One week to go before the gun goes for Sopot

Monaco, Feb 28, 2014: There is just one week to go before the starting gun is fired on the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, which will be held in the Polish city of Sopot between 7-9 March.

With no global outdoor championship this year, this is the most important event on the 2014 athletics calendar.

Already this winter there have been some spectacular indoor performances to get the appetite whetted for the three days of action that are on the menu.

Ethiopian middle distance runner Genzebe Dibaba and French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie have set world indoor records*.

Earlier this week, Russia’s London 2012 Olympic Games high jump champion Ivan Ukhov continued his 2014 unbeaten winning streak and leapt 2.42m to equal the second best indoor mark ever.

Dibaba and Ukhov will both be in action in Sopot’s ERGO Arena and only an ill-timed heel injury has prevented Lavillenie from defending the global title he won two years ago in Istanbul.

There will be 26 sets of medals on offer in Sopot and the list of individual gold medallists at the 2013 IAAF World Championships outdoors last summer who will be bidding to add honours under cover to their list of accolades includes (in alphabetical order): Valerie Adams, Mohammed Aman, Abeba Aregawi, Ashton Eaton, Hanna Melnychenko, Aleksandr Menkov, Christine Ohuruogu and David Storl.

Almost 600 athletes will be in Sopot and the current list of nations that will be represented number 143, which makes the forthcoming Championships one of the largest in the 29-year history of the event, which stretches back to 1985 when what was then called the World Indoor Games had what now seems a modest 319 athletes from 69 nations competing.

Complete entry lists and full details of entries will be available next week on the IAAF website ahead of the Championships.

The IAAF World Indoor Championships are the first of the five 2014 IAAF World Athletics Series events, and this year also sees the inaugural edition of the IAAF World Relays. —- IAAF

* Subject to ratification

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