong field, which includes Linoy Ashram from Israel and Italy's Alexandra Agiurgiuculese.

There will be plenty of support for home athletes in Minsk with Olympic trampoline champion Uladzislau Hancharou probably their best chance of victory.

Hancharou took silver medals in both the individual and synchro in Baku four years ago with his perennial rival, London 2012 silver medallist Dmitry Ushakov of Russia, collecting two golds.


Eight-time Olympian Nino Salukvadze will take part in the shooting competitions.

The 50-year-old Georgian, and her son Tsotne Machavariani, became the first mother and son to compete in the same Games at Rio 2016.

And Salukvadze has already booked her place at a ninth Olympic Games with fifth place in the Beijing World Cup 10m air pistol last month.

The 25m pistol gold medallist and 10m air pistol silver medallist from Seoul 1988 took her third and last medal to date, bronze in the 10m air pistol, at Beijing 2008.

Greece's Olympic champion Anna Korakaki will be the woman to beat in the pistol events.

Beijing 2008 trap gold medallist Satu Makela-Nummela, now 48, has been confirmed as a member of Finland's 35-strong team in Minsk.

On the men's side, Olympic champion Christian Reitz is determined to retain his title in the men’s 25 metres rapid fire pistol event from the previous European Games, after winning mixed team 10m air pistol gold four years ago in Baku along with Monika Karsch.


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.

Other sports

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen is the star name in the badminton tournament.

The Rio 2016 bronze medallist and 2017 world champion is currently ranked three in the world after victories in the Barcelona Spain Open and March's India Open.

As for canoeing, reigning Olympic champions Sebastian Brendel and Max Hoff from Germany will look to defend their titles from Baku 2015.

Fellow Germans, and Rio 2016 team bronze medallists, Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov, headline the field in table tennis.

Kata karate world champion Sandra Sanchez took gold in Baku four years ago, and the Spaniard looks set to defend her title.

In wrestling Rio 2016 Olympic champion, and three-time world gold medallist, Abdulrashid Sadulaev of Russia will look to retain his European Games crown, while reigning -74kg European champion Frank Chamizo of Italy is another one to watch.

2018 Commonwealth super-heavyweight champion Frazer Clarke of Great Britain and reigning world gold medallist Kellie Harrington from Ireland are among the boxing stars.

Official debut of a new sport format at Minsk 2019

Athletics will have a new look with the competition following the mixed gender Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) format.

Making its debut in Minsk, DNA is a two-hour team-based event which aims to be unpredictable and easy to follow.

Twenty-four teams comprising eight women and seven men will compete over nine events, taking place one after the other: women's 100m, men's 100m, women's 100m hurdles, men's 100m hurdles, women's javelin, women's long jump, men's high jump, 4 x 400m mixed relay, and 'The Hunt'.

This final event is a distance mixed medley relay pursuit (men's 800m, women's 600m, men's 400m, women's 200m) which has no Olympic equivalent.

The teams start at time intervals based on the results of the previous eight events with the first team past the post crowned the overall winner.

Athletes in all DNA disciplines, except The Hunt, are eligible for Tokyo 2020 qualifying points.

Non-Olympic sports at the 2019 European Games

Karate and 3x3 basketball featured four years ago at the first European Games in Baku before being included in the Tokyo 2020 programme.

Sambo and beach soccer are not part of the Olympic programme, but have the chance to shine in Minsk.

Sambo is a martial art and combat sport developed by the Soviet Red Army in the early 1920s and is described by the Japanese federation president Masaaki Kondo as "a mix of judo and wrestling".

The name Sambo comes from a Russian expression which literally translates as 'unarmed self-defence'.

Unlike judo, various types of leg lock are allowed with points scored with throws and submissions.

Sambo is one of the 15 sports featuring at Minsk 2019

The beach soccer tournament will see eight men's teams compete, including two-time world champions Russia and reigning Euro beach soccer league champions Italy.

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.

The schedule of Minsk 2019 (medal events - CET times):

21 June:

21:00-23:35 Opening Ceremony

22 June:

10:45-11:30 Shooting rifle and pistol: 10m air pistol mixed final

11:30-14:30 Cycling road: women's road race

12:25-13:10 Shooting rifle and pistol: 10m air rifle mixed final

13:00-17:30 Gymnastics acrobatic: finals

13:00-17:30 Gymnastics rhythmic: women's all around

13:50-14:40 Archery: recurve team: women's and men's finals

16:00-18:10 Judo: men's (-60kg -66kg) and women's (-48kg -52kg -57kg) finals

16:00-19:30 Sambo: men's (-57kg -68kg -82kg -100kg) and women's (-48kg -56kg -64kg -72kg +80kg) finals

