Olympic champions Majlinda Kelmendi, Aliya Mustafina, and Jason Kenny among those taking part in the multi-sport event in Minsk, Belarus from 21 to 30 June.

More than 4,000 athletes from 50 countries will take part in the second European Games in Minsk, Belarus from 21 to 30 June 2019.

A total of 200 sets of medals will be awarded across 15 sports and 23 disciplines, with the action shown live on Olympic Channel (restrictions may apply).

Four years ago, at the inaugural European Games in Baku, Russia topped the medal table (164) from hosts Azerbaijan (56), and Great Britain (47).

Here's our guide to the storylines, sports, stadia, schedule, and stars to watch out for at the 2019 edition.

Athens 2004 100m champ Yuliya Nesterenko hands the Flame of Peace to Rio 2016 trampoline gold medallist Uladzislau Hancharou
Athens 2004 100m champ Yuliya Nesterenko hands the Flame of Peace to Rio 2016 trampoline gold medallist Uladzislau HancharouAthens 2004 100m champ Yuliya Nesterenko hands the Flame of Peace to Rio 2016 trampoline gold medallist Uladzislau Hancharou

Sport events at the European Games 2019

In eight sports, these European Games count towards Olympic qualification (more details below).

In archery, table tennis, and shooting there are automatic quota places for Tokyo 2020 on offer.

Competitors in athletics, karate, badminton, cycling (road and track), and judo can boost their hopes of reaching the Games in Japan.

The judo and boxing competitions will also serve as European Championships.

Minsk 2019 will also stage 3x3 basketball, canoe sprint, gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, acrobatic, and aerobic), and wrestling, plus two non-Olympic sports, beach soccer and sambo.

Lesik, the Minsk 2019 official mascot
Lesik, the Minsk 2019 official mascotLesik, the Minsk 2019 official mascot

Who's going to be in Belarus?

Judo

Teams are being announced by National Olympic Committees this month, but some athletes have already been confirmed to compete in Minsk.

With the exception of double Olympic gold medallist Teddy Riner, who is taking his time to return to competition after one-year break, the biggest European stars are expected to be in attendance.

One is judo Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi, who is seeking her fourth European title.

Reigning world champions Daria Bilodid of Ukraine, Nikoloz Sherazadishvili of Spain, France's Clarisse Agbegnenou and Georgia's Guram Tushishvili are all set to take part along with Italy's Rio 2016 gold medallist Fabio Basile.

Gymnastics

Double Olympic uneven bars champion Aliya Mustafina headlines a strong Russian squad, which could also include six-time European champion David Belyavskiy.

Exclusive: Aliya Mustafina sets sights on Tokyo 2020 all-around

Exclusive: Aliya Mustafina sets sights on Tokyo 2020 all-around

In rhythmic gymnastics, Russia's Arina Averina looks the favourite for the gold medal.

The three-time World champion wil face a strong field, which includes Linoy Ashram from Israel and Italy's Alexandra Agiurgiuculese.

There will be plenty of support for home athletes in Minsk with Olympic trampoline champion Uladzislau Hancharou probably their best chance of victory.

Hancharou took silver medals in both the individual and synchro in Baku four years ago with his perennial rival, London 2012 silver medallist Dmitry Ushakov of Russia, collecting two golds.

Shooting

Eight-time Olympian Nino Salukvadze will take part in the shooting competitions.

The 50-year-old Georgian, and her son Tsotne Machavariani, became the first mother and son to compete in the same Games at Rio 2016.

And Salukvadze has already booked her place at a ninth Olympic Games with fifth place in the Beijing World Cup 10m air pistol last month.

The 25m pistol gold medallist and 10m air pistol silver medallist from Seoul 1988 took her third and last medal to date, bronze in the 10m air pistol, at Beijing 2008.

Greece's Olympic champion Anna Korakaki will be the woman to beat in the pistol events.

Beijing 2008 trap gold medallist Satu Makela-Nummela, now 48, has been confirmed as a member of Finland's 35-strong team in Minsk.

