Today marks one month to go until the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships take place in the Emirates Arena from 1-3 March.
The last time the European Indoor Championships were held in Glasgow was back in 1990 when household names such as Linford Christie (60m), Tom McKean (800m), Rodion Gataullin (pole vault), Doina Melinte (1500m) and Heike Henkel (high jump) were all crowned champions at the Kelvin Hall.
The championships have since been realigned to take place in ‘odd’ years but one thing has not changed: the biennial event remains an attraction for many of Europe’s leading athletes, including a host of gold medallists from last summer’s Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.
We have profiled nine athletes who have the European Athletics Indoor Championships in their sights next month.
The reigning 1500m and 3000m champion was one of the first athletes to confirm her presence at the European Indoor Championships and has been serving as an ambassador in the lead-up to the event. The championships will be a home event for Muir in every sense as the Emirates Arena serves as one of her training locations.
Stefanidi has won back-to-back European titles outdoors and the consummate big-time performer will be seeking a successful defence of her European indoor pole vault title in Glasgow. Stefanidi will face teammate Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou and former European indoor champions Holly Bradshaw and Anzhelika Sidorova in what is shaping up to be one of the highest quality events of the three day championships.
Maslak is one of the most dominant indoor runners in event history and the formidable Czech will be looking to win his fourth successive European indoor 400m title. The highlight of his hat-trick was a pulsating victory on home soil in Prague four years ago when he set a championship record of 45.33.
The youngest of the Ingebrigtsens had the beating of athletes more than ten years his senior in the 1500m and 5000m finals at the European Championships in Berlin and he capped his 2018 campaign by winning a third U20 title at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg. Still only 18, will Jakob add an indoor title to his already bulging haul of accolades?
Spanovic dominated the attention of a near capacity crowd on the final day of the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade two years ago, producing three seven metre-plus jumps in the final capped by outright lifetime best of 7.24m, the longest mark recorded indoors since 1989. Outdoor championships haven’t been kind to Spanovic in recent years but she will be targeting a hat-trick of indoor titles after injury ruled her out of the European Championships in Berlin.
British soil has served one of the most dominant female high jumpers in recent years well with Lasitskene winning gold at both the IAAF World Championships in London and the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. Lasitskene, who has cleared 2.03m already in 2019, won her first European outdoor title in Berlin last summer with a 2.00m clearance and she will now be looking to reclaim the European indoor title she won in Prague four years ago.
After missing so many major championships due to injury and illness, Arthur Abele took an emotional gold medal in the decathlon at the European Championships in Berlin last August. Now 32, Abele will be looking to go one better than his silver medal from the heptathlon in Prague four years ago in what could be his farewell appearance in a major European competition.
Guba might not have started as the gold medal favourite but the 27-year-old won one of Poland’s seven gold medals at the European Championships in Berlin last August, reaching out to 19.33m in the sixth round of the shot put to stymie Christina Schwanitz’s aspirations of retaining her title on home soil. They are expected to cross paths again next month while reigning champion Anita Marton from Hungary can’t be discounted either.
Lining up as the reigning champion two years ago, Martinot-Lagarde missed out on retaining his 60m hurdles title in Belgrade by 0.01 but the Frenchman was crowned European champion over 110m hurdles in Berlin, edging out Sergey Shubenkov by 0.002. With reigning champion Andrew Pozzi and Shubenkov both absent, will Martinot-Lagarde add another title to his collection?