With the World Indoor Championships just days from now, the IAAF takes a look at each event in its championships events previews.
Among the highlighted running events set for the championships is the men’s 60m dash, where former 100m world record holder Asafa Powell hopes to become the first Jamaican to win the event in the male category.
Powell heads to Portland as the fastest entrants, having clocked 6.49 seconds this season.
But well before his entry had been confirmed, I thought it would have been a great idea for the championships pressured Powell to take another stab at competing at a major event to get him ready for the Rio Olympic Games.
Should he fail in Portland, he will still have a chance to get things right in Brazil, without having to wait too long. Furthermore, there will be no Usain Bolt to worry about at the World Indoor Championships.
Powell won’t have things his own way, though, in Portland, as he’s expected to be tested by Kim Collins of St. Kitts and Nevis, as well as Americans Mike Rodgers, Marvin Bracy and Trayvon Bromell.
A few weeks ago Dafne Schippers was the overwhelming favourite for the women’s title.
However, things may not go as smooth as we all were anticipating, this after watching Barbara Pierre hit form at the USA Indoor Trials.
Both Schippers and Pierre share the world-leading mark of 7.00 seconds heading into the World Indoor Championships and pair will surely start favourites for the top podium place.
Most of the pressure should come from British’s Dina Asher-Smith, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye, Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast and Germany’s Tatjana Pinto.
The men’s 60m hurdles is also another event with expected excitement, with Dimitri Bascou, the French national record holder and world-leader, at 7.41 seconds heading the list.
He is set to battle with countryman Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, who defeated Bascou at the national trials, and Jamaican Omar McLeod, who has the second-fastest time in the world this season.
Genzebe Dibaba is expected to be untouched in the women’s 3000m, while American world indoor record-holder Jenn Suhr will be hoping to bounce back from her defeat at the U.S. Championships when she lines up in the women’s pole vault.
Lots of attention will also be in the women’s high jump where American 18-year-old national champion and world-leader Vashti Cunningham is set to meet with European champion Ruth Beitia.
Cunningham established a new world best mark for 2016 and a world U20 indoor record when she set a personal best of 1.99m over the weekend at the U.S. Trials on Saturday.