The European Fencing Champions are due to begin in Tbilisi tomorrow ©Tbilisi 2017

The 2017 European Fencing Championships are due to begin in Tbilisi tomorrow as athletes have one final chance to prepare for next month's World Championships in Germany.

The competition is due to take place at the Georgian capital's Gymnastic Arena and will conclude on Saturday (June 17).

Competitors will be hoping to hone their preparations prior to the World Championships in German city Leipzig, which are scheduled to run from July 19 to 26.

Action in Georgia will take place in 12 categories with an even split of six men's and women's events.

Competitors will take part in foil, épée, sabre, team foil, team épéee and team sabre competitions.

Prior to competition beginning tomorrow, there will be a European Fencing Confederation Congress today.

Last year's European Championships proved ideal preparation for a number of competitors who went on to win medals at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The men's French team épée squad of Yannick Borel, Gauthier Grumier, Daniel Jerent and Jean-Michael Lucenay prevailed in Toruń in Poland before going on to win gold in Rio de Janeiro just months later.

Grummier also took bronze in the men's individual épée at Rio 2016.

France won the team épée title at last year's European Championships before winning gold at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
France won the team épée title at last year's European Championships before winning gold at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

Russia's women's team sabre squad of Ekaterina Dyachenko, Yana Egorian, Yuliya Gavrilova and Sofiya Velikaya also managed to take Olympic gold following continental success last year.

Velikay, won won individual sabre gold in Toruń last year, took silver in Rio 2016 behind Egorian.

"On behalf of the European Fencing Confederation I am glad to welcome all participants, coaches and guests of the European Championship," said European Fencing Confederation President Stanislav Pozdnyakov.

"In its own right the tournament is one of the major events in the international calendar and the highest European one.

"The best fencers from around Europe come here to cross swords to find out who is the strongest in the continent.

"Given the level of competence of European fencers and their ambitions, we are in for thrilling and beautiful duels.

"As a rule, the first post-Olympic year sees new stars rising.

"Hopefully this championships will launch more fencers to stardom too."