Three days of all-out Athletics action await in Glasgow…
Athletics: European Indoor Championships, from Friday 1 March, 9.30pm, BBC Two/HD (CH 102)
All eyes turn to Glasgow this weekend as it becomes the capital of the European Indoor Athletics scene. Athletes from 48 nations will compete in 26 events to see who comes out on top.
With the Tokyo Olympics just a year and a half away, it’s at competitions like this that you’ll find athletes fine-tuning their skills to ensure they’re in the best shape possible come next July. Read on for our pick of the stars to look out for.
Blink and you’ll likely miss this rapid French hurdler. At 27, Martinot-Lagarde is entering his peak years, and as a two-time World Indoor silver medallist and a former European Indoor champion at the 60 metre hurdles, Martinot-Lagarde’s pedigree is unquestionable.
Following her headline-grabbing performances at last summer’s European Championships, this Scottish distance runner looks set to cause a stir once again at her home event. With a silver medal in last year’s World Indoor Championships and two gold medals at the European Indoor Championships in 2017, Muir is the woman to beat in the 1,500 and 3,000 metres.
As well as bearing a slight resemblance to the villain from Blade Runner, this German decathlete also seems to possess the pace, power and consistency of his cinematic counterpart. Missing a majority of 2017 through illness, Abele bounced back in 2018, claiming his first gold medal at the European Championships, and now looks to be in the form of his life as he heads to Glasgow.
If ever you need a sofa, car or small house shifted, give Poland’s ferociously powerful shot-putter Paulina Guba a ring and she’ll probably sort you right out. Guba made a statement at last year’s European Championships, smashing her personal best and earning a gold medal in the process. She’s definitely worth keeping an eye on this weekend, if only for her jaw-dropping ability to throw a heavy metal ball pretty far.
Though she’s struggled to find her form in outdoor events, this Serbian long-jumper has been imperious under a roof. A back-to-back European Indoor champion, Španović looks a sure bet to claim her third successive gold – potentially sparking a gold rush that will help in her quest to better her 2016 Olympic bronze medal result in Tokyo next summer.
As the daughter of athletes George and Zoi Stefanidi, and the elder sister of pole-vaulter Georgia Stefanidi, it’s safe to say that Olympic gold medal-winning pole-vaulter Katerina is the star of the Stefanidi dyanasty, or Stefanidynasty, as we’re now calling it. Entering the twilight of her competing days seems to have done little to dim a blistering career that has seen her claim golds both indoors and out, and as the reigning European Indoor champ, Stefanidi is very much the athlete this weekend’s field will be looking to beat.
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