European Sports Championships: launch pad for a new spectacle of sport

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A neat trick involving a sleight of hand is about to be performed in front of our eyes and the illusionists trust we will marvel at the spectacle and beg for more.

The first European Sports Championships begin in Glasgow on Thursday and conclude in Berlin 11 days later. Eight sports are stacking their continental showpieces in a single deck and allowing the organisers and television producers to shuffle the cards around in a game of who has top trumps next?

There will be athletics in Berlin, swimming, cycling and gymnastics in Glasgow, and diving in Edinburgh. Rowing and triathlon will take place in a country park in Motherwell. Oh, and there is golf at Gleneagles. All packaged together for the first time and offered to the world.