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Athletics: in Glasgow, indoor World Championships to gauge yourself five months before the Olympics in Paris

Noah Lyles, Femke Bol, Grant Holloway, Mondo Duplantis, Karsten Warholm.

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Athletics: in Glasgow, indoor World Championships to gauge yourself five months before the Olympics in Paris

Noah Lyles, Femke Bol, Grant Holloway, Mondo Duplantis, Karsten Warholm... No less than thirteen world champions titled last summer (excluding relays) are traveling to Scotland, a density rarely seen in indoor championships that are sometimes skipped by athletes. This is less the case in this Olympic year, where a major championship is an opportunity for athletes to measure themselves against the competition, to validate the winter training cycles and to win the medals that are missing from their list of achievements. .

Triple world champion last summer (100, 200 m, 4 x 100 meters), Noah Lyles will be one of the big attractions in Scotland, where at the age of 26 he will participate in his first indoor world championships. The American sprinter has made so much progress in his starts - his weak point until now - that he has reduced almost a tenth from his personal best over 60 meters this winter and is at the top of the world records for the distance, just ahead of his compatriot and world record holder Christian Coleman, also eagerly awaited in Glasgow.

The duel between the two Americans promises to be spectacular. They already raced against each other during the United States championships in mid-February and the confrontation then narrowly turned to Lyles's advantage (7''43 against 7''44, the two best performances winter events). “We are the best in the world. We are going to make sure that everyone knows who the real world champions are,” reacted Noah Lyles, who dreams of Olympic gold in Paris this summer. Indoor world champion in 2018, Coleman let victory slip away in 2022 in Serbia, beaten by Olympic 100-meter champion Marcell Jacobs. The Italian is skipping the winter season this year, just like other indoor championship regulars (Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Yulimar Rojas, Keely Hodgkinson) who this year prefer to focus solely on the Games.

In the long sprint, the Dutchwoman Femke Bol starts as a huge favorite in the 400 meters, she who beat her own world record for the indoor discipline in mid-February (49”24). The 400 meter hurdles specialist comes to Glasgow in the summer to seek her first victory at the World Indoor Championships, the only international competition (excluding the Olympics) where she has not won. Little suspense also in the 60 meter hurdles, where American showman Grant Holloway seems unbeatable. Undefeated for 10 years over this distance, the hurdler is faster than ever this winter and also improved his own world record two weeks ago (7”27).

Among women, the world record for the 60 meter hurdles, which dated from 2008, also fell in February but two of them lowered it by a hundredth to bring it to 7''67: the Bahamian Devynne Charlton achieved the feat on February 11 and was matched five days later by the American Tia Jones. The duel between the two new stars will not, however, take place in Glasgow. If Charlton will be on the trip to Scotland, Jones suffered a slight injury a few hours after equaling the world record and will therefore not be part of the American selection.

Among the other disciplines to follow: the men's 400 meters, with the surprise Karsten Warholm who will make his first race of the winter in Glasgow, and the pole vault competition, which should once again be the preserve of Mondo Duplantis. The Swede, world record holder in the discipline with 6.23m, is at the top of the world records this winter with his jump of 6.02m last week in Clermont-Ferrand. Behind, six other athletes have cleared 5m90 or more since the start of the year.

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