Juan Miguel Echevarria in the long jump at the IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting in Karlsruhe
World indoor long jump champion Juan Miguel Echevarria is preparing to continue shining in 2019, kicking off with a strong indoor season which will include an appearance at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham on 16 February, the penultimate stop of the six-meeting 2019 IAAF World Indoor Tour.
The Cuban signaled his rise onto the global stage last year when he notched an upset victory over Luvo Manyongo at the IAAF World Indoor Championships on the same Arena Birmingham track.
Shortly after his indoor triumph in Birmingham, Echevarria stunned the world by nearly jumping the full length of the pit at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Stockholm in June with a marginally wind-assisted 8.83m (2.1m/s) leap, the longest jump in the world for some 23 years.
After that storming 2018 campaign, Echevarria is widely regarded as one of the most exciting talents in global athletics, with British long jump legend and Olympic champion Greg Rutherford heralding the 20-year-old a talent who “could become the world-record holder sooner rather than later”.
Looking ahead to his return to Birmingham, Echevarría said: “Birmingham is a city that is very close to my heart as it’s where I won my first international senior medal in what was a really amazing year for me.
"2019 is a hugely important year for me, I need to keep up my good form and momentum starting with a good indoor season before maintaining it for a long year through to the World Championships.
"I know that I can jump far, I proved it in 2018 and now it’s time to show that I can continue to deliver on the major stages, with the Muller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham next February a big test that is an important part of this.”
“To have talent like Echevarria confirmed to compete at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham is a great coup for us and highlights the strength of the event and level of athletics to expect," said Cherry Alexander, Major Events Director for British Athletics.
“Having Juan confirmed alongside the likes of our very own Laura Muir provides an opportunity for fans to see the very best British and global stars right here in Birmingham.”
Organisers for the IAAF