8 British & European athletes with titles to defend at Glasgow 2018

Champion: Great Britain's Vicky Thornley (centre) clinched gold at last year's European Rowing Championships in the Czech Republic and will be hoping for a similar display on home waters at Glasgow2018

With less than 100 days to go until the start of Glasgow2018, athletes are beginning to turn their heads towards August and the prospect of winning a continental title in front of Scottish sports fans. 

Or in some cases, defending their status as European Champion.

All six Glasgow2018 sports, with the exception of Golf which will be hosting the first-ever European Golf Team Championships, are incorporating their own existing European Championships into the multi-sport competition and there are some exciting names with titles to defend in Scotland.

Here are 8 athletes who will be determined to see off the competition and retain their status as ‘Champion of Europe’ at #Glasgow2018:

Ranomi Kromowidjojo (NED) – Swimming
2016 EUROPEAN CHAMPION – 50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m mixed freestyle
A four-time Olympic champion and multiple World & European title winner, Ranomi Kromowidjojo has one individual title (50m freestyle) and two relay titles (4x100m freestyle, 4x100m mixed freestyle) to defend at Glasgow2018. Competition in the 50m freestyle is likely to come from Denmark’s Pernille Blume, who took gold in the same event at the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Katie Archibald (GBR) – Track Cycling
2017 EUROPEAN CHAMPION – Individual Pursuit, Omnium 
One of the most exciting names in British Cycling at the moment, who relishes competing in front of a home crowd. The Scottish track-specialist is an Olympic gold-medallist (2016, team pursuit) and has won titles at the past FIVE European Track Cycling Championships. At last year’s event in Berlin, Katie won gold in both the individual pursuit and omnium, seeing off competition from the likes of Dutch world champion Kirsten Wild. Can the backing of a home support drive Katie onto further success at Glasgow 2018?

Eleftherios Petrounias (GRE) – Gymnastics
‘The Lord of Rings’. Greek gymnast Eleftherios Petrounias has dominated the rings event at European and World level for several years, having won gold at the past three European Championships and the 2016 Olympic Games. Won a World Championships in Glasgow back in 2015 and will be looking to add a fourth European gold medal to his collection in Scotland this August.

Jess Learmonth (GBR) – Triathlon
2017 EUROPEAN CHAMPION – Women’s elite
Reigning European Champion Jess Learmonth spearheaded a British Triathlon one-two at last year's European Championships in Austria, finishing ahead of compatriot Sophie Coldwell. 2018 has started well for Jess, who picked up two silver medals - women's race and mixed relay - at the Commonwealth Games in Australia and she'll be eyeing another shot at European glory at Glasgow 2018. With the backing of a home support at Strathclyde Country Park, expect the Leeds-born athlete to be amongst the favourites.

Joris Daudet (FRA) – BMX
2017 EUROPEAN CHAMPION – Men’s elite
Two-time world champion Joris Daudet is one of European BMX's biggest stars and represented France at the 2012 Olympics in London. His European Championship win in 2017 was a particularly special one for Daudet as it was clinched on home soil. The chance to compete for more glory at the new BMX track in Knightswood is likely to appeal to the French athlete. 

Vicky Thornley (GBR) – Rowing
2017 EUROPEAN CHAMPION – (W1x) Women’s Single Sculls
A silver-medallist alongside Katherine Grainger at the 2016 Olympic Games, Vicky Thornley went into the 2017 European Rowing Championships as one of British Rowing’s top medal prospects. She didn’t disappoint, seeing off competition from Olympic champions Ekaterina Karsten (Belarus) and Annekatrin Thiele (Germany) to claim a well-deserved gold medal. With a home crowd behind her, the Welsh rower will be seeking her third European Championships medal at Glasgow2018.

Ross Murdoch (GBR) – Swimming
2016 EUROPEAN CHAMPION – 200m breaststroke, 4x100m medley
The Glasgow 2018 swimming ambassador had a highly successful 2016 European Championships in London, winning four medals – including golds in his favoured 200m breaststroke event and the 4x100m medley. Glasgow 2018 swimming venue Tollcross holds plenty of happy memories for Murdoch, having famously won a Commonwealth Games title there in 2014. Will be sure of a vocal backing from home fans, which could help propel the Scot to his seventh European medal. 

Oleg Vernyayev (UKR) – Gymnast
2017 EUROPEAN CHAMPION – All-around*, Parallel Bars
One of the top gymnasts in Europe at the moment, Ukrainian gymnast & Olympic gold medallist Oleg Vernyayev is a six-time European Champion and won two gold medals at last year’s Championships in Romania. A specialist in the Parallel Bars but is a well-rounded athlete who could compete across multiple apparatus, including Vault, Floor & Pommel Horse.  

*Not contested at Glasgow 2018

Tickets for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships are on sale now at www.glasgow2018.com/tickets

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