We are less than twenty-four hours from the World Indoor Champs, an event that I have not missed since 2008, I believe. Stuart is over there, happy as can be because he gets to see live track and field. My official seat (they actually gave me an American-only seat, per Ed Gordon, in 2017), separated from the European media, for the European Indoor Championships).
This is from EME News, and they do a very good job of being, short and sweet.
Stark Arena, March 17, 2022, photo by Stuart Weir
Another look at the 2022 World Indoor Champs, Stark Arena, Belgrade, Serbia, photo by Stuart Weir
Stark Arena, March 17, 2022, Belgrade, Serbia, photo by Stuart Weir
BELGRADE (SRB): Twelve reigning individual Olympic champions are among the entries for the World Indoors starting on Friday. They are 9 men (Crouser, Duplantis, J. Ingebrigtsen, Barega, Jacobs, Pichardo, Tamberi, Tentoglou, and Warner) and 3 women (Rojas, Miller-Uibo, and Nageotte). The final entry lists confirm that 680 athletes from 137 teams have been entered, final numbers will be smaller for obvious reasons, including covid. The 680 entries comprise 372 men and 308 women. Record numbers are 705 athletes at World Indoors 1997 in Paris (but without technical events direct finals) and 171 countries at World Indoors 2012 in Istanbul. Due to the pandemic, World Athletics Indoor Championships action returns for the first time in four years, and among the entries are 10 defending individual champions from Birmingham in 2018 (6 men Coleman, Maslak, Tefera, Pozzi, Claye, Walsh, and 4 women Morris, Vuleta, Rojas, Johnson-Thompson). Not invited were ANA and Belarus athletes, all technical events are held as finals. Crowd returns in full strength at the global stage for the first time since Doha 2019. Evenings sessions on Saturday and Sunday are practically sold out.
Event by event short previews
60 m: Coleman vs Jacobs is the headline. But also a surprise is on the table.
400 m: US newcomer Bassitt has the way more open after Bonevacia injury. Title defender Maslak has not the shape from previous editions.Vedel, Bengtstrom surprise from Scandinavia.
800 m: This is open. Giles has the best PB. Garcia was good on the circuit, but Hoppel knows what to do. Depends whether fast or slow.
1500 m: Is somebody saying something else than Jakob?
3000 m: Three Ethiopians looks to be the strong force, several more contenders if the race will be slow.
60mH: Holloway against the clock. Big fight for other medals.
HJ: Woo ruled during the season, Tamberi without competition ready for medal fight.
PV: Mondo in his own World, but Nilsen is closing.
LJ: So far Tentoglou vs Montler 1:1 this season.
TJ: Martinez has the shape, but Pichardo is the gold medalist.
SP: Crouser the WR option.
Hep: Warner is the choice, but lets see his shape.
4×400 m: US always strong, but this time? Its more open.
60 m: Swoboda in top position.
400 m: Shaunae vs Femke, never underestimate Polish girls.
800 m: Can somebody beat Hodgkinson?
1500 m: Tsegay is the big favorite. When she goes her pace it will be clear.
3000 m: Ethiopians Seyaum and Taye looking too strong for the rest, but if slow race, anything is possible.
60mH: Danielle Williams on paper, but we saw surprises in hurdles many times before.
HJ: Patterson is unbeaten but Mahuchikh highly motivated.
PV: US duo and Sutej with some margin above the others.
LJ: This is expected to be a Serbian party. Can she do 7?
TJ: And this Venezuelan party, can she put all parts of the performance so that it will result into the World record?
SP: Dongmo in shape and ready.
Pen: What is the shape of KJT? Sulek the surprise.
4×400 m: Normally US, but this time Netherlands and Poland look better.