Welcome to part 2 of my preview for the World Indoor Championships starting tomorrow! For part one please there is a link just below:
So without further ado let’s get on with the preview!
60 metre Hurdles
For each of the men’s and women’s side of this event there is one country that seems to dominating. The French with two big medal chances in the men’s event and of course the Americans for the women.
To say the US women dominate their event is actually a massive understatement, they have 12 of the top 16 athletes this year! They had similar dominance outdoors last year even though not one of their 4 entrants won a medal but that surely won’t happen here this time! The sprint hurdles is one of my favourite events to watch because anything can and often does happen and little mistakes can cause huge problems. Brianna Rollins (7.76) and Kendra Harrison (7.77) look the two favourites although one should not count out Nia Ali who is not only this year’s World Indoor Tour winner but also the reigning Champion from 2014. Outside of the Americans, you have to look at Tiffany Porter (7.89) and Alina Talay (7.97) (sadly no Cindy Roleder) as the most likely contenders. The Croatian runner Andrea Ivancevic (7.94) could also be another contender. Serita Solomon also goes for Britain and looks capable of making the final.
On the men’s side the French have developed an impressive group of sprint hurdlers and they have Dimitri Bascou and Pascal Martinot-Lagarde go here as two of the top 3 in the world this year. However Omar Mcleod of Jamaica splits those two and is the other main contender. If it goes to form it is hard to see anyone outside those 3 in with a shout of the gold. Lawrence Clark is Britain’s sole representative but making the final may prove a bit difficult.
MEN: 1ST Dimitri Bascou (FRA) 2nd: Omar McLeod (JAM) 3rd: Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (FRA)
WOMEN: 1st Brianna Rollins (US), 2nd: Kendra Harrison (US), 3rd: Nia Ali (US)
With recent admissions by Michael Rimmer and Guy Learmounth that they had had IAAF invites rejected by UKA it is probably not a surprise that there are only 15 entrants in the men’s event and only 17 in the women’s.
No Adam Kszscot here as the World Indoor Tour winner looks to greater things in the summer, which is a shame as he had looked very impressive this year and would have been a big favourite here. Therefore it falls on others to take advantage of his absence. The best of these may be Musaeb Balla of Qatar who is the only person to run under 1.46.00 this year out of the field but the biggest name is that of Mohammed Aman who has won the last two World Indoor titles as well as the 2013 outdoor title over this distance. Erik Sowinski leads the American challenge along with Boris Berian and the two Kenyans in Jeremiah Mutai and Edward Kemboi.
On the female side Ajee Wilson looks the favourite having run just outside 2 minutes this year and 2016 could be her big breakthrough on the senior stage at the championships. One of Britain’s best chances of a medal lies with Lynsey Sharp having beaten Laura Muir’s Scottish record whilst running in America, although she was beaten at the trials by Adelle Tracey in what should be a great experience for her. This event could be tight for the medals outside of Wilson.
Men: 1st: Mohammed Aman (ETH), 2nd: Musaeb Balla (QAT), 3rd: Erik Sowinski (USA)
Women: 1st: Ajee Wilson (USA), 2nd: Lynsey Sharp (GBR), 3rd: Malika Akkaoui (MAR)
The 1500 is stronger for the men with the likes of Iguider (also down for the 3000 so might yet only do one), Matthew Centrowitz, Nick Willis and recent indoor world record holder over the 1000m in Souleiman. Chris O’Hare and Charlie Grice going for Britain where making the final would be the target and the Ethiopians in Wolde and Wote will be threats as well.
The women’s line-up is headed by Sifan Hassan who with Dibaba likely to do the 5K will surely be targeting gold in Rio. She will face a big challenge by two other Ethiopians in Seyaum and Tsegay. Those three are probably the big favourites, with Brenda Martinez providing the home challenger.
