General view of the World Indoor Tour meeting in Glasgow (© AFP / Getty Images)
The 2020 World Athletics Indoor Tour – a global circuit of seven of the best indoor track and field meetings – will kick off in Boston on 25 January.
Spanning a four-week period and with meetings in six different countries, the World Athletics Indoor Tour will attract some of the world’s best athletes as they compete for a prize bonus of US$20,000 and wildcard entries for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020.
To mark the 10-day countdown, here are 10 expected highlights of the upcoming World Athletics Indoor Tour.
Hurdles showdown between global champions, Boston
Nia Ali, the world champion and two-time world indoor champion, will take on Olympic champion Brianna McNeal in the 60m hurdles at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston on 25 January.
Fellow US sprint hurdler Christina Clemons, the world indoor silver medallist, is also in the field. Her PB of 7.73 is faster than that of Ali (7.80) and McNeal (7.76).
World Championships pole vault podium rematch, Dusseldorf
The three pole vault medallists from last year’s World Championships in Doha – Sam Kendricks, Piotr Lisek and Armand Duplantis – will have a rematch at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on 4 February.
Kendricks has competed in Dusseldorf just once before, placing second in 2018. Lisek won on that occasion with 5.86m, just four centimetres shy of the meeting record. Duplantis, meanwhile, will be competing in Dusseldorf for the first time.
Laura Muir’s world indoor 1000m record attempt, Glasgow
Double European indoor champion Laura Muir will attempt to break the world indoor 1000m record at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow on 15 February.
Muir, who set the European indoor 1000m record of 2:31.93 in 2017, will aim to break Maria Mutola’s world indoor record of 2:30.94 from 1999.
Tuka takes on Polish 800m duo, Torun
World silver medallist Amel Tuka will line up against Poland’s world 1500m bronze medallist Marcin Lewandowski and world indoor champion Adam Kszczot in the 800m at the Orlen Copernicus Cup in Torun on 8 February.
The high-quality field also includes Swedish record-holder and European silver medallist Andreas Kramer.
Four global champions in action, Lievin
Lievin’s Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais, the newest addition to the World Athletics Indoor Tour, has attracted four global champions.
World 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi, world indoor 1500m champion Samuel Tefera, Olympic 100m hurdles champion Brianna McNeal and world indoor 60m champion Murielle Ahoure have all been confirmed for the meeting on 19 February.
World record-holder Chepkoech returns to indoor racing, Karlsruhe
Two years after making her indoor debut, steeplechase world record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech will return to indoor racing at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe on 31 January.
The Kenyan will contest the 1500m where she will face 2014 world indoor silver medallist Axumawit Embaye of Ethiopia and 3:58.20 performer Winny Chebet of Kenya.
Rojas targets big jumps in her favourite city, Madrid
Returning to the city that has hosted some of her biggest jumps, two-time world triple jump champion Yulimar Rojas is aiming for another big leap at the Villa de Madrid meeting on 21 February.
The Venezuelan, who won in Madrid last year with a national indoor record of 14.92m, will face training partner Ana Peleteiro, the European indoor champion from Spain.
Double Sweden vs USA pole vault clash, Lievin
The best of the USA will face the best of Sweden in both the men’s and women’s pole vault at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas-de-Calais in Lievin on 19 February.
World champion Sam Kendricks will face European champion Armand Duplantis in the men’s event, while world indoor champion Sandi Morris takes on Swedish record-holder Angelica Bengtsson in the women’s contest.
Big shot showdown, Dusseldorf
Polish duo Konrad Bukowiecki and Michal Haratyk will meet in the shot put circle at the PSD Bank Meeting in Dusseldorf on 4 February.
Both 22-metre performers at their best, Haratyk holds the outdoor Polish record at 22.32m while Bukowiecki has the national indoor record of 22.00m.
Four-way 400m battle, Torun
Four of the best European sprinters will line up over 400m at the Copernicus Cup in Torun on 8 February.
Poland’s European 400m champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic and fellow world 4x400m silver medallist Iga Baumgart-Witan will take on European indoor champion Lea Sprunger and European bronze medallist Lisanne de Witte.