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Indoor Champs for Poland

In just two weeks’ time, the focus of the athletics world will fall on Sopot, Poland as the 15th edition of the IAAF World Indoor Championships gets underway on 7 March.

ashton indoorMuch of the spotlight will be on the combined events, as both world champions from Moscow will be competing.

World and Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton of the USA leads the heptathlon entries in what will be his only combined events competition of 2014. Eaton will be defending the title he won in Istanbul two years ago and will be looking to surpass the world indoor record of 6645 he set on that occasion.

In what looks set to be a high-quality competition, Eaton will be joined by 2013 IAAF Combined Events Challenge winner Andrei Krauchanka, world silver medallist Damian Warner, European champion Pascal Behrenbruch, European indoor champion Eelco Sintnicolaas, World University Games champion Thomas Van Der Plaetsen, world indoor silver medallist Oleksiy Kasyanov and European under-23 champion Kai Kazmirek.

The women’s pentathlon is headed by Hanna Melnychenko. The Ukrainian was the surprise winner of the heptathlon title at last year’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow and has already shown good form this season, setting PBs in the shot put and 60m hurdles.

Despite some pre-event withdrawals, the heptathlon in Moscow last year proved to be one of the most exciting competitions of the championships. The contest in Sopot will be something of a rematch with four of the top six heptathlon finishers present.

Melnychenko will be up against world silver medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton, US champion Sharon Day, Germany’s Claudia Rath, world leader Yana Maksimava, Nadine Broersen of the Netherlands, Ukrainian champion Alina Fyodorova and Poland’s Karolina Tyminska, who narrowly missed out on a medal two years ago in Istanbul.

The invites for the combined events in Sopot are awarded to the 2013 IAAF Combined Events Challenge winners, the top three athletes on last year’s outdoor world season lists, the top three athletes on this year’s indoor world season lists, plus one wild card.

Both the pentathlon and heptathlon get underway on the first day of action in Sopot and the winner of the pentathlon will be the first gold-medal recipient of the championships.

IAAF

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