Here is all you need to know about title defenders, Moscow winners, Oldest and Youngest athletes in the 2014 IAAF World Champs, starting in less than twelve hours…
TITLE DEFENDERS: 12 competing (out from 24 individual).
MOSCOW WINNERS: 8 competing (from individual winners).
INDOOR WORLD LEADERS 2014: All competing except of Dasaolu (60 m), Lendore (400 m), Moustaoui (1500 m) and Lavillenie (pole vault). All women World leaders competing.
WORLD INDOOR RECORDS: So far 37 achieved at World Indoor Championships. Three editions did not had any world record (2001, 2006 and 2008).
QUALIFICATION STANDARDS: Triple Jump 16,90, 14,30, Long Jump 8,05, 6,70, High Jump 2,31, 1,95, Shot Put 20,70, 18,70.
NOTABLE JUNIORS: Notable juniors with good position chances are European Rising Star 2013 Anita Hinriksdottir of Iceland in the women 800 m. Also to note Ukrainian high jumper Iryna Herashchenko in high jump is a potential finalist. Ethiopian youngest female Gudaf Tsegay in the 1500 m belongs to Youth category and she can attack her own All-time Youth best of 4:08.47. On the men side fast Japanese Yoshihide Kiryu for the 60 m is the junior name to note.
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES: Only four European countries are not competing in Sopot. Georgia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia and Montenegro.
OLDEST AND YOUNGEST: Three time 3000 m gold medalist Bernard Lagat at age of 39 competing for USA. The youngest is 16 years old male 60 m sprinter Faresa Kipisi from American Samoa. Second oldest male is another medal contender British sprinter Dwain Chambers (36). Oldest woman is Romanian shot putter Anca Heltne at age of 36. Behind her with 35 years top high jumpers Kamila Licwinko of Poland and Spanish European champion Ruth Beitia with Russian relay runner Natalya Nazarova. Youngest female is Ethiopian 1500 m entrant Gudaf Tsegay (17 years). The youngest ever is Carlos Garcia of Dominican Republic who competed at 60 m in 1991 at 14 years of age and among girls Silvienne Krosendijk from Aruba competing in the 60 m in 2001 at 15 years (and 36 days) of age. But oldest female ever was Russian 1500 m Yekaterina Podkopayeva being 44 when competing in 1997 in Paris. The oldest ever male competitor is Bahamian sprinter Timothy Munnings beeing 39 and 263 days in 2006 while running the 60 m.
OPENING CEREMONY: It is planned for Friday at 5 pm with 150 kids from Gdansk and Sopot schools. Among them also jumping acrobats. The whole show is planned for 20 minutes.
NOTABLE ABSENTEES: Injuries from indoor season 2014: Lavillenie, Dasaolu, Moustaoui. Administrative reasons: Collins, Robles. US student duties: Lendore.
MOROCCO: Moroccan paper omriyadat.com informs that 1500 m world leader Mohamed Moustaoui is out of Sopot. They say it is most probably an injury.
AUSTRALIA: Sally Pearson is confident before her Sopot participation: “I am confident with my form after a good couple of weeks of competition, first with the hurdles in Perth and then last weekend in Berlin. I’ve done the work to be here and now I am just excited to get the championships underway, and to make every effort to defend the title I won in Istanbul two years ago. I know that Nia is running very fast at the moment, and so is Janay DeLoach so it will be interesting to see how they perform after good runs at the US Trials. I’ve been keeping a pretty close eye on everyone because you never know who might have a bit of a breakthrough, and from what I can see it is going to be a tough competition,” Pearson added.
USA: US team met with children of one of the Gdanks Sports Schools. In total 12 US team members took part. Among them also stars like Ryan Whiting or Bernard Lagat.
LAVILLENIE: Special guest during the weekend will be fresh World Indoor pole vault record holder Renaud Lavillenie. Due to his injury from Donetsk he is unable to compete but will watch the competition and also hold a press conference. He should be back to full training later this month. His so far confirmed competitions for summer are Drake Relays in Des Moines, Ostrava Golden Spike and IAAF Diamond League meetings in Paris and Brussels.
GERMANY: World shot champion David Storl says that he is 100% fit ahead of the World Indoors where he will face the on form Ryan Whiting, reports focus.de. “I am 100 percent fit. The preparation was optimal. The season is going well, and I have found the joy of competition,” said a confident Storl who flew to Sopot on Wednesday with the rest of the German squad, after spending 2 and a half weeks training in Kienbaum. He also confirmed that his current weight is 125 pounds, adding “All other information about my current weight is wrong.”
CRAM: Steve Cram, writing for the BBC, says that a British medal haul of 6 or 7 medals at the World Indoors would be a good result. He highlights the top British prospects; Holly Bleasdale, Luke Cutts, Katarina Johnson Thompson, Laura Muir, Andrew Osagie, Asha Philip and Robbie Grabarz.
(Editor’s note: The World Indoor Championships start at 10 am Local time on Friday, March 7, which is six hours ahead of NYC, seven hours ahead of Chicago and nine hours ahead of San Jose, CA. RunBlogRun will provide live updates, via RBR, Facebook and twitter starting at ten local time tomorrow! See you then! )