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European Team Championships - The facts!
In a little over two weeks time, the SPAR European Cup, the world's premier international athletics team competition, will take place for the final time in Annecy, France.
In 2009, this will be replaced by a brand new competition known as The European Team Championships.
This new championship will introduce some of the most innovative competition changes to the sport of athletics, in order to make the competition more intense, more media friendly and more relevant.
Central to these changes is an expansion of the number of teams competing in the top divisions, which will increase from 8 to 12, while the overall winning team will be decided on a combined total of both men and women's individual results.
The competition will consist of the standard 20 track and field events for both men and women, meaning that 40 different results will combine to see an overall winning team crowned Champions of Europe!
The overall structure of the competition has also been made clear, with the top 12 teams taking part in the SPAR European Team Championships, the next 12 teams in the First League, the next 8 teams in the Second League and the remaining teams in the Third League.
A number of the individual events have also been modernised to make them more exciting for TV viewers and spectators