On the men's side, Olympic champion Christian Reitz is determined to retain his title in the men’s 25 metres rapid fire pistol event from the previous European Games, after winning mixed team 10m air pistol gold four years ago in Baku along with Monika Karsch.

Cycling

The last two Olympic gold medallists in women's road cycling, Netherlands' Marianne Vos and Anna van der Breggen, will race in Minsk.

Both are part of a strong Dutch team, which also includes 2017 road world champion Chantal Blaak and the 20-year-old up-and-coming sprinter Lorena Wiebes.

Track cycling fans will be able to watch many medallists from the recent World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland: sprinters Harrie Lavreysen, Jeffrey Hoogland and Roy van der Berg will be joined by Dutch team mates Kirsten Wild and former speed skater Laurine van Riessen.

Six-time Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny headlines Team GB's men's track team in Belarus.

Other sports

Denmark's Viktor Axelsen is the star name in the badminton tournament.

The Rio 2016 bronze medallist and 2017 world champion is currently ranked three in the world after victories in the Barcelona Spain Open and March's India Open.

As for canoeing, reigning Olympic champions Sebastian Brendel and Max Hoff from Germany will look to defend their titles from Baku 2015.

Fellow Germans, and Rio 2016 team bronze medallists, Timo Boll and Dimitrij Ovtcharov, headline the field in table tennis.

Kata karate world champion Sandra Sanchez took gold in Baku four years ago, and the Spaniard looks set to defend her title.

Sandra Sanchez claims first world title on home soil

Sandra Sanchez claims first world title on home soil

New sport format makes official debut

Athletics will have a new look with the competition following the mixed gender Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) format.

Making its debut in Minsk, DNA is a two-hour team-based event which aims to be unpredictable and easy to follow.

Twenty-four teams comprising eight women and seven men will compete over nine events, taking place one after the other: women's 100m, men's 100m, women's 100m hurdles, men's 100m hurdles, women's javelin, women's long jump, men's high jump, 4 x 400m mixed relay, and 'The Hunt'.

This final event is a distance mixed medley relay pursuit (men's 800m, women's 600m, men's 400m, women's 200m) which has no Olympic equivalent.

The teams start at time intervals based on the results of the previous eight events with the first team past the post crowned the overall winner.

Athletes in all DNA disciplines, except The Hunt, are eligible for Tokyo 2020 qualifying points.

Non-Olympic sports

Sambo and beach soccer are not part of the Olympic programme, but have the chance to shine in Minsk.

Karate and 3x3 basketball featured four years ago at the first European Games in Baku before being included in the Tokyo 2020 programme.

Sambo is a martial art and combat sport developed by the Soviet Red Army in the early 1920s and is described by the Japanese federation president Masaaki Kondo as "a mix of judo and wrestling".

The name Sambo comes from a Russian expression which literally translates as 'unarmed self-defence'.

Unlike judo, various types of leg lock are allowed with points scored with throws and submissions.

Sambo is one of the 15 sports featuring at Minsk 2019
Sambo is one of the 15 sports featuring at Minsk 2019Sambo is one of the 15 sports featuring at Minsk 2019

The beach soccer tournament will see eight men's teams compete, including two-time world champions Russia and reigning Euro beach soccer league champions Italy.

The road to Tokyo 2020

Here's a summary of how the qualification system works for each of the eight sports where athletes can punch their ticket for Tokyo 2020.

Archery - The winners in each individual Olympic and mixed team event will automatically receive quota places.

Athletics - Qualification standards subject to meeting the IAAF and the EAA rules and regulations.

Badminton - Ranking points awarded in the same value as for the Continental Championships.

Cycling - UCI ranking points given in the same value as for all Continental Games will be allocated to each discipline according to the category of each one counting towards Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualification system.

Judo - IJF WRL points will be awarded to athletes for individual events and mixed team event of the Minsk 2019 European Games in the same value as for the Continental (European) Championships.

Shooting - The winners in each individual Olympic event will automatically receive quota places.

Table tennis - Three medallists in the men's and women's singles events, gold medallists in men's and women's team events, and gold medallists in mixed doubles event will receive automatic qualification

The venues

The opening and closing ceremonies, and the athletics events will take place in the Dinamo Stadium.

