Could Estonia's Magnus Kirt ruin the German javelin party at the Berlin European Athletics Championships? ©Getty Images

The men's javelin will be one of the marquee events at the 24th European Athletics Championships that get underway here tomorrow - which offer in many disciplines an Olympic level of competition.

But expectations are probably highest in home terms for the event that features three mighty German throwers who have dominated the podium in the last couple of years - Olympic champion Thomas Rohler, world champion Johannes Vetter and Andreas Hofmann, who joined his colleagues in 92 metres-plus territory in June with a personal best of 92.06m.

That said, 28-year-old Estonian thrower Magnus Kirt is in the form of his life, having beaten Rohler and Hofmann in last month's International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Diamond League meeting in Rabat with a national record of 89.75.

In the men's discus, home thrower Robert Harting returns to the stadium where it all began for him with his world title win in 2009.

The 33-year-old - who collected further world golds in 2011 and 2013, as well as European titles either side of his London 2012 Olympic win - has announced this will be his last competition.

Also competing will be hs younger brother Christoph, who succeeded him as Olympic champion in Rio.

In the men's shot put, Germany's David Storl will be seeking a fourth consecutive European title.

France's 31-year-old world pole vault record holder Renaud Lavillenie is another seeking a fourth European title.

Robert Harting, London 2012 discus champion, will end his international career in his home stadium in Berlin where he earned a world title in 2009 ©Getty Images
Robert Harting, London 2012 discus champion, will end his international career in his home stadium in Berlin where he earned a world title in 2009 ©Getty Images

He faces the rising new talent of his event, 18-year-old Armand Duplantis of Sweden, who has cleared 5.93m this season - just two centimetres below the Frenchman’s 2018 best.

Friday's (August 3) dramatic announcement by the IAAF that world silver medallist and world indoor champion high jumper Danil Lysenko had his status as an Authorised Neutral Athlete rescinded following a failure to provide whereabouts details for doping controls has left that event wide open.

While one 2.40m performer is now no longer in the event, Ukraine will be offering one in the form of Andrii Protsenko.

Gianmarco Tamberi, rebuilding his career after the horrendous ankle injury he sustained in Monaco shortly after setting an Italian record of 2.39 on the eve of the Rio 2016 Olympics, is back in competitive mode, as he showed with a clearance of 2.27..

Happily another high jumping Authorised Neutral Athlete, Russia's double world champion Mariya Lasitskene, will be competing.

But Lasitskene, with a best of 2.04 this season, will not be able to relax given the challenge of the Bulgarian who has jumped 2.00, and who ended her 45-meeting winning run in Rabat last month, Mirela Demireva of Bulgaria.

Also in the running is the Italian who added 6cm to her personal best in finishing second to Lasitskene in Monaco last month with 2.02 - Italy's Elena Vallortigara.

For Greece's Katerini Stefanidi, the Olympic, world and European pole vault champion, Berlin is the first experience she will have of defending a major title.

But Authorised Neutral Athlete Anzhelika Sidorova announced her own European title ambitions in Monaco on July 20 in equalling her personal best to win with 4.85m, the highest cleared this season.

The women's long jump, too, promises to be a richly competitive event. 

Britain will fancy its chances of populating all levels of the podium given the presence of its three top performers in the top five places in this season's European standings.

Serbia's Ivana Spanovic, pictured en-route to the world indoor long jump gold in Birmingham this year, will defend her European title in Berlin ©Getty Images
Serbia's Ivana Spanovic, pictured en-route to the world indoor long jump gold in Birmingham this year, will defend her European title in Berlin ©Getty Images  

Lorraine Ugen’s 7.05m leads not just the continent, but the world, and Shara Proctor and Jazmin Sawyers are not far behind her with 6.91 and 6.86.

Immediately behind Ugen, however, on both the European and world lists, are Germany’s Malaika Mihambo and Serbia’s defending champion Ivana Spanovic, both of whom have reached 6.99 this year.

Two multi-event world champions are in very serious pursuit of their first European titles in Berlin.

For Belgium’s Nafissatou Thiam, whose world heptathlon win in London last year followed a breakthrough Olympic victory in Rio, there is the opportunity to earn a clean sweep of major titles.

And for Kevin Mayer of France, who filled the post-Ashton Eaton gap at the top of the decathlon event by taking world gold in the stadium that hosted the London 2012 Olympics, a victory in the 1936 Olympic Stadium would offer ideal impetus for his challenge at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Croatia's double world and Olympic discus champion Sandra Perkovic, meanwhile, will attempt to become the first athlete to win a fifth consecutive European gold.

Norway's world 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm will seek a first European title - and indeed a second, as he has also entered for the 400m flat.

Having recently lowered his Norwegian 400m record to 44.87, he could be in striking distance, with Britain’s Matthew Hudson-Smith topping this year’s European rankings with 44.63.

Attention in the men's 100m will focus on four athletes who have broken 10 seconds this season - Britain's Zharnel Hughes, Jimmy Vicaut of France, Filippo Tortu of Italy and Turkey's Jak Ali Harvey.

In the men’s 110m hurdles, Sergey Shubenkov – who ran three sub-13sec races last month - is outstanding favourite, with Colin Jackson's then world and still European record of 12.91 from 1993 on his mind.

Double world 200m champion, and defending 100m champion Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands will come under pressure from Britain's up-and-coming record holder Dina Asher-Smith.

Achilles tendon problems have persuaded Britain's European indoor 1,500 and 3,000m champion Laura Muir not to go for an 800/1,500m double.

She is sticking to the longer distance, where she will not have to face the Dutch athlete Sifan Hassan, who recently set the European 5,000m record.

The timetable does not allow doubling at 1,500 and 5,000m, and Hassan is going for the longer distance.

In the men's 1,500m there is a huge family focus given the involvement of 2012 champion Henrik Ingebrigtsen of Norway, his younger brother Filip, winner of the title in 2016, and their brother Jakob, 17, who recently beat his own European under-20 record by four seconds in running 3:31.18sec.

It's not absurd to think they could fill the podium.