European silver and bronze medalists Nikoleta Kiriakopoulou from Greece and Great Britain’s Holly Bradshaw are among the leading names confirmed for the women’s pole vault at the Meeting Perche Elite Tour de Rouen, a European Athletics Indoor Special Premium Permit Meeting, on 8 February.
Both Kiriakopoulou and Bradshaw made the podium again at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships although the podium positions were reversed with Bradshaw taking silver behind Anzhelika Sidorova. The Brit was also the best placed of the evenly matched pair at the World Athletics Championships in Doha where she finished fourth in the final in late September.
Three of the top six finishers from the World Championships will be competing in Rouen with Bradshaw poised to face opposition from fifth and sixth placers Alysha Newman from Canada and Angelica Bengtsson from Sweden - as well as Kiriakopoulou who finished 13th in Doha.
Bengtsson has showed the best early season form of the leading protagonists, clearing 4.67m on her first attempt on her season’s opener in Vaxjo which she followed up with a 4.62m clearance in Stockholm on Saturday.
The men’s line-up is particularly illustrious with reigning world champion Sam Kendricks from the United States in action along with world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie from France and reigning Olympic champion Thiago Braz from Brazil.
Kendricks won twelve months ago with a 5.90m clearance before three attempts at 6.01m. His win provided the second-half of an American double last year with Katie Nageotte cleared 4.74m to defeat Greece’s Ekaterini Stefanidi in the women’s contest.
Kendricks is yet to open his season but Lavillenie, the reigning world indoor champion, began his campaign on a promising note by clearing 5.80m in Bordeaux last weekend. He will be joined in Rouen by his younger brother Valentin, who reached the world final in Doha last autumn.