23 June:

10:30-11:00 Shooting rifle and pistol: men's 10m air pistol final

10:40-14:00 Archery: compound mixed team final

12:30-13:00 Shooting rifle and pistol: women's 10m air pistol final

11:00-16:00 Cycling road: men's road race

14:10-15:00 Archery: recurve mixed team final

13:00-17:00 Gymnastics acrobatic: final

13:00-18:00 Gymnastics rhythmic: medal event

14:45-15:45 Shooting shotgun: women's trap finals

16:00-17:00 Shooting shotgun: men's trap finals

16:00-17:55 Judo: men's (-73kg -81kg) and women's (-63kg -70kg) finals

16:00-19:50 Sambo: men's (-52kg, -62kg, -74kg, -90kg, +100kg) and women's (-52kg, -60kg, -68kg, -80kg) finals

24 June:

10:15-10:55 Shooting rifle and pistol: mixed final 50m pistol

12:00-12:30 Shooting rifle and pistol: women's 10m air rifle finals

13:00-13:30 Shooting rifle and pistol: men's 10m air rifle finals

14:45-15:45 Shooting shotgun: mixed trap final

16:00-18:10 Judo: men's (-90kg -100kg +100kg) and women's (-78kg +78kg) events

18:00-20:00 Gymnastics aerobics: mixed pairs final

18:00-20:00 Gymnastics trampoline: men's synchronised, women's individual final

18:50-20:55 3x3 basketball: men's and women's finals

25 June:

09:00-11:40 Cycling road: women's time trial

11:00-11:30 Shooting: mixed 50m rifle prone

12:00-15:40 Cycling road: men's time trial

15:00-17:15 Judo: mixed team events

18:00-20:10 Table tennis: mixed doubles finals

18:00-20:00 Gymnastics aerobic: mixed groups finals

18:00-20:00 Gymnastics trampoline: women's synchronised, men's individual finals

26 June:

11:40-14:20 Archery: compound women's individual finals

14:30-15:00 Archery: recurve women's individual finals

9:00-10:50 Canoe sprint: men's a (K1 1000m, C1 1000m, K2 1000m, C2 1000m) and women's finals (K2 500m)

10:45-11:30 Shooting: women's 25m rapid fire pistol

12:30-13:15 Shooting: men's 50m rifle three positions

14:30-15:15 Shooting: men's 25 rapid fire pistol

17:00-18:00 Table Tennis: women's final

18:00-19:00 Table Tennis: men's final

17:00-19:40 Wrestling: men's freestyle finals (-57kg, -74kg, -86kg, -125kg)

27 June:

09:00-10:30 Canoe sprint: men's (K4 500m) and women's (K1 500m, C2 500m, K4 500m) finals

10:10-14:10 Archery: recurve men's individual final

12:00-12:45 Shooting: women's 50m rifle three positions final

14:20-15:00 Archery: compound men's individual final

13:00-16:45 Canoe sprint: men's (K1 200m, C1 200m, K1 5000m) and women's finals (K1 200m, K2 200m, K1 5000)

15:45-16:45 Shooting: women's skeet final

17:00-18:00 Shooting: men's skeet final

17:00-19:40 Wrestling: women's finals (-53kg, -68kg) and men's freestyle finals (-65kg, -97kg)

18:10-19:20 Cycling track: men's (Scratch) and women's (Points race) finals

28 June:

11:50-12:35 Shooting rifle and pistol: mixed 25m pistol final

13:45-14:45 Shooting shotgun: mixed skeet

17:00-19:20 Athletics: Dynamic mixed team final

17:00-19:30 Cycling track: mens' (Team Pursuit, Team Sprint, Madison), and women's (Team Pursuit, Team Sprint, Scratch) finals

17:00-19:30 Wrestling: women's finals (-50kg, -57kg, -62kg, -76kg)

29 June:

12:00-15:00 Table Tennis: women's team final

13:00-15:45 Gymnastics artistic: women's and men's all around finals

18:30-20:00 Beach soccer: men's team final

15:00-17:35 Boxing: men's (-52kg, -60kg, -69kg, -81kg, +91kg) and women's (-57kg, -69kg) events

15:10-19:30 Cycling track: men's (Individual Pursuit, Individual Sprint, 1Km time-trial, Points race) and women's (Keirin, Omnium-Points race) finals

14:30-18:05 Karate: men's (-84kg and +84kg) and women's (-68kg and +68kg) kumite finals, women's and mens's kata finals

17:00-20:00 Badminton: men's and women's doubles finals

17:00-19:30 Wrestling: Greco-Roman finals (-60kg, -67kg, -77kg)

19:00-22:00 Table Tennis: women's team final

30 June:

11:00-15:00 Badminton: mixed doubles final, men's and women's singles finals

11:00-13:10 Boxing: men's (-49kg, -56kg, -64kg, -75kg, -91kg) and women's (-51kg, -60kg, -75kg) events

13:10-17:00 Cycling track: men's (Keirin, Omnium-Points race) and women's (Individual Pursuit, Individual Sprint, 500m time-trial, Madison) finals

12:00-15:50 Gymnastics artistic: women's and men's apparatus finals

14:00-17:15 Karate: women's (-50kg, -55kg, -61kg) and men's (-60kg, -67kg, -75kg) kumite finals.

12:00-14:00 Wrestling: Greco-Roman finals (-87kg, -97kg, -130kg)

22:00-00:35 Closing ceremony

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