The stage is set for the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Showdown European Championships, which get underway on Friday (24 August) in Warsaw, Poland.
Nearly 60 athletes from 16 countries are expected to line-up for the ninth edition of the event.
That includes defending champions in both the men’s, women’s and team events.
In the women’s, Finland’s Hanna Vilmi is the headline act. Not only is Vilmi the European title holder but also the gold medallist from the 2017 World Championships in Handen, Sweden.
But Vilmi will also face the rest of the podium finishers from the 2016 Euros.
Slovenia’s Sanja Kos and Poland’s Elzbieta Mielczarek claimed silver and bronze respectively two years ago. Vilmi’s teammate Jaana Pesari is also the current world No.1 and will give her compatriot a tough fight in Warsaw.
In the men’s, Slovenia’s Peter Zidar is also the defending champion, rankings leader and world title holder.
In 2016 Poland’s Krystian Kisiel and Adrian Sloninka joined him on the podium and return to try and improve on their respective second and third place finishes.
Poland, Slovenia and Finland were the top three in the team event last time. All three countries will be going for gold confident of a shot at the gold.
The 2018 IBSA Showdown European Championships take place from 24-26 August.