World Indoor Championships preview – men’s events

A look at the men’s events at this weekend’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Istanbul

Lerone Clarke (Mark Shearman)

World Indoors guide

Time table/results | Entry lists
IAAF statistics handbook – part 1, 2, 3, 4
2012 world indoor rankings: men | women

Past medallists
men’s track | men’s field
women’s track | women’s field

UK TV coverage

Friday March 9
Channel 4: 7.00am-12.20pm.
Channel 4: 2.30pm-4.00pm.
More 4: 4.00pm-6.30pm.

Saturday March 10
Channel 4: 7.00am-8.00am.
Channel 4: 9.00am-10.30am.
More 4: 2.30-6.30pm.

Sunday March 11
Channel 4: 11.35am-4.00pm.


» All times mentioned are GMT.

60m

Heats: Friday March 9, 3.35pm.
Semis: Saturday March 10, 3.30pm.
Final: Saturday March 10, 6.00pm.
Event stats

Trell Kimmons won the US indoor title ahead of Justin Gatlin, although their times of 6.45 and 6.47 respectively were altitude-aided.

Lerone Clarke failed to make it through the heats in 2010, but he is unbeaten this year and comes fresh from a Jamaican record of 6.47 in Birmingham, where he beat Kimmons.

Dwain Chambers has not been great in the run-up, but he should have had enough time to improve on his 6.70 showing from his last race in Gent.

400m

Heats: Friday March 9, 10.20am.
Semis: Friday March 9, 6.10pm.
Final: Saturday March 10, 5.30pm.
Event stats

Grenada’s Kirani James will be trying to become a double world champion at 19. The teenager is part of a select group of athletes to have gone sub-45 indoors and he holds the world-lead this year at 45.19.

US indoor champion Gil Roberts has dipped under 46 seconds three times this year, but all three clockings came in the altitude of Albuquerque. Demetrius Pinder has been in superb form this winter and owns Bahamian records at 200m and 400m, beating the marks set by two former world indoor champions.

Britain have medal chances here in the form of Nigel Levine and Richard Buck, both of whom are ranked sixth of all 400m entrants.

800m

Heats: Friday March 9, 8.10am.
Semis: Saturday March 10, 9.50am.
Final: Sunday March 11, 2.20pm.
Event stats

Poland boasts a strong duo comprising of European champion Marcin Lewandowski and world No.1 Adam Kszczot. The latter has set the world alight this winter with his dominant form, culminating in his 1:44.57 world lead – putting him at No.3 on the world indoor all-time list.

But after going out at too fast a pace in Stockholm, Kszczot was beaten by Ethiopian teenager Mohamed Aman, who will again be his toughest rival in Istanbul.

British duo Joe Thomas and Andrew Osagie should make the final on current form, and in the right race either one of them could sneak a medal.

1500m

Heats: Friday March 9, 10.55am.
Final: Saturday March 10, 5.00pm.
Event stats

Gold medal hopes for the home nation will be pinned on former Kenyan Ilham Tanui Ozbilen. But his former team-mates Bethwel Birgen and Silas Kiplagat, who set a national indoor mile record last month, will provide resistance.

The current world leader is Abdelaati Iguider of Morocco. He won silver at the last World Indoors in 2010, but has been in even better form this year after victories in Chemnitz and Lievin, the latter with a PB of 3:34.10.

3000m

Heats: Friday March 9, 5.05pm.
Final: Sunday March 11, 1.10pm.
Event stats

Mo Farah takes on reigning champion Bernard Lagat in a rematch of the world 5000m final.

Despite a rare loss in Birmingham, Farah has still been running well this winter, although the distance probably favours Lagat, the former 1500m specialist who won the US indoor 3000m title with a sub-26-second final lap.

Kenya boasts a pair of sub-7:30 competitors in the form of Augustine Choge and Edwin Soi, while Yenew Alamirew is the best Ethiopian.

Also watch out for Azerbaijan’s Hayle Ibrahimov, who was one of Farah’s toughest opponents at the 2011 European Indoors and the 2010 Europeans.

60m hurdles

Heats: Saturday March 10, 7.40am.
Semis: Sunday March 11, 12.45pm.
Final: Sunday March 11, 3.20pm.
Event stats

Reigning champion Dayron Robles is a last-minute withdrawal, leaving the way clear for Liu Xiang.

The 2004 Olympic champion looked very sharp en route to an Asian record of 7.41 in Birmingham, although he was disqualified for a falsestart in Stockholm.

Aries Merritt prevailed in a highly competitive US trials race in 7.43, but sadly Dexter Faulk – who set a world-leading 7.40 in the heats – was disqualified from the US Indoor final after a false start.

