Europe’s stars make plans for 2020 indoor season

Malaika Mihambo
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World long jump champion Malaika Mihambo from Germany is confirmed for the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin on 14 February

Reigning world and European long jump champion Malaika Mihambo from Germany will compete on home soil at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin, a European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting, on 14 February.

Mihambo won this year’s meeting with an indoor lifetime best of 6.99m and she has aspirations of surpassing this mark in front of her home fans once again. “That's the goal,” said Mihambo. “Seven metres should also be possible indoors.”

Mihambo made a habit of surpassing the seven metre-line outdoors in 2019. The German amassed seven competitions in excess of this mark, culminating with a lifetime best of 7.30m to win the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

Other notable performances for Mihambo included a marginally wind-assisted 7.11m to win at the European Athletics Team Championships in Bydgoszcz and a 7.16m performance in the Olympic Stadium at the German Championships in Berlin.

Mihambo will sharpen up for this competition by racing over 60m in Karlsruhe on 31 January.

Dafne Schippers from the Netherlands has also been confirmed for the 60m in Berlin - the track on which she set a lifetime best and equalled the Dutch record of 7.00 in 2016. The 2015 and 2017 world 200m champion will face opposition from leading German sprinter Lisa-Marie Kwayie. 

Pamela Dutkiewicz missed the majority of the outdoor campaign due to injury but the 28-year-old is targeting a return to competition in the 60m hurdles this indoor season. One of the races on her schedule is the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin - the competition in which she made her debut five years ago.

“Running on the outside lane, feeling the heat of the flames, soaking up the atmosphere and then sitting in the athlete's box with all the world stars - it will be something I will remember for a lifetime," said Dutkiewicz, who clocked 7.89 to win this year.

The programme also features the trademark indoor discus in which the male and female throwers will compete against each other. The first name to be confirmed is European silver medallist Nadine Muller who threw 63.89m at this year’s meeting - the longest ever throw achieved by a female thrower indoors.

World pole vault record-holder Renaud Lavillenie from France is also targeting another full indoor season. He will also compete at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin and his home fans will get the chance to watch him compete four times next winter including Perche Elite Tour de Rouen on 8 February and the All Star Perche by Quartus on 23 February - both European Athletics Indoor Special Premium Permit Meetings.

Lavillenie is also slated to compete in Karlsruhe on 31 January along with former European indoor and outdoor champion Cindy Roleder in the 60m hurdles.

World high jump silver medallist and 2019 Rising Star Yaroslava Mahuchikh is also confirmed for the famous high jump meeting - the Banskobystricka Latka - in Banska Bystrica on 11 February. Mahuchikh equalled the world indoor U20 record of 1.99m last winter and the precocious Ukrainian has one more season to claim sole ownership of the record. European U23 champion Maksim Nedasekau from Belarus will compete in the men's competition. 

The Ingebrigtsens are also planning to compete indoors and Filip and Jakob are both confirmed to compete in the 1500m in Dusseldorf on 4 February. An excellent pole vault has also been confirmed on the men's side with European champion Armand Duplantis from Sweden and Poland's Piotr Lisek taking on two-time world champion Sam Kendricks from the United States.