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IAAF World Indoor Championship athletics

Raise the roof!

Raise the roof!

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 World Indoor Championships from Birmingham

One of the biggest events in athletics is coming to the UK and it’s all set to be a cracker

2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, from Thursday 1 March, 7pm BBC Two/HD (CH 102/162)

From the heart-pounding thrills of the 60-metre sprint, to the all-round excellence of the heptathlon, the 2018 IAAF Indoor World Championships are ready to rock your world, live on Virgin TV.

This biennial showcase of athletic awesomeness is being staged at Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena, and it’s sure to be one heck of a sporting spectacle. With 400 sporting superstars from 15 countries ready to do battle and the home crowd ready to make some serious noise, it has all the ingredients to be an unforgettable four days of action on the box.


But before the touchpaper is lit and the competition begins, allow us to get you bang up to speed with what you should expect to see…


Let’s rewind a second. The IAAF World Indoor what?

The IAAF World Indoor Championships. The first edition of this athletics competition started in 1985 when Paris was the host city. Since then, it has grown significantly in stature and is now one of the most coveted events in the track and field calendar.


So what’s the difference between indoor and outdoor athletics? Other than the obvious…

Team GB runner Laura Muir

Indoor athletics is more of a level playing field. When athletes are competing in a stadium, one competitor might benefit more from particular weather conditions. For example, a shotputter may have the wind on their side when they throw, but the unpredictability of the weather means that their rival might not when it’s their turn. Conditions inside an arena are regulated, removing that element of changeability.

The track is also shorter. An indoor track is 200m all the way around, which means runners have to negotiate more corners during a lap – corners which are also much tighter.


Which event should I absolutely not miss?

For some breathless, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it fun, the 60m sprint is always worth a watch. Both the men’s and women’s world records are currently under seven seconds, so don’t even think about getting up to make a cuppa before it’s about to begin.


Who are the Team GB stars to watch?

The Brits failed to win a single gold medal at the 2016 championships in Portland, but don’t expect the same thing to happen in Brum. Scottish runner Laura Muir will be expected to challenge for 3000 metre gold – an event in which she holds the women’s European indoor world record. Elsewhere, long jumper Greg Rutherford, heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, and sprinter Asha Philip all stand a great chance of glory.


Any other big names worth keeping an eye on?

USA sprinter Christian Coleman

Plenty of eyes will be on US sprinter Christian Coleman (above), who is the big favourite for the men’s 60 metre crown. The lightning-quick American set a world record in the event earlier this year, clocking a time of 6.37 seconds.


2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships, from Thursday 1 March, 7pm BBC Two/HD (CH 102/162)

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