Prior to recent renovation, the venue hosted seven matches, including a quarter-final, during the football tournament at the Moscow 1980 Games.

The Chizhovka Arena, which will stage judo and karate, was previously home to the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships.

Gymnastics (artistic, rhythmic and trampoline) and track cycling will take place inside the multi-purpose Minsk Arena complex, one of Europe's most advanced sports facilities.

The Minsk Arena has previously hosted major events such as the 2012 World Junior Figure Skating Championships and the 2013 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

The other venues are the Falcon Club (badminton), Sports Palace (sambo, wrestling), Olympic Sports complex (beach soccer, archery), Palova Arena (3x3 basketball), Shooting Centre (shooting rifle and pistol), Sporting Club (shooting shotgun), Uruchie Sports Palace (boxing), Tennis Olympic Centre (table tennis) and Regatta Zaslavl (canoe sprint).

The road cycling events will take place along the central avenues of the Belarusian capital.

The schedule (medal events):

21 June:

Opening Ceremony

22 June:

Archery: recurve team: women's and men's finals

Cycling road: women's road race

Gymnastics acrobatic: final

Gymnastics rhythmic: individual

Judo: men's (-60kg -66kg) and women's (-48kg -52kg) events

Sambo: men's and women's events

Shooting: mixed final

23 June:

Archery: recurve and compound mixed team finals

Cycling road: men's road race

Gymnastics acrobatic: final

Gymnastics rhythmic: medal event

Judo: men's (-73kg -81kg) and women's (-57kg -63kg) events

Sambo: men's and women's events

Shooting rifle and pistol: men's and women's 10m air pistol finals

Shooting shotgun: men's and women's trap finals

24 June:

3x3 basketball: men's and women's finals

Gymnastics aerobics: mixed pairs

Gymnastics trampoline: women's individual final

Judo: men's (-90kg -100kg +100kg) and women's (-70kg -78kg +100kg) events

Shooting rifle and pistol: mixed final 50m pistol, men's and women's 10m air rifle finals

Shooting shotgun: mixed trap final

25 June:

Cycling road: men's and women's time trials

Gymnastics aerobic: groups

Gymnastics trampoline: women's synchronised, men's individual finals

Judo: mixed team events

Shooting: mixed 50m rifle prone

Table tennis: mixed final

26 June:

Archery: recurve and compound women's individual finals

Canoe sprint: men's and women's finals

Shooting: women's 25m pistol, men's 50m rifle three positions, 25m rapid fire pistol

Table Tennis: men's and women's finals

Wrestling: men's freestyle finals (-57kg, -74kg, -86kg, -125kg)

27 June:

Archery: recurve and compound men's individual final

Canoe sprint: men's and women's finals

Cycling track: men's and women's finals

Shooting: women's 50m rifle three positions, men's and women's skeet

Wrestling: women's finals (-53kg, -68kg) and men's freestyle finals (-65kg, -97kg)

28 June:

Athletics: medal event final

Cycling track: men's and women's finals

Shooting rifle and pistol: mixed 25m pistol

Shooting shotgun: mixed skeet

Wrestling: women's finals (-50kg, -57kg, -62kg, -76kg)

29 June:

Badminton: men's and women's doubles finals

Beach soccer: men's team final

Boxing: men's and women's events

Cycling track: men's and women's finals

Gymnastics artistic: men's and women's finals

Karate: men's and women's kata finals, women's -68kg and +68kg, men's -84kg and +84kg

Table Tennis: men's and women's team finals

Wrestling: Greco-Roman finals (-60kg, -67kg, -77kg)

30 June:

Badminton: men's and women's singles finals, mixed doubles final

Boxing: men's and women's events

Cycling track: men's and women's finals

Gymnastics artistic: men's and women's finals

Karate: women's -50kg, -55kg, -61kg and men's -60kg, -67kg, -75kg.

Wrestling: Greco-Roman finals (-87kg, -97kg, -130kg)

Closing ceremony

Stay with Olympic Channel for more European Games updates.

Enjoyed this story? Like it or share it with your friends!