Grant Holloway in action at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid (© Getty Images)
There are just 10 days until the first Gold level meeting on the World Athletics Indoor Tour, and there’s a lot to look forward to.
In its eighth season, the World Athletics Indoor Tour will feature seven Gold level meetings, kicking off in Karlsruhe on 27 January and culminating with the Final in Birmingham on 25 February. The season also features Silver, Bronze and Challenger meetings.
Here are 10 tasters to whet the appetite.
Stunning 60m showdown in Karlsruhe
What better way to get the tour underway than a sprint clash between a host of global champions and major title-winners in Karlsruhe on 27 January?
Dina Asher-Smith in the 60m at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe (© Getty Images)
World indoor 60m champion Mujinga Kambundji will take on 2019 world 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, 2019 European indoor champion Ewa Swoboda, world and Olympic finalist Daryll Neita, 2017 European indoor champion Asha Phillip, world and Olympic long jump champion Malaika Mihambo, and European 4x100m champion Alexandra Burghardt.
Holloway and Cunningham battle over the barriers in Boston
Grant Holloway and Trey Cunningham – who filled the top two spots in the 110m hurdles at last year’s World Championships – will renew their rivalry at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on 4 February.
Grant Holloway on his way to a 60m hurdles win at the 2022 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix (© Jason Suarez)
Two-time world champion Holloway, who equalled his own world indoor record en route to winning the world indoor title last year, is undefeated in the 60m hurdles since 2014. But Cunningham is an athlete on the rise and finished second to Holloway in Boston last year.
Talented trio take on 800m in Torun
Keely Hodgkinson, Mary Moraa and Diribe Welteji will line up for their first indoor three-way battle on 8 February in Torun.
Mary Moraa wins the 800m at the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Stockholm (© Getty Images)
Hodgkinson, the world and Olympic silver medallist and European indoor champion, has only ever been beaten once indoors over 800m. But Kenya’s Moraa – who has never raced indoors – got the better of the Briton last year at the Commonwealth Games and Diamond League Final. Ethiopia’s Welteji was also successful on the circuit, winning six international races at 800m and 1500m.
Crouser vs Kovacs at Millrose Games
US shot putters Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs have already achieved legendary status in their event, and with each of their clashes there’s a strong chance that some form of history will be made. This could well be the case at the Millrose Games in New York on 11 February.
Ryan Crouser in the shot put at the Millrose Games (© AFP / Getty Images)
Crouser is the world and Olympic champion and world record-holder indoors and out. But two-time world champion Kovacs last year became the second-best thrower in history with his 23.23m PB – just 14 centimetres shy of Crouser’s world record – and he beat his esteemed teammate on three occasions.
Duplantis set to scale the heights in Lievin
World Athlete of the Year Mondo Duplantis is, quite literally, operating at a higher level than most of his opponents. The Swede has dominated the pole vault in recent years, increasing the world record to 6.21m and winning every major title possible.
Armand Duplantis in Lievin (© AFP/Getty Images)
He will return to Lievin on 15 February, having won there in 2020 with a 6.07m vault and again in 2021, clearing 5.86m on that occasion. Given that he scaled six metres in 15 of his 19 competitions in 2022, there’s a strong chance that barrier will be surpassed again next month.
Ingebrigtsen targeting 3000m triumph in Madrid
After setting a world indoor 1500m record last year, Jakob Ingebrigtsen will target his second world indoor record, this time in the 3000m, when he lines up at the Meeting de Madrid on 22 February.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen celebrates his world indoor 1500m record in Lievin (© AFP / Getty Images)
As an Olympic champion over 1500m and world champion over 5000m, the Norwegian is perfectly suited to the 3000m. The time to beat is Daniel Komen’s 7:24.90 from 1998, just 2.15 seconds quicker than the outdoor PB Ingebrigtsen set when he was still a teenager.
World’s best shot putters confirmed for Karlsruhe
The top six women in the shot put world rankings will battle in Karlsruhe on 27 January.
Chase Ealey competes in Karlsruhe (© Getty Images)
World champion Chase Ealey and world indoor champion Auriol Dongmo headline the field, which also includes world bronze medallist Jessica Schilder, Commonwealth champion Sarah Mitton, 2019 world silver medallist Danniel Thomas-Dodd, and European indoor silver medallist Fanny Roos.
Middle-distance battles galore at Millrose Games
Commonwealth 1500m champions Oliver Hoare and Laura Muir headline the men’s and women’s Wanamaker Mile fields at the Millrose Games on 11 February, where they’ll be up against strong opposition.
Oliver Hoare wins the 1500m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix (© Getty Images)
But it’s not just the mile that’s loaded with talent. The women’s 3000m will star Konstanze Klosterhalfen, Alicia Monson, Katelyn Tuohy and Fantaye Belayneh, while the men’s event features Josh Kerr, Geordie Beamish and Cooper Teare.
Olympic champions Jacobs and Moon return to Lievin
Olympic and world indoor champion Marcell Jacobs will seek his third consecutive 60m victory at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais on 15 February. The Italian claimed his first win in the French town in 2021, when he clocked 6.54, and then returned to Lievin 12 months later to triumph in 6.50.
Katie Nageotte wins the pole vault at the World Indoor Tour meeting in Boston (© Victah Sailer)
US pole vaulter Katie Moon (nee Nageotte) also competes in Lievin for the third time. The world and Olympic pole vault champion won in Lievin in 2019 and last year set an indoor season’s best of 4.80m there.
Series finale in Birmingham
As 2023 isn’t a World Indoor Championships year, the main focus of the indoor season will be the final Gold level meeting on the World Indoor Tour, which this year will take place in Birmingham on 25 February.
Jake Wightman (© Victah Sailer)
Several stars – such as world 1500m Jake Wightman and Olympic silver medallists Laura Muir and Keely Hodgkinson – have already been confirmed, with many more due to be revealed in the coming weeks as the World Indoor Tour unfolds.