• Preview: European Indoor Championships Torun 2021
The Arena Torun hosts the 36th edition of the European Indoor Championships from 4 to 7 March 2021. Despite the covid-19 pandemic a record 733 athletes (405 men, 328 women) have registered for the continental championships, which has attracted 17 reigning European Indoor champions from Glasgow 2019 and 9 world seasonal leaders (Nadine Visser in the women’s 60m hurdles, Larissa Iapichino in the women’s long jump, Yaroslava Mahuchik in the women’s high jump, Paraskevi Papahristou in the women’s triple jump, Auriol Dongmo in the women’s shot put, Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the 1500m, Armand Duplantis in the men’s pole vault, Gianmarco Tamberi in the men’s high jump).
Men’s pole vault:
Armand Duplantis will return to the Arena Torun where he set the first world indoor record of his career with 6.17m at last year’s World Indoor Tour meeting. The Swedish 21-year-old pole vaulter has remained unbeaten this year in his four indoor competitions in Dusseldorf (6.01m), Rouen (6.03m), Liévin (5.86m) and Belgrade (6.10m). He will be aiming to win his first European Indoor title after claiming the continental outdoor gold medal in Berlin 2018 with 6.05m at the age of 18.
Duplantis will clash against his close friend and rival Renaud Lavillenie, who won the World Indoor Tour meeting in Karlsruhe with 5.95m and vaulted 6.02m in Tourcoing, 6.06m last weekend in his home meeting in Clermont Ferrand. The 34-year-old French vaulter produced his best clearance since 2014, when he broke Sergey Bubka’s world record with 6.16m in Donetsk. Lavillenie has already won four European Indoor gold medals in Turin 2009 (5.81m), Paris Bercy 2011 (6.03m), Goteborg 2013 (6.01m) and Prague 2015 (6.04m) and is seeking his fifth title. The French team also features Renaud’s younger brother Valentin Lavillenie, who recently won the national title in Miramas, and 19-year-old Ethan Cormont, who trains in the Lavillenie group under the guidance of Phillippe D’Encausse and cleared a PB of 5.80m this year.
The Polish team features world bronze medallist and national outdoor record holder Piotr Lisek and reigning European Indoor champion Pawel Wojciechowski. Lisek has won four world outdoor and indoor titles in his career and has reached the podium in the past three editions of the European Indoor Championships. Wojciechowski cleared 5.90m when he won the European Indoor title two years ago.
The other medal candidates are Menno Vlonn, who set the Dutch record with 5.96m in Clermont Ferrand last week, Germany’s Torben Blech, who cleared 5.86m in Dusseldorf and won the 2021 indoor title in Dortmund, and the other German Bo Kanda Lita Baehre, who finished fourth at the World Championships in Doha 2019.
Men’s high jump:
Gianmarco Tamberi will defend his European Indoor title from Glasgow 2019. The Italian record holder won the World Indoor Tour title in the men’s high jump thanks to his win in Banska Bystrika with 2.31m and his third place in Torun with 2.34m and set the world seasonal best with 2.35m at the National Indoor Championships in his home town Ancona. His 2.35m clearance is his best performance since he made his comeback from the serious ankle injury in Monaco 2016 one month before the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Tamberi will renew his rivalry against Maksim Nedasekau, who beat the Italian jumper with 2.34m on countback in the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Torun. Nedasekau won the European outdoor silver medal in Berlin 2018 and claimed European Junior and Under 23 titles
Ukraine’s Andiy Protsenko, who won the European Indoor silver medal in Glasgow and jumped 2.34m this year in Torun, has pulled out from the European Indoor Championships due to a back injury.
The other jumpers to watch are Oleg Doroshchuk and Dmytro Nikitin from the Ukraine, European outdoor champion Mateusz Przybylko from Germany and Belgium’s Thomas Cormoy, who won the European Under 20 gold medal in Boras 2019.
