Blockbuster duels expected at World Indoor Champs

World Athletics president Sebastian Coe has described the line-up for this week’s World Indoor Championships in Belgrade as one of an “incredibly high standard.”

The championship, which roars off today, features a loaded field including 12 gold medallists from the Tokyo Olympics and a host of other world champions.

“Wherever you look, we’ve got some tasty head-to-heads,” Coe said, describing the likes of Swedish pole vault star Mondo Duplantis as one of the sport’s “rock stars”, with the personality to back up stellar performances and better promote athletics.

“The raw competition between two athletes at the top of their game is really what the fans want and they’re going to get that.”

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Belgrade’s Stark Arena plays host to the first major championship in a year that also features the world outdoor championships in Eugene, Oregon, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, and the European championships in Munich, Germany.

Coleman v Jacobs – men’s 60m

Reigning outdoor 100m champion Christian Coleman will be defending his 60m title in the Serbian capital after making a comeback from an 18-month suspension for breaching anti-doping rules. As Coleman sat out Tokyo, Italy’s Lamont Marcell Jacobs streaked to Olympic gold.

The Italian, who competed in the long jump at the European indoors in Belgrade in 2017 before switching to sprints a year later, is on a four-race winning streak indoors, setting up what should be a memorable 60m final in Belgrade.

“I’m very pleased that he’s there,” Coe said of Jacobs’ presence. “There will clearly be a desire to win a title. He’d also feel it’s a good opportunity to test himself in a championship in advance of the outdoor season.” –AFP

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