With 17 wins from his last 19 indoor races over 400m and five major gold medals from as many seasons for posterity, Pavel Maslak is without peer on the boards and the Czech is training in Potchefstroom, South Africa ahead of the upcoming season which begins with a customary full indoor campaign.
Maslak claimed his third successive European indoor 400m title in Belgrade this March and the 26-year-old is aiming to match that feat at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham from 1-4 March.
"The upcoming indoor season is very important for me as I want to try to defend my title in Birmingham and also to get the gold for the third time in a row," said Maslak from his training base in South Africa.
But his first big test of the season will come on home soil in the Czech Indoor Gala in Ostrava, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting, on 25 January when he will be looking to open his account with not just one win - but two wins. Maslak will be competing in two separate 300m races - one at the start of the programme and the other at the end - and he is looking to win them both.
“It will not be easy as my coach and the organisers will prepare for me a real challenge, but I hope to win both races," said Maslak, who holds the European indoor 300m record at 32.15.
Maslak's medal haul also includes gold and bronze medals outdoors at the European Athletics Championships and the former champion will be among the title favourites in Berlin next August.
The organisers have also confirmed that Czech long jump record-holder Radek Juska will compete at the Czech Indoor Gala. Juska broke the 29-year-old Czech record this summer and claimed the gold medal at the World University Games in Taipei in August.
Radek will start the 2018 indoor athletics season in Ostrava at the Czech Indoor Gala, competing against world junior champion and 5th from @London2017 Maykel Masso! #Athletics #CzechAthleticTeam #CzechRepublic #Cuba pic.twitter.com/gvqeKMhKoN
— Josef Karas (@karasjosef) December 2, 2017