Men’s 60 metres:
Kevin Kranz set the men’s 60 metres European seasonal best time with 6.52 at the National Championships in Dortmund, equalling the national indoor record held by Julian Reus. The 22-year-old German sprinter will clash against three-time Italian outdoor champion Marcell Jacobs, who was consistent this winter clocking 6.55 in Berlin, 6.54 in Liévin, his PB of 6.53 in Lodz and 6.55 at the Italian Championships in Ancona. Jacobs narrowly missed the national indoor record held by Michael Tumi, who won the European indoor bronze medal in Goteborg 2013.
The other podium candidates are Joris Van Gool, who won the European indoor bronze medal in Glasgow 2019 and set the Dutch record with 6.58 in Dortmund this year, defending champion Jan Volko from Slovakia, this year’s Swiss indoor champion Silvan Wicki and French sprinters Mouhammad Fall and Amaury Golitin.
Reigning 1500m and 5000m outdoor champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen will be aiming to win his first European 1500m indoor title two years after finishing second to Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski. The young Norwegian star recently set the 1500m European Indoor record with 3:30.80 in Liévin.
Lewandowski has already won three European Indoor gold medals in the 800m in Prague 2015 and in the 1500m in Belgrade 2017 and Prague 2019 and a silver in the 800m in Paris Bercy 2011. This year he broke the Polish indoor record with 3:35.71 at the World Indoor Tour meeting in Torun.
Jakob’s older brother Filip Ingebrigtsen will bid to win another international medal after the European outdoor gold in Amsterdam 2016 and the World Championships bronze in London 2017. The other medal candidates are Great Britain’s Neil Gourley (PB 3:35.79), Poland’s Michal Rozmys (3:36.10) and Spanish middle-distance runners Jesus Gomez (3:36.21) and Ignacio Fontes (3:36.89).
Jakob Ingebrigtsen won the European 3000m indoor title in Glasgow in 7:56.19 two years ago becoming the youngest ever European champion at 18 years and 163 days. Ingebrigtsen will be looking to score his first European indoor 1500m-3000m double. The Norweagian star has already won two European outdoor gold medals in the 1500m and 5000m in Berlin 2018 when he was 17 years old. Filip Ingebrigtsen is also entered for the 3000 metres and could fight for a medal.
Lewandowski is aiming to become the first ever athlete to win 800m, 1500m and 3000m titles at this event. The Pole set his indoor PB in the 3000m with 7:51.69 last January.
Other runners to watch out are former Moroccan Mohammed Katir from Spain, who clocked a PB of 7:35.29 in Karlsruhe, 2017 European indoor champion Adel Mechaal from Spain, France’s Jimmy Gressier, European Under 23 champion in the 5000m and 10000m in 2019, Andrew Butchart, sixth in the 5000m at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro 2016, Andreas Almgren from Sweden (7:41.6), Mike Foppen from the Netherlands (7:42.55) and Djilali Bedrani from France (7:42.52).
World seasonal leader Elliott Giles, who clocked 1:43.63 on this track in the Torun World Indoor Tour Gold a few weeks ago, has withdrawn from the European Indoor Championships to focus on his preparation for the Olympic Games, but another British middle distance runner Jamie Webb starts as the fastest entrant. Webb improved his PB to 1:44.54 in Torun behind Giles and finished first in Vienna and Ostrava and second in New York.
Adam Kszczot was beaten by Webb in Torun, but he set his seasonal best with 1:45.22 and has already showed in the past that he is one of the most competitive runners when medals are at stake. The Polish runner won the world indoor title in Birmingham 2018 and three European Indoor medals in 2011, 2013 and 2017.
Andreas Kramer won the European outdoor silver in Berlin 2018 behind Kszczot and set the Swedish indoor record with 1:45.09 in Torun.
The other podium candidates are defending champion Alvaro De Arriba from Spain, the other Spanish runner Mariano Garcia, winner in Madrid with 1:45.66, double world medallist Amel Tuka from Bosnia, who clocked 1:45.95 in Madrid, 2017 world outdoor champion Pierre Ambroise Bosse from France, the other Frenchman Benjamin Robert (national indoor champion in Miramas in 1:46.06), 2019 European Indoor bronze medallist Mark English, who clocked 1:46.10 this year, 18-year-old Cian McPhillips (1:46.13) and Guy Learmonth (indoor PB 1:46.73in Glasgow).
