The indoor season won’t match the fever-pitch excitement of the Olympic Games but there’s more than enough intrigue to banish away any last remnants of the Olympic-induced blues. Here are five reasons why it’s worth following the indoor season.
Sprint clash set for Glasgow?
It hasn’t been officially confirmed but it seems two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will go head-to-head with world 100m champion Carmelita Jeter in a high-powered 60m clash. Jeter has confirmed her berth on the US team for the five-way international and while Fraser-Pryce hasn’t done so yet, she has told the press she is going to contest her first ever indoor season. Glasgow isn’t the fastest track on the circuit but a time close to seven-seconds might still be on the cards.
Top-class high jumping
Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz has committed himself to the British indoor events while the Moravia Tour has signed up world champion Jesse Williams and Olympic champion Ivan Ukhov for Hustopece (Jan 26) and Trinec (Jan 29). Global medallists Chaunte Lowe and Brigetta Barrett will also go head-to-head at the Millrose Games in New York on Feb 16.
Farah’s indoor appearance
The European Indoor Championships don’t feature in Mo Farah’s plans but the double Olympic champion will still have a run-out over 3000m at the British Athletics Grand Prix in Birmingham. Let’s hope the organisers – like last year’s two-miles race when Farah was beaten, albeit in a very fast time – will invite some other top-class athletes to really test his mettle.
The European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, promises to be an appetising hors d’oeuvres for the outdoor season with many top names expressing their intentions to compete. Britain finished fourth on the medal table in 2011 with eight medals and while this time next month will give us a better indicator to what we can expect from the British team, Holly Bleasdale, Shara Proctor, Yamile Aldama and Robbie Grabarz should all arrive in Gothenburg as bona fide medal contenders.
The hosts aren’t the force they were in the mid-2000s when the likes of Stefan Holm and Carolina Kluft headed their team but recent transferee Abeba Aregawi will come to the 1500m with real aspirations of marking her switch from Ethiopia with a gold medal for her adopted nation.
Top marks for NCAA students
The NCAA Indoor Championships might not grab the headlines in the UK but keep your eyes peeled for some eye-catching performances. When the world’s press was focused on the World Indoor Championships in 2010, Ashton Eaton set a world heptathlon record of 6499 and already this season, good marks have been set on the collegiate circuit. Brianna Rollins’ 7.78 60m hurdles – for example – probably won’t be matched on the European circuit this winter.
Jan 26 – Glasgow
Confirmed athletes – Carmelita Jeter, Bernard Lagat, KCim Collins, Holly Bleasdale, Robbie Grabarz
Feb 2 – Karlsruhe
Confirmed athletes – Bernard Lagat, Yenew Alamirew, Renaud Lavillenie, Christian Reif, Ivet Lalova
Feb 2 – Boston
Confirmed athletes – Tirunesh Dibaba, Aries Merritt, Jenn Suhr, Galen Rupp, Dejen Gebremeskel
Feb 3 – Moscow
Confirmed athletes – Dwain Chambers, Yuriy Borzakovskiy, Holly Bleasdale, Anna Rogowska, Fabiana Murer
Feb 8 – Düsseldorf
Confirmed athletes – Christophe Lemaitre, Nevin Yanit, Ivet Lalova, Bjorn Otto, Timothy Kitum
Feb 9-10 – UK Indoor Championships
Feb 10 – Gent
Confirmed athletes – Tia Hellebaut, Kevin Borlee, Jonathan Borlee, Eline Berings, Svetlana Bolshakova
Feb 16 – Birmingham
Confirmed athletes – Mo Farah, Robbie Grabarz, Holly Bleasdale, Fabiana Murer, Fionnuala Britton
Feb 16 – New York
Confirmed athletes – Jason Richardson, Brittney Reese, Jenn Suhr, Bernard Lagat, Duane Solomon
Feb 21 – Stockholm
Confirmed athletes – Abeba Aregawi, Fabiana Murer
March 1-3 – European Indoor Championships
March 1-3 – US Indoor Championships
Stats and facts
Men’s world indoor records and all-time lists
Women’s world indoor records and all-time lists
European indoor records and all-time lists