Dutch 400m hurdles star Femke Bol at the 2021 Oslo Diamond League
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BELGRADE, Serbia – World leader Femke Bol, Ewa Swoboda and Gudaf Tsegay will all begin their respective gold medal hunt in the morning session at the World Athletics Indoor Championships 2022 here in Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, on Friday (18). The three-day global championships will run from March 18-20 and is the first world indoor champs in four years.

Femke Bol starts 400m gold medal search

European champion Bol will open her 400m title chasing quest from heat two this morning where she will start in the sixth heat. The Dutch national record holder leads the world toplist this season with a PB of 50.30 seconds and she comes into the championships as the in-form favorite, although a number of other athletes are expected to challenge for the title as well. Read more: Day 1: World Indoor Athletics Championships order of events, watch live, start lists

Among the starters expected to be in the mix for the gold medal include Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of The Bahamas, Polish champion Justyna Święty-Ersetic, as well as Jamaica’s Stephenie Ann McPherson and Natalia Kaczmarek of Poland.

Swoboda begins 60m world title hunt

Meanwhile, Swoboda, the world leader in the women’s 60m dash, will go in search of her first world indoor championships title when she lines up in the third heat of the event on Friday.

The European Indoor Champion in 2019 has been in great form this season and enters Belgrade22 as the woman to beat after posting some of the best marks in the world this season, including the world leading time of 6.99 seconds to set a Polish national record earlier this month.

Among those looking to spring a surprise in Serbia Friday evening are Americans Mikiah Brisco and Marybeth Sant-Price, as well as Olympic relay gold medal winners Briana Williams and Shericka Jackson of Jamaica, Swiss champion and 2018 world bronze medalist Mujinga Kambundji and Great Britain’s Daryll Neita.

Tsegay takes aim at 1500m world title

Elsewhere, Tokyo Olympic 5000m bronze medalist Gudaf Tsegay will take aim at winning the 1500m title at Belgrade22.

The Ethiopian who won a bronze medal in this event at the world outdoor championships in 2019, comes in as the world leader after registering a impressive season’s best of 3:54.77 at the Orlen Cup in Toruń on 22 Feb and supported that effort with another quality run at 3:57.38 in Madrid, earlier this month.

Tsegay will start in the third of the three heats on Friday and will be up against Tokyo Olympic finalist and 2018 World Junior 3000m champion, Nozomi Tanaka of Japan, and USA champion Heather MacLean.

Also happening in the first day’s morning session is the women’s pentathlon competition with Briton Katarina Johnson-Thompson seeking to retain her title against the world leader Adrianna Sulek of Poland and Belgian European indoor silver medallist Noor Vidts.

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