60 metres hurdles:
Frenchman Wilhelm Belocian set the fastest European indoor time this winter with 7.45 and dipped under 7:50 four times, including his World Indoor Tour win in Karlsruhe in 7.49 and the national indoor title in Miramas in 7.46.
Reigning world indoor champion Andy Pozzi returned from injury with a solid second place in Madrid in 7.51 and could fight for a medal four years after winning the European Indoor gold medal in Belgrade. Italy’s Paolo Dal Molin showed very good form this winter finishing third in Liévin in 7.55 and Madrid in 7.57 and could be a medal contender eight years after winning the silver in Gothenburg in a national indoor record of 7.51. The other contenders for a spot in the final are Poland’s Damian Czykier (fourth at the European Outdoor Championships in Berlin 2018) and Aurel Manga from France (bronze medallist at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham 2018 and at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow 2019).
World decathlon record holder Kevin Mayer will seek his second European Indoor title in the men’s heptathlon. The Frenchman set the European Indoor record with 6479 points when he won the European Indoor gold medal in Belgrade 2017 a few months before claiming his world outdoor title in London 2017. Only double Olympic champion Ashton Eaton did better in the history of this event, when he broke the world indoor record with 6645points. Mayer also won the world indoor title in Birmingham 2018.
Mayer won the decathlon at the World Combined Events meeting in La Réunion setting the Olympic qualifying mark with 8552 points. He did not compete in any heptathlon competition this winter but has shown good form when he set his indoor PB in the 60m hurdles with 7.68.
Spain’s Jorge Urena will defend his title won in Glasgow. He won the national indoor title with 6143 points in 2020 in his most recent heptathlon competition in 2020.
Poland’s Pawel Wiesolek leads the entry list with a European leading score of 6103 points and could be in contention for a medal. Three young decathletes in the field are Switzerland’s Simon Ehammer, who set the national indoor record with 6092 points and won the European Under 20 gold medal in 2019, Estonia’s Risto Lillimets, who won the Tallin meeting with 6089 points, and 20-year-old Dario Dester, who won the Italian outdoor decathlon title in Padua last summer and set the national indoor record with 6076 points at the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona.
Czech Republic’s Pavel Maslak will be bidding to win his fourth European Indoor title after his previous three wins in Gothenburg 2013, Prague 2015 and Belgrade 2017. Maslak peaked his form at the right time by winning the Madrid World Indoor Tour race in 46.12. Spanish indoor record holder Oscar Husillos will be looking to win his second European Indoor medal two years after finishing second in Glasgow. Husillos finished third in Madrid setting a seasonal best time of 46.37. Dutchman Liemarvin Bonevacia ran the only sub-46 time in Europe this winter with 45.99 at the National Championships in Apeldoorn. The other medal candidates are French champion Thomas Jordier, who clocked 46.13 at the National Championships in Miramas, and Dutchman Tony Van Diepen, who set his PB with 46.17 in 2021.
Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou won the European Indoor gold medal in Glasgow with his PB of 8.38m and claimed wins at the European Outdoor Championships in Berlin 2018, at the European under 20 Championships in Grosseto 2017 and at the European Under 23 Championships in Gavle 2019.
Torun could repeat the top-two places of two years ago when Sweden’s Thobias Montler finished second. The Swedish jumper leapt over the 8 metres this year and won the national indoor title with 8.13m.
The potential medal contenders are 2017 European under 23 silver medallist Vladyslav Mazur (8.07m in 2021), 2017 European indoor champion Izmir Smajlai from Albania, 2013 European Under 23 champion Eusebio Caceres from Spain, Jacob Fincham Dukes (8.08m) and Czech Republic’s Radek Juska.
Men’s triple jump:
Portugal’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo set the European seasonal best performance with 17.36m at the National Championships in Braga. The triple jumper of Cuban origin has already won two world outdoor silver medals in Moscow 2013 and Beijing 2015 and the world indoor bronze in Sopot 2014.
