Russia's Tatiana Kashirina is attempting to defend three titles in Tbilisi ©Getty Images

Several athletes are preparing to defend multiple titles at the European Weightlifting Championships in Tbilisi, with the European Weightlifting Federation (EWF) event set to begin in the Georgian capital tomorrow.

Georgia will be hosting the event for the first time with 262 athletes from 38 countries set to take part in the Championship, which is due to conclude on April 18.

The eight-day competition will be held in the 9,200-capacity Sports Palace, located in the city centre.

A total of 15 European titles are set to be won at the Championship, with seven gold medals on offer in the women’s events, while eight will be decided in the men’s divisions.

Russia will be hoping to replicate their performance at the 2014 Championships in Tel Aviv having left Israel’s capital on top of the overall medals table, with 17 gold, 13 silver and eight bronze medals.

Leading the Russian challenge in Georgia will be Tatiana Kashirina, who set three world records in the clean and jerk, snatch and the total, on her way to winning the over 75 kilogram titles at the 2014 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in Almaty.

Kashirina won all three European titles last year but will be made to wait until the final day to defend her crowns, while her teammate Elena Shadrina, also a triple champion in 2014, is likely to be another Russian to watch in the women’s under 58kg event.

Polish brothers Adrian and Tomasz Zielinski won't be present as they prepare for November's World Championships
Polish brothers Adrian and Tomasz Zielinski won't be present as they prepare for November's World Championships ©AFP/Getty Images

Italy’s Genny Pagliaro, Belarus’ Dzina Sazanavets and Spain’s Lidia Valentin also enter the 2015 Championships attempting to defend three titles, having won in the under 48, 69 and 75kg events last year in Israel.

The men’s under 94kg division will see a new European new champion crowned after Adrian and Tomasz Zielinski of Poland, who earned the three titles on offer in 2014, opted to miss the Championship.

The brothers are instead focusing on their preparations for the 2015 World Championships, which are set to be held in Houston, Texas, from November 20 to 28.

Albania’s Erkand Qerimaj however is participating and will attempt to complete a clean sweep of titles in the under 77kg event, having won the clean and jerk and total disciplines in 2014, but missed out on the snatch to Armenia’s Tigran Gevorg Martriosyan of Armenia.

The opening day in Tbilisi will see medals won in the women’s under 48kg and men’s under 56 kg events.