With the start of the year comes the start of a new season in athletics (hooray!). With it being Olympic year you can only expect all the athletes will be working as hard as possible to make their dreams come true. The indoor season is an interesting part of the year in the fact that it doesn’t usually get the coverage that the outdoor season does. This is partially due to the fact that some of the sport’s biggest stars, such as Usain Bolt, don’t usually do an indoor season. An additional factor this year is the fact that there definitely won’t be any Russian athletes competing due to the IAAF’s decision to ban the All Russian Athletics Federation with no chance of that being lifted until at least after these championships.
There will be some athletes though who will look to use the indoor season to start their preparation for Rio. What can also happen though is that new talent can make a bit of a name for themselves. Richard Kilty becoming the World Indoor 60m Champion is a perfect example of this and he has become a regular member of the British team at major championships following that success.
This year’s indoor season ends in Portland, Oregon for the 2016 World Indoor Championships which is the first time the championship is being held in America since 1987. Hopefully it will mean there will be good representation of some of America’s biggest stars and Ashton Eaton announcing he will compete in the heptathlon there is certainly a good start. His wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton will also compete in the pentathlon hoping to upgrade her 3 global silver medals she has gained in the last few years.
With this being Olympic year, you might think that some athletes would be wary of doing the indoors and just purely focus on preparing for the Olympics. Looking back 4 years ago to 2012 however shows that many big names who would become Olympic Champions just a few months later competed at the World Indoors that year. Names such as Sanya Richards-Ross, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Aries Merritt, Renaud Lavillenie, Christian Taylor, Ashton Eaton, Sally Pearson, Elena Isinbayeva, Brittney Reese and Valerie Adams ALL competed at the World Indoors before winning Olympic Gold later that year. A list similar to that would be most welcome this year!
Hopefully we will also some of the ‘newer’ superstars of the sport such as Dafne Schippers and Genzebe Dibaba (who finally got the outdoor success her indoor performances suggest she could have) will be there as well.
The Glasgow Indoor Meeting on February 20th has already advertised World 200m Champion Dafne Schippers and Dina Asher-Smith for the women’s 60m as well as World and European 60m Champion Richard Kilty, CJ Ujah, Word 100m bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell and the evergreen Kim Collins for the men’s 60m. Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford are also advertised, although neither will be having an indoor season except for this event.
This is the final leg of the IAAF’s World Indoor tour where the winner of each individual event between the 4 meetings will gain a wildcard entry to the World Indoor Championships. The tour starts with the Karlsruhe Indoor meeting in Germany on the 6th February where Lavillenie and former World Champion Raphael Holzdeppe will compete in the Pole Vault and Dafne Schippers will also race the 60m. Then comes the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston on the 14th February which yesterday announced Trayvon Bromell, Meserat Defar and Brenda Martinez to compete. Then comes the Globen Galan in Stockholm on the 17th before the tour finishes up in Glasgow.
The first big stop on the road to Rio is Portland for the World Indoor Championships and I for one, can’t wait!
Until next time!