Frenchman Melvin Raffin leapt to a seasonal best of 17.09m at the National Indoor Championships in Miramas and could be in contention for a medal. German Max Hess will seek his third European Indoor medal after finishing third in Belgrade 2017 and Glasgow 2019. The other candidates for a spot in the final are Azerbaijan's Alexis Copello (fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham 2018) and Italy’s Tobia Bocchi, who improved his indoor PB to 16.89m and won the National indoor title in Ancona with 16.79m.
Men’s shot put:
Poland’s Michal Haratyk will seek his second consecutive European Indoor title. The Polish shot putter is unbeaten this year and showed good form when he won two domestic meetings in Lodz (21.83m) and Torun (21.47m) and the National title in Torun (20.77m). His compatriot Konrad Bukowiecki won the European Indoor gold medal in Belgrade 2017 and will aim at his second medal at these championships.
Czech Republic’s Tomas Stanek (European Indoor bronze medallist in 2019) is a solid medal contender after setting a seasonal best of 21.48m. Italian Indoor record holder Leonardo Fabbri was tested positive to covid-19 when he was training in South Africa, but he showed improving form winning the Italian title in Ancona with 20.36m. The other putters, who could fight for a spot on the podium, are Norway’s Marcus Thomsen (21.09m this year), a former world under 20 medallist Wictor Peterson from Sweden, Serbia’s Armin Sinancevic, who won at the Belgrade Open meeting with 21.25m last week and Luxemburg’s Bob Bertemes, who improved his outdoor PB to 22.22m in 2019.
A strong Belgian team featuring the three brothers Kevin, Jonathan and Dylan Borlée will defend their title won two years ago in Glasgow. Later in 2019 Belgium also won the world outdoor title in Doha.
Poland boasts a great tradition in this event and won the world indoor 4x400 gold medal in Birmingham 2018.
The Dutch team features four sprinters, who are ranked in the top 10 of the European seasonal list.
Italy won the 4x400 European gold medal on home soil in Turin in 2009 and could fight for the podium with a young team featuring Italian indoor champion Vladimir Aceti, last year’s Golden Gala 400m winner Edoardo Scotti, 2018 European Under 18 champion Lorenzo Benati and Robert Grant, who led the Texas A&M team to 3:01.09 with an impressive leg clocked in 44.84 at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station.
The Czech Republic will feature Pavel Maslak and Vit Muller (seasonal best 46.31).
Ukrainian 19-year-old jumper Yaroslava Mahuchik set the third best indoor performance in history with 2.06m in Banska Bystrica and remained unbeaten winning three more competitions in Kiev (2.02m), Udine (2.00m) and at the National Championships (2.00m). The world silver medallist will try to complete an impressive streak of continental titles after winning the gold medals at the European Under 18 and Under 20 Championships in 2018 and 2019.
Mahuchik’s compatriot Yuliya Levchenko ranks second in the European seasonal list with 1.96m and is bidding to win her third consecutive medal at this event after finishing third in Belgrade 2017 and second in Glasgow 2019.
Iryna Herashchenko could complete a Ukrainian podium sweep.
Morgan Lake from Great Britain cleared 1.96m in Belgrade last week and could be in contention for a medal three years after finishing fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.
World Indoor bronze medal Alessia Trost from Italy recently won in Lodz with 1.94m and the national title in Ancona with 1.92 before a very narrow miss at 1.96.
Reigning European Under 20 champion Larissa Iapichino recently won the Italian Indoor title in Ancona with 6.91m equalling the National indoor record held by her mother Fiona May. The Italian 18-year rising star improved the world indoor under 20 record held by German legend Heike Drechsler since 1983 with 6.88m. Iapichino will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Fiona May, who won the European Indoor gold medal in Valencia 1998.
Iapichino will face world outdoor champion Malaika Mihambo, who is ranked third in the European Indoor list with 6.77m and won the National indoor title with 6.70m in Dortmund. The German jumper finished fourth at the past edition of the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow with 6.83m and went on to win the world outdoor title in Doha with 7.30m (the 12th best performance on the world all-time list).