Russia’s Konstantin Shabanov has been consistent at the 7.5-level, which could be enough for a medal given the absences of the likes of Robles, David Oliver and Terrence Trammell. Britain’s Andy Pozzi, having improved significantly to 7.62 this year, could also sneak into the final.

High jump

Qualifying: Saturday March 10, 9.25am.
Final: Sunday March 11, 1.30pm.
Event stats

Qatar has rare home-grown hopes of taking top honours as Mutaz Essa Barshim comes fresh from a 2.37m world-leading clearance at the Asian Championships.

Standing in his way, though, is Olympic champion Andrey Silnov, Russian compatriot Ivan Ukhov and reigning world champion Jesse Williams from the USA.

Britain’s Robbie Grabarz probably needs to be in his peak 2.34m form to take a medal.

Pole vault

Final: Saturday March 10, 3.00pm.
Event stats

Renaud Lavillenie is favourite based on his 5.93m world lead but nothing is guaranteed as the Frenchman did not even get through qualifying in 2010.

Bjorn Otto, at the age of 34, has discovered the form of his life and cleared a PB of 5.92m in Potsdam, replicating it one week later at the German Championships.

Russia’s Dmitry Starodubtsev has also surpassed 5.90m this winter, while former world champion Brad Walker won the US title with his best vault since 2008.

Steve Lewis, having recently cleared a 5.77m PB, flies the flag for Great Britain and could better his sixth-place finish from two years ago.

Long jump

Qualifying: Friday March 9, 4.20pm.
Final: Saturday March 10, 4.50pm.
Event stats

Will Claye is gunning for a horizontal jumps double and the American starts his busy weekend in the long jump. He is ranked second in the world, but Henry Frayne arrives from the Australian summer season in good form.

Claye shares his 8.24m world-leading mark with Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov, who will be a danger. But aside from Claye and Menkov, five of the top seven in the world this year will not be in Istanbul.

Triple jump

Qualifying: Saturday March 10, 7.35am.
Final: Sunday March 11, 2.10pm.
Event stats

This is Will Claye’s specialist event, as illustrated by his 17.63m PB in defeating world outdoor champion Christian Taylor at the US Indoor Championships.

Cuba’s Alexis Copello and Romania’s Marian Oprea are probably the best of the non-Americans, although neither of them have been jumping particularly well this winter.

Italy will be well represented by Daniele Greco and 35-year-old Fabrizio Donato, the latter being a superb indoor jumper, having produced eight of his top 10 career marks indoors, and winning 2009 European indoor gold and 2011 European indoor silver with a national record of 17.73m.

Shot

Qualifying: Friday March 9, 7.55am.
Final: Friday March 9, 5.15pm.
Event stats

Can David Storl upset the Americans again? The German is ranked behind Reese Hoffa and Ryan Whiting, but the world outdoor champion is always well prepared for the major championships.

The same applies to Poland’s Tomasz Majewski, who will be defending his Olympic title later this year. World silver medallist Dylan Armstrong has only competed once so far this winter, but is capable of getting among the medals.

Heptathlon

60m: Friday March 9, 9.35am.
Long jump: Friday March 9, 10.35am.
Shot: Friday March 9, 3.40pm.
High jump: Friday March 9, 4.50pm.
60m hurdles: Saturday March 10, 7.30am.
Pole vault: Saturday March 10, 8.30am.
1000m: Saturday March 10, 4.20pm.
Event stats

Ashton Eaton set a world record at the NCAA Indoor Championships during the weekend of the World Indoor Championships in 2010, but the American should claim his first senior title now he’s out of the collegiate ranks.

He has already set world-class long jump (8.06m) and 60m hurdles (7.66) performances and is more than 200 points superior to his closest rival, Estonia’s Mikk Pahapill, based on PBs.

2009 European indoor silver medallist Oleksiy Kasyanov of Ukraine leads the world with his 6237 score, closely followed by European indoor champion Andrey Kravchenko of Belarus (6205).

Former world indoor champion Roman Sebrle will be conspicuous in his absence, having competed at ever major indoor championships since 1999, winning medals in all but two of those appearances. The decathlon world record-holder scored a solid 6105 last month, but picked up an injury soon after.

4x400m

Heats: Saturday March 10, 9.20am.
Final: Sunday March 11, 3.40pm.
Event stats

United States always enter a major championships as the favourites, and with three sub-46 runners on their team, this year will be no different.

But Britain, with three athletes in the world’s top 13, should also be in the fray for medals, along with the Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago.


» Athletics Weekly will be providing full coverage of the IAAF World Indoor Championships – online, via twitter, and in next week’s bumper 84-page magazine, out on March 18.

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