Sandi Morris celebrates her pole vault victory at the US Indoor Championships (© Kirby Lee)
Pole vault star Sandi Morris will be among the headline acts at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on February 1, the second stop of the 2017 World Indoor Tour.
The Olympic silver medallist became just the third woman to clear the event's formidable five-metre barrier with her 5.00m leap at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels last September. Only world record-holder Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia at 5.06m and Jenn Suhr of the US, the world record-holder indoors at 5.02m, have sailed higher.
Morris's appearance at the meeting's 12th edition will mark both her first career indoor competition in Germany and the debut of the event at the competition, raising expectations that the meeting record will be set quite high.
Morris will take on German record-holder Silke Spiegelburg, who'll be using her start on home turf to bounce back from a sub-par 2016 campaign which sidelined the 30-year-old for a fourth Olympic appearance.
Organisers have also released some of the names expected in the women's 60m field, led by rising Polish star Ewa Swoboda. The Pole, still 19, returns to action after a breakout season which included a 7.16 victory at this meeting, a world U20 record of 7.07 in Torun nine days later, and 100m silver at the IAAF World U20 Championships Bydgoszcz 2016.
She will face world indoor champion Barbara Pierre of the US, who led the world last season at 7.00 over the short sprint. Murielle Ahoure's meeting record of 7.08 is the immediate, and reasonable target.
Germany's Gina Lueckenkemper, the European 200m bronze medallist, and Lisa Mayer, the European junior 100m silver medallist, will carry the local hopes.
The undisputed star in the men's 400m will be Pavel Maslak of the Czech Republic, winner of the 2014 and 2016 world indoor titles, and 2013 and 2015 European indoor titles.
The 25-year-old, who holds the meeting record of 45.81, will face Bralon Taplin of Grenada, whose highlights last year included a fourth-place finish at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 and a seventh-place showing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The 24-year-old brings 44.38 and 45.20 credentials, indoors and outdoors, to the 2017 season, faster than Maslak's 44.79 (outdoor) and 45.24 lifetime bests.
Organisers previously announced Kim Collins of St Kitts and Nevis and Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre among the starters in the men's 60m. Collins, 40, has won the Dusseldorf 60m three times, most recently in 2016.
The men’s 60m hurdles, 400m and 1500m, plus the women's 60m, 800m, pole vault, shot put and triple jump will be the World Indoor Tour scoring events in Dusseldorf.
Bob Ramsak and organisers for the IAAF
2017 IAAF World Indoor Tour calendar
28 Jan – Boston, USA
1 Feb – Dusseldorf, GER
4 Feb – Karlsruhe, GER
10 Feb – Torun, POL
18 Feb – Birmingham, GBR