Dutch 200 metre world champion Dafne Schippers is expected to be one of the star attractions for international broadcasters at Amsterdam 2016 ©Getty Images

Svein Arne Hansen has told a gathering of international broadcasters in Amsterdam that the European Championships hosted by the Dutch capital next year will attract “big interest” as a “key milestone” to Rio 2016.

The continental competition is due to take place between July 6 and 10 and will be a key event in the build-up to next summer's Olympics. 

“Amsterdam will be a spectacular curtain-raiser for the Rio Olympics,” Hansen, the European Athletics President, told the World Broadcaster Meeting for Amsterdam 2016.

“There will be big interest in our sport during the Olympic year with Amsterdam a key milestone in the lead up to Rio.

“With Amsterdam promising athletics like never before, we have an exciting event to offer to television audiences, including javelin and discuss qualification in the Museum Square and the half-marathon championships in the city.”

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Svein Arne Hansen, President of European Athletics, has forecast "big interest" in the Amsterdam European Championships next summer, which form a "key milestone" to Rio 2016 ©Facebook

At the previous six-day European Athletics Championships in Zurich in 2014, a total television audience of 358 million watched the action unfold, it was claimed.

Thirty-three broadcasters produced 1,677 hours of coverage for the event that took place between August 12 and 17 last year.

“We are sure Amsterdam 2016 will be a success,” Hansen added.

“We look forward to our best stars performing and to a full stadium every day.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to promote our sport, and we need the help of the international broadcasters to do this.

“With our main Championships every two years, we are creating more European champions, more stars, on a more regular basis.”

The World Broadcaster Meeting included representatives from France Télévisions, Host Broadcaster NOS, YLE of Finland, ARD and ZDF from Germany, TV4 of Sweden, RTE of Ireland, Norway's NRK, Eurosport-Discovery and Eurovision.

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