It is not only Gateshead that is on the minds of the German team as they prepare for the European Athletics Team Championships on June 22-23. They are already looking a year into the future.
In 12-months time Germany will be the hosts when the competition is staged in Braunschweig and what a feat it would be if they were the defending champions.
Russia are likely to be the major power again next weekend after their glory in Stockholm in 2011 but the strong squad Germany has announced is a mixture of power, experience and youth.
A total of 24 men and 25 have been named by DLV, the German Athletics Federation, and they include a string of leading performers: Olympic and European champion discus champion Robert Harting, Olympic and European pole vault silver medallist Bjorn Otto, European shot put champion David Storl, European indoor shot put champion Christina Schwanitz and Olympic bronze medal hammer thrower Betty Heidler.
In Stockholm, Germany were beaten by 33.5 points as Russia won with 374 and Ukraine were third with 293.
DLV sports director Thomas Kurschilgen said: “With the Team Championship on 22 and 23 June 2013 in Gateshead, we want to go a further step in the restoration of the DLV team and also give young athletes of elite junior teams the opportunity to compete in European competition.
“Our aim must be to be among the top three in Europe.
“Russia is again the absolute favorite, we want to fight with the major European nations of Britain, France and Ukraine for the other medals.”
The trickiest of all the selections was in the men’s pole vault where German athletes are excelling.
Only last Thursday at the IAAF Diamond League in Rome, Raphael Holzdeppe, who was third in Helsinki and London, produced another landmark moment in his career when he won with a vault of 5.91m.
Not only did he beat France’s Olympic and European champion Renaud Lavillenie who had a best of 5.86m but Otto was back in fourth with 5.80m while in third, just to add to the equation, was another German, Malte Mohr, with 5.86m.
Otto’s consistency in the major championships and generally in his finishing positions ahead of Holzdeppe have earned him selection for Gateshead.
A week earlier Otto was second in Eugene with 5.90m as Holzdeppe was third with 5.84m.
Kurschilgen said: “The nomination for the men’s pole vault was extremely difficult. The decision for Bjorn Otto was because of the slightly higher output consistency over the past competitions against Raphael.”
The women’s 5000m will be run by Sabrina Mockenhaupt, the impressive European Cup 10,000m champion in Pravets last Saturday while among the young names Germany hope will make an impression include 22-year-old Andreas Lange, who is eighth on the European Athletics 800m rankings with a best time of 1:45.69.
GERMAN TEAM FOR GATESHEAD
100m: Lucas Jakubczyk. 200m: Julian Reus. 400m: David Gollnow. 800m: Andreas Lange. 1500m: Carsten Schlangen. 3,000m: Richard Ringer. 5000m: Arne Gabius. 110mh: Erik Balnuweit. 400mh: Silvio Sergeant. 3000m steeplechase: Steffen Uliczka. High Jump: Martin Gunther. Pole Vault: Bjorn Otto. Long Jump: Christian Reif. Shot Put: David Storl. Discus: Robert Harting. Hammer: Markus Esser. Javelin: Thomas Roehler. 4x100m relay: Reus, Martin Keller, Lucas Jakubczy, Sven Knipphals, Roy Schmidt; 4x400m relay: Gollnow, Miguel Rigau, Jonas Plass, Eric Kruger, Thomas Schneider.
200m: Inna Weit. 400m: Esther Cremer. 800m: Annett Horna. 3000m: Corinna Harrer. 5000m: Sabrina Mockenhaupt. 100mh: Nadine Hildebrand. 400mh: Christiane Klopsch. 3000m steeplechase: Antje Moldner -Schmidt. High Jump: Marie-Laurence Jungfleisch. Pole Vault: Martina Strutz. Long Jump: Sosthene Moguenara. Triple Jump: Jenny Elbe. Shot Put: Christina Schwanitz. Discus: Julia Fischer. Hammer: Betty Heidler. Javelin: Christina Obergfoll. 4x100m relay: Verena Sailer, Tatjana Pinto, Weit, Yasmin Kwadwo, Katharina Grompe. 4x400m relay: Cremer, Lena Schmidt, Julia Forster, Ruth-Sophie Spelmeyer, Christiane Klopsch.