Preview of Karlsruhe Indoor (first of 2018 IAAF World Indoor Series): Genzebe Dibaba and Air Lavillenie

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Dibaba_GenzebeFHL-Pre17.jpgGenzebe Dibaba, photo by PhotoRun.net
LaVillenie_RenaudR1-Brussels15.jpgRenaud Lavillenie, photo by PhotoRun.net
Genzebe and top pole vault men
KARLSRUHE (GER): The third IAAF World Indoor Tour starts on Saturday with Karlsruhe Indoor Meeting. Athletes are competing not only for prize money but also for the overall win which brings at the end after Glasgow final the Wild Card for World Indoors in Birmingham. Top events in sold out Karlsruhe are Genzebe Dibaba in the women 1500 m and top men´s pole vault field. IAAF will secure internet stream worldwide.
Event by event preview
Women
60m (non tour event) - In-form German sprinters Tatjana Pinto and Gina Luckenkemper face world indoor champion Barbara Pierre and European indoor champion Asha Philip. Olympic long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta also competes.
400m - Natasha Hastings opens her season against European-leader Phil Healy from Ireland and 400m hurdles specialist Lea Sprunger.
1500m - World record-holder Genzebe Dibaba opens her season against a strong home contingent including Konstanze Klosterhalfen, Hanna Klein and Gesa-Felicitas Krause. European champion Angelika Cichocka from Poland also competes.
60m hurdles - Alina Talay is the fastest on paper this year at 7.89 but she will face a strong American challenge including Jasmin Stowers, Christina Manning and Sharika Nelvis. European champion Cindy Roleder continues her comeback from injury.
High jump - World silver medallist Yuliya Levchenko is the favourite after two 1.97m clearances in 2018.
Long jump - Tianna Bartoletta is set to go head-to-head with European indoor champion Ivana Spanovic.
Men
60m - Spain's Yunier Perez is the fastest this season with a 6.53 season's best. Veterans Kim Collins and Mike Rodgers also compete along with German record-holder Julian Reus.
800m - European indoor 1500m champion Marcin Lewandowski opens his season at the shorter distance.
3000m - World indoor champion Yomif Kejelcha begins as the favourite ahead of Ethiopian teammate Hagos Gebrhiwet. European indoor champion Adel Mechaal and Jakub Holusa lead the European challenge.
Pole vault - World leader Renaud Lavillenie will be looking to return to winning ways after a defeat in Berlin. Olympic champion Thiago Braz also competes along with former world champions Shawn Barber, Raphael Holzdeppe and Pawel Wojciechowski.
Long jump (non tour event) - European triple jump champion Max Hess faces world and Olympic finalist Emliano Lasa in his secondary event.
Pace schedules for the Karlsruhe Indoor Meeting. Men's 800m 52.0 at 400m; Men's 3000m 2:32 at 1km and 5:04-5 at 2km; Women's 1500m - 2:06 at 800m.

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