The 2019 European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting series commences on Sunday (27) at the Meeting de Paris Indoor, featuring many of the country’s leading athletes across the six events taking place at the AccorHotels Arena.
The Meeting de Paris Indoor is one of 16 events to make up the European Athletics Indoor Permit Meeting series. Five of them take place in France and the series runs through until 24 February with the All Star Perche in Clermont-Ferrand, less than one week before the start of the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships.
One athlete with Glasgow very much in his sights is world pole vault record-holder Renaud Lavillenie. Lavillenie won four successive European indoor pole vault titles between 2009 and 2015 before injury denied him a chance of a fifth straight title in Belgrade in 2017.
Lavillenie returned to the top of the podium at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham last March and the 32-year-old leads the 2019 world lists with an early season 5.82m clearance in Tignes. One minor cause for concern is Lavillenie did have to retire in Nevers last weekend due to a leg injury but the Frenchman said this was precautionary.
The organisers have assembled a brilliant line-up to face Lavillenie on home turf, including reigning world outdoor champion Sam Kendricks from the United States and Shawn Barber from Canada who preceded Kendricks as world champion.
The pole vault line-up also includes Kevin Mayer who arrives fresh from a three week training block in Miami. Mayer will not defend his European indoor heptathlon title in Glasgow but he will compete extensively in individual events during the indoor campaign.
Mayer will also compete in the 60m hurdles in Paris, the track which he set his lifetime best of 7.79 on last year. The field is headed by reigning European 110m hurdles champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde who makes his season’s debut against a strong field including Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega from Spain.
Reigning two-time European indoor champion Richard Kilty makes his comeback from injury in the 60m against Spain’s Yunier Perez and American veteran Mike Rodgers and world indoor bronze medallist Mujinga Kambundji is the standout entrant in the women’s 60m.