Sweden’s Khaddi Sagnia set the second best performance this winter with 6.82m and set an outdoor PB of 6.92m last summer.
A strong contender is Ukraine’s Maryna Beck Romanchuk, who won the world outdoor silver medal in Doha and the European bronze medal in Glasgow two years ago. Other jumpers to watch are 2019 European indoor silver medallist Nastassia Mironchyk Ivanova, Abigail Irizoru and Jazmyn Sawyers, who won the past two editions of the British outdoor championships.
Three-time European Indoor champion Ivana Spanovic has been forced to pull out of these championships by a hamstring injury.
British pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw won all her competitions this winter in Rouen (4.85m), Liévin (4.73m) and Clermont Ferrand (4.78) and will be looking to win her third European indoor medal after winning in Gothenburg 2013 with 4.67m and finishing second in Glasgow 2019 with 4.75m.
Iryna Zhuk from Belarus could be in contention for a medal after setting two national indoor records with 4.67m in Madrid and 4.73m in Clermont Ferrand.
The other medal candidates are Slovenia’s Tina Sutej, who cleared 4.70m in Ostrava, and Switzerland’s Angelica Moser, who won the world under 20 title in Bydgoszcz 2016 and finished fourth at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow.
European outdoor champion Paraskevi Papahristou set the world indoor seasonal best with 14.60m in the World Indoor Tour meeting in Torun. The Greek jumper is aiming to win the European Indoor title two years after finishing second in Glasgow behind Ana Peleteiro from Spain.
Peleteiro won the world under 20 title in Moncton 2010, the world indoor bronze medal in Birmingham and finished third at the European Championships in Berlin 2018. She took the Spanish indoor title this winter with 14.21m.
Former European outdoor champion Patricia Mamona could be in the hunt for a medal after finishing second in Belgrade 2017. The other medal contenders are 2017 European Under 20 gold medallist Vyaleta Skvartsova from Belarus and Finland’s Kristina Makela.
Reigning Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam will seek her second European Indoor pentathlon gold medal four years after claiming this title with 4870 points in Belgrade 2017. The Belgian heptathlon star set a championship record in the high jump with 1.96m. This winter Thiam cleared 1.86m in the high jump in Val de Reuil and clocked 8.39 in the 60m hurdles in Gand in two test competitions in the build-up to Torun.
Belgium could score a double, as Thiam’s compatriot Noor Vidts leads the world seasonal list with 4665 points. A solid medal prospect is Austria’s Ivona Dadic, who won two silver medals at the 2017 European Indoor Championships in Belgrade and at the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. The line-up also features 2014 world indoor champion Nadine Broersen from the Netherlands and Xenia Krizsan from Hungary, who finished fourth in Belgrade 2017.
The new generation is led by Holly Mills from Great Britain, who scored 4557 points this winter. The 20-year-old British heptathlete won the European Under 18 gold medal in the long jump in Tiblisi 2016 and finished third in this event at the European Under 20 Championships in Boras 2019 with 6.50m. Spanish rising Maria Vicente set the National indoor record with 4501 points at the recent National Indoor Championships in Madrid. Vicente won the world under 18 gold medal in the heptathlon in Nairobi 2017 and two European under 18 titles in the heptathlon and the triple jump in Gyor 2018.
Ewa Swoboda will not defend her European Indoor title, as she was tested positive to covid-19.
Ajla Del Ponte starts as the favourite after an impressive season in which she improved her PB three times to 7.17 in Karlsruhe, 7.16 in Dusseldorf and 7.14 in Metz. The Swiss sprinters has clocked seven times under 7.20.
Amelie Sophie Lederer from Germany won the national indoor title with her PB of 7.12. The other German sprinters in the line-up are Jennifer Montag and Yasmin Kwadwo.
The line-up is completed by French sprinters Orlann Ombissa Dzangue and Carole Zahi and Finnish champion Lotta Kemppinen, who set her PB with 7.16 a few days ago.
Dina Asher Smith has ended the indoor season after a minor injury to focus on her preparation for the Olympic Games.
