Seven anticipated highlights at this weekend's national indoor championships

Yaroslava Mahuchikh
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World high jump silver medallist Yaroslava Mahuchikh will compete at the Ukrainian Indoor Championships in Sumy on Saturday

Who to follow and how to follow a busy weekend of national indoor championships action with Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Ukraine and Czech Republic among the countries to be staging their domestic championships.  

Mihambo to challenge for two titles in Leipzig 

After a surprise defeat in Karlsruhe, normal service was resumed last Friday when Malaika Mihambo eased her way into the world indoor all-time top-10 with a world leading mark of 7.07m at the ISTAF Indoor in Berlin. Surpassing the seven metre-line has become a commonplace occurrence for the world champion over the last twelve months but Mihambo will face some significant opposition in the 60m. Mihambo has clocked 7.37 on two occasions in 2020 which makes her the equal sixth fastest German on paper this year. 

Live results and live streaming here.

Tamberi’s dress rehearsal for Tokyo

Gianmarco Tamberi will compete for the first time this season at the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona on Sunday. The high jump is scheduled for the unusually early start time of 9.15am but this will allow Tamberi to practice his routine for the qualification rounds of the Olympic Games in Tokyo where the high jumpers will take to the arena just after 9.00am on the first day of competition.

“I want to understand how the body reacts at that hour in terms of neuromuscular activation. In the last two months I have started going to bed earlier, around 10.30pm, and waking up earlier, between 7.45am and 8.15am, just to gradually get used to the competition time that awaits me in Tokyo,” said Tamberi in a recent interview.

More information here.

Tortu opens his season in Ancona

Another of the star attractions at the Italian Indoor Championships will be sub-10 second 100m performer Filippo Tortu in the 60m. This will be his first and only race of the indoor season and a chance for him to win his first Italian senior indoor title. The head-to-head with Luca Lai, the fastest Italian sprinter in 2020, will not materialise with Lai missing the remainder of the indoor season through injury but Tortu will face strong opposition from Marcell Jacobs who clocked 6.63 in Lievin on Wednesday. 

Another world indoor U20 record for Mahuchikh?

Armand Duplantis isn’t the only athlete who has been on a record-breaking spree this winter. Already the owner of the world outdoor U20 record of 2.04m, Yaroslava Mahuchikh has already cleared world indoor U20 records of 2.01m and 2.02m and the 18-year-old has two more chances to further improve her record, the first being at the Ukrainian Indoor Championships in Sumy on Saturday. Yuliya Levchenko will be missing from competition due to a minor injury but Mahuchikh will face significant opposition from Iryna Herashchenko.

Live streaming here
Live results here

Knight poised to cap breakthrough campaign with a British title

For British fans, Jessie Knight’s 400m lifetime best of 52.21 in Linz went slightly under the radar but the 25-year-old, who is more accustomed to running this distance but over the barriers, came to wider prominence the following weekend with a bold piece of running in the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix. Knight took the lead from the break of lanes and countered a late challenge from double European champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic from Poland to win in an outright lifetime best of 51.57.

Knight didn’t even make it to the final at last year’s British Indoor Championships but the part-time schoolteacher will be a resounding pre-race favourite on the same track at the national championships this weekend.

More information here.

Fast 400m finals anticipated in Ostrava 

It wouldn’t be an indoor championships without Pavel Maslak who will be one of the star attractions at the Czech Indoor Championships in Ostrava this weekend. Maslak will be contesting his specialist event in Ostrava but Lada Vondrova has assigned herself an even tougher task as the 20-year-old will chase titles in both the 200m and 400m. Vondrova has been in good form this indoor season, setting her lifetime best of 52.25 on this track at the start of the month.

More information here

Herman to highlight the Belarusian Championships

European 100m hurdles champion Elvira Herman is one of the leading names in action at the Belarusian Indoor Championships in Mogilyev where she will contest the 60m hurdles. The 23-year-old won a bronze medal at the Glasgow 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships last March.

More information here.