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Birmingham 2018 to put high jump in the spotlight

Birmingham 2018 to put high jump in the spotlight

An extra session featuring the high jump events has been added to the proposed timetable for next year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships

Isobel Pooley says the high jump should be a “great spectacle” at the Birmingham 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, with organisers having announced a proposed extra opening session featuring that event.

Next year’s World Indoors had been set for March 2-4, but a new evening session on Thursday March 1 has also been added to the draft timetable and is set to feature the opening ceremony plus both men’s and women’s high jump competitions.

The host nation has several world-class competitors – including an Olympic medallist – in the high jump and Commonwealth silver medallist Pooley is looking forward to seeing her event in the spotlight.

“It’s brilliant to get that recognition,” said the 24-year-old, who is currently recovering from the ankle injury which scuppered her Olympic hopes in 2016.

“Field events are often under-exposed but the men’s and women’s high jump are doing really well in Britain right now and I think it will be a great spectacle.”

The championships will be held at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena and Pooley was at the venue earlier this week to witness the refurbishments which are currently taking place.

A new infield is being installed, with refurbishment to the 60m straight and field event run ups, while upgrading work is also being carried out on the 200m track.

The first athletes to have use of the new infield will be those competing at the Athletics Direct Midland Indoor Championships this weekend, followed by athletes at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix on February 18.

Steve Hollingworth, chair of the Local Organising Committee for the event, said: “We are refurbishing the infield as we wanted to ensure that the track is in the best possible condition ahead of the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018, an event which we are extremely proud to be hosting in March next year.

“However, this track isn’t just for the world-class athletes who are regular visitors to the arena, it is also used by club athletes from across the region, so we are pleased that they will also have the best possible surface to compete on.”

Next year’s World Indoor Championships will see around 400 athletes from about 150 countries competing at the Birmingham arena, which also played host to the same event in 2003.

The draft timetable for Birmingham 2018 will be discussed by the IAAF at a Council meeting later this year.

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