60 metres hurdles:
Nadine Visser is the defending champion and starts as the favourite after winning her first European Indoor gold medal in Glasgow. The Dutch hurdler clocked the fastest time in the world this year with 7.81 in Madrid and won in Liévin in 7”91. Her compatriot Zoe Sedney finished second to Visser at the Dutch Championships with 7.98 and could be a contender for a spot in the final.
Nooralotta Neziri (2011 European under 20 champion) won her first World Indoor Tour gold medal in Karlsruhe setting the national record with 7.92 and clocked 7.91 twice in Liévin and Berlin.
Three-time world indoor medallist Tiffany Ofili Porter returned to her best form and clocked 7.89 in Fayetteville and New York. Her sister Cindy Ofili Sember clocked a seaonal best of 8.01 and could be in contention for a spot in the final.
Italy’s Luminosa Bogliolo has always performed well in Poland and set her PB with 8.00 in Torun last month.
Laeticia Bapté produced a major surprise when she won the French title with 7.93 edging Cyrena Samba Mayela by 0.01.
The line-up is completed by Karolina Koleczek (Polish champion in 7.96) and European outdoor champion Elvira Herman, who set her PB with 7.91 this year.
A Dutch double is expected, as Femke Bol and Lieke Klaver hold the fastest two times of the European seasonal list. Bol dipped under the 51 seconds barrier four times and set the national record with 50.64 at the National Championships. Klaver improved the Dutch 200m indoor record twice to 23.17 and 23.10.
European outdoor 400m and 4x400 relay champion Justyna Swyety Ersetic from Poland and reigning European indoor champion Lea Sprunger from Switzerland could fight for the podium.
Andrea Miklos from Hungary and Phil Healy are in the top five of the European seasonal list with 51.92 and 51.99 and could be contenders for a spot in the final.
Former world youth 200m champion Jodie Williams set her PB with 52.27 this year at the British trials and could have a chance for a spot in the final.
Portugal’s Auriol Dongmo leads the world list with 19.65m and claimed the World Indoor Tour with wins in Karlsruhe and Torun.
German Christina Schwanitz is bidding for her fourth European Indoor medal.
Swede Fanny Roos is going for her second continental medal after winning the gold medal at the European Under 23 Championships.
British shot putter Sophie McKinna beat Schwanitz in Karlsruhe and could be a contender for a spot in the final.
British 18-year-old rising star Keely Hodgkinson set the European under 20 record with 1:59.03 in Vienna and leads the entry list. Hodgkinson won the European Under 18 title in 2018 and finished third at the European Under 20 in Boras 2019.
Joanna Jozwik set the second fastest time among the entrants with 2:00.42 in Torun and won the national title with 2:01.90 on this track.
Norway’s Hedda Hynne could be a major contender for the podium after setting two national outdoor records with 1:59.15 in Rovereto and 1:58.10 in Bellinzona and a national indoor record with 2:00.92 in Liévin.
Selina Buchel Rutz has already won two European Indoor gold medals in Prague 2015 and Belgrade 2017.
Siofra Clerigh Buttner e Nadia Power have both set Irish records clocking 2:00.98 in Torun and 2:00.58 in Fayetteville respectively and could fight for a spot in the final.
European under 23 silver medallist Else Vanderelst from Belgium leads the field with 4:05.71 and could be the slight favourite in a wide-open event. The other contenders for a spot in the final are German Hanna Klein (4:06.86 in Liévin) and Spanish runners Esther Guerrero (winner in Madrid in 4:07.48) and Marta Perez (4:09.44)
World 3000m silver medallist Marusa Mismas Zrimsek leads the entry list with 8:48.92 and won the Balkan Championships in the 1500m in 4:09.42. Maureen Koster from the Netherlands will be bidding to win her second European Indoor medal six years after finishing third in the 3000m in Prague 2015.
Poland won both the European outdoor and indoor titles and is the clear favourite to defend the title on home soil. Pole Justyna Swiety Ersetic has already won ten international medals in international competitions, including the world silver medal in Doha 2019. The strongest rival could be the Netherlands featuring Femke Bol and Lieke Klaver. Great Britain could have a good chance to win a medal.