Men’s: 1st: Anyaleh Souleiman (DJI), 2nd: Matthw Centrowitz (USA), 3rd: Abdalaati Iguider (MOR)
Women’s: 1st: Sifan Hassan (NED), 2nd: Dawit Seyaum (ETH), 3rd: Gudaf Tsegay (ETH)
The men’s event looked set for a very intriguing preview of Rio later this year before Olympic and World Champion Greg Rutherford (8.26m) pulled out after recent injury and illness but with the form of Marquis Dendy (8.41) who may have been fired up by the words of 9 time Olympic Champion Carl Lewis who called the Long Jump the worst event in track and field. Dendy won the US Champs with a new PB (indoor or out) of 8.41m to start as the clear favourite with Jeff Henderson (8.06m) just piping Marquise Goodwin into the second spot. World Silver medallist Fabrice LaPierre of Australia (8.08) is also there and there is expected to be a strong Chinese contingent. Kafitien Gomis of France jumped a big 8.23m to win the French Championships and then there is the strange case of Georgian Bachana Khorava who has jumped 8.25m this year but his next best is under 8 metres.
The women’s Long Jump is perhaps one of the most competitive events here and the field is expected to be strong including surprise world leader Alexandra Wester of Germany (6.95m). This is also Britain’s strongest event in terms of depth and they have 3 entrants here with World Silver medallist Shara Proctor (6.91m), World Indoor Tour winner Lorraine Ugen (6.80m) and British Indoor Champion Jasmine Sawyers (6.67m), making a medal for Britain here a good possibility. However you have some of the usual names here as well including Ivana Spanovic (6.85m) and Olympic Champion Britney Reese (6.89m) who appears to be returning to something close to her best form.
Men: 1st: Marquis Dendy (USA), 2nd: Jianan Wang (CHN), 3rd: Fabrice Lapierre (AUS)
Women: 1st: Ivana Spanovic (SRB), 2nd: Britney Reese (USA), 3rd: Shara Proctor (GBR)
Pole Vault seems to be an event which is getting stronger all the time with many Junior and Youth records being broken this year. The event for both genders is strong at the moment with great depth and quality at the very top. It is the first and indeed only event on the first day of competition which hopefully give the event a good level of focus and exposure.
Renaud Lavillenie’s jump of 6.16m last year literally took the event to new heights but he has a new 6 metre rival in that of 2015 World Champion Shaun Barber of Canada (6.00m) so this event could prove a great first battle on the road to Rio later this year. Speaking of Rio Brazil’s best chance of a medal could come in this event with Thiago Braz best of 5.93m makes him a contender for a medal along with home favourite Sam Kendricks (5.90m). 16 people achieved the 5.77m qualifying height this year alone.
On the women’s side Jenn Suhr extender her own Indoor World Record to 5.03m but was beaten at the US Champs by Sandi Morris (4.95m) with Demi Payne (4.90m) only good enough for third. America is therefore likely to do well here with perhaps the Greek athletes the best placed to challenge.
MEN: 1st Renaud Lavillenie (FRA), 2nd: Shaun Barber (CAN), 3rd: Sam Kendricks (USA)
WOMEN: 1st: Jenn Suhr (USA), 2nd: Sandi Morris (USA), 3rd: Nikoléta Kyriakopoúlou(GRE)
The men’s shot put has 6 men who have thrown over 21 metres this year with Kurt Roberts being one of the oldest in the field at just 28. It is quite close for the top 6 although Roberts (USA) has the longest throw in the field this year with 21.57m. Haratyk (POL), Nedow (CAN) and Stanek (CZE) as well the two young New Zealand thrower in Tomas Walsh and Jacko Gill are the likely contenders.
After surgery Valerie Adams is edging her way back but may not be the favourite with America’s Michelle Carter the leader with 19.49m. At her best Adams would be the favourite and she will see this as another opportunity to improve as she looks to defend her Olympic title in Rio. A win for her here could be one of the stories of these championships. Jillian Camarena-Williams (USA) and Yuliya Leanstiuk (BER) look the main contenders for the bronze medal.
Men: 1st: Kurt Roberts (USA), 2nd: Michal Haratyk (POL), Tim Nedow (CAN)
Women: 1st: Michelle Carter (USA), 2nd: Valerie Adams (NZL), 3rd: Jillian Camarena-Williams (USA)
To sum up my predictions, I expect America to dominate these championships and top the medal table by a considerable margin as they have many medal chances in all but a few of the events. These championships won’t necessarily represent a great preview of the Olympics later this year but there are some athletes who are competing here who could be celebrating come Rio later this year!
Below is my predicted medal table as of the time of writing this preview:
Until next time!