The Northern French town of Liévin near Pas de Calais hosts the Meeting Hauts de France Pas de Calais, the fourth leg of the 2022 World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold series. The top names are World 60m hurdles record holder Grant Holloway, world indoor 1500m record holder Gudaf Tsegay, Olympic and European 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Olympic 100m and 4x100 champion Marcell Jacobs and Olympic 10000m gold medallist Selemon Barega.
Throughout its history, eight world records have been set in the Liévin meeting by Merlene Ottey (21.87 in the 200m) and Sergey Bubka (6.14m in the pole vault) in 1993, Irina Lasovskasya (14.90m in the triple jump) in 1994, Linford Christie (20.25 in the 200m) in 1995, Frankie Fredericks (19.92 in the 200m) in 1996, Svetlana Feofanova (4.74m in the pole vault) in 2002, Yelena Isinbayeva (4.89m in the pole vault) in 2005 and Gudaf Tsegay (3:53.09 in the 1500m) in 2021.
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Men's 60 meters hurdles: Holloway is chasing another fast time
World 110m hurdles champion Grant Holloway is set to continue his unbeaten streak on the fast track of the Stade Couvert in Liévin.
Holloway started his indoor season on a high note, winning his first 60m hurdles race of the 2022 season in Staten Island in a world-leading time of 7.37.
He won all his nine 60m hurdles races in 2021, including the Liévin final, where he clocked 7.32. A few days later, Holloway broke the world indoor record held by Colin Jackson since 1994, clocking 7.29 in the World Indoor Tour gold meeting in Madrid.
Holloway clocked the second-fastest time in the 110m hurdles outdoors with 12.81 in the semifinal of the US Olympic Trials in Eugene and went on to win the final in 12.96. He lost only once in the Olympic final, where he finished second to Hansle Parchment in 13.09.
The line-up features five of the seven fastest hurdlers in the World this year, including world indoor silver medallist Jarret Eaton, who clocked 7.51 in Val de Reuil last Monday, 2018 European outdoor champion Pascal Martinot Lagarde, who won in Karlsruhe in 7.54, Wilhem Belocian, European Indoor champion in Torun 2021 with 7.42, 2019 US outdoor champion Daniel Roberts. The other top names are reigning world indoor champion, Andy Pozzi, from Great Britain and decathlon world record holder Kevin Mayer from France, who won the European Indoor gold medal in the heptathlon in Belgrade 2017 with the European record of 6479 points.
Women's mile: Tsegay returns to Liévin
Gudaf Tsegay will run in the mile at the Meeting Hauts-de-France Pas de Calais in Liévin on the track where she set the world indoor 1500m record with 3:53.09.
In the following weeks, Tsegay set world-leading PBs of 1:57.52 in the 800m in Metz and 8:22.65 in the 3000m in Madrid. She improved her outdoor PBs of 3:54.01 in Chorzow in the 1500m, set the World leading time of 14:13.32 in the 5000m at the Olympic Trials in Hengelo, and her PB of 29:39.42 in the 10000m in Maia. At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, she won the bronze medal in the 5000 meters in 14:38.87.
Tsegay will attack the world indoor mile record held by her compatriot Genzebe Dibaba, who clocked 4:13.31 in 2016.
Tsegay has not run an indoor mile since 2016, when she set her PB of 4:24.98 in Stockholm. She set her outdoor PB of 4:16.14 in the mile at the 2018 Anniversary Games in London.
The Ethiopian star will face Axumawit Embaye, who set the World leading time of 4:02.12 in the 1500m in Karlsruhe last January, Winnie Nanyondo from Uganda, who finished fourth in the 800m at the World Championships in Doha 2019, and Ethiopia's Tigist Ketema, who finished third at the World Under 20 Championships in the 800m in Bydgoszcz 2016.
Men's 3000 meters: Barega, Wale and Girma target world indoor record
The top three from last year's 3000 meters Getnet Wale, Selemon Barega and Lemecha Girma, will be back in Liévin.
The Ethiopian trio will target the world indoor 3000m record set by Daniel Komen with 7:24.90 in Budapest in 1998.
Barega set the third-fastest time in history in the 3000m clocking 7:26.10 in Liévin last year to finish second to his compatriot Getnet Wale, who missed Komen's world record by just 0.08.
Before last year's edition of the Liévin meeting, just six men in history had broken the 7:30 barrier in the 3000m indoors. One year ago, four athletes made it to the list at the Northern French meeting. Behind Wale and Barega, two more Ethiopian athletes, Lamecha Girma and Berihu Aregawi finished third and fourth, clocking 7:27.98 and 7:29.94, respectively.
Girma went on to win the Olympic silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase in Tokyo.
It will not be an all-Ethiopian affair, though, as the race also features Spain's Mohamed Katir, who broke three national outdoor records in the 1500m with 3:28.76 in Monaco, in the 3000m with 7:27.64 in Gateshead, and in the 5000m with 12:50.79 in Florence last summer. Katir could attack the new European indoor record set by his compatriot Adel Mechaal in Staten Island with 7:30.82. The Liévin race also features Ethiopian runner Nibret Melak, who won the past two editions of the Cinque Mulini Cross Country race. Additionally, the race will have Kenyan runners Nicholas Kimeli, fourth in the 5000m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo and Jacob Krop, sixth in the 5000m at the World Championships in Doha 2019; and Ethiopian Birhanu Balew, sixth in the 5000m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Men’s 1500 metres: Ingebrigtsen set to return in Liévin
Olympic and European 1500 meters champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen will make his seasonal debut over this distance on the fast Liévin track. Last year, he won by five seconds breaking the European Indoor record, clocking 3:31.80, improving Hicham El Guerrouj's meeting record by 0.21.
The Norwegian star moved up into fifth place on the all-time world list, just 0.76 off Samuel Tefera's world indoor record set in 2019.
Ingebrigtsen went on to win the 1500m and the 3000m titles at the European Indoor Championships in Torun and the Olympic 1500m gold medal in Tokyo in a European record of 3:28.32. He also set the European 5000m record, clocking 12:48.45 at the Golden Gala in Florence. Last December, he added the European Cross Country senior gold medal to his collection at this event, which already included four continental titles in the junior categories.
Jakob will face Ethiopia's Samuel Tefera, who won in Liévin in 2019 and broke the 1500m world indoor record, clocking 3:31.04 in Birmingham six days later. Tefera won the 1500m for the second time in his career in Liévin in 2020 with 3:35.54.
Men's 60 meters: Jacobs bids for his second consecutive win in Liévin
Double Olympic 100m and 4x100 relay champion Marcell Lamont Jacobs will line up in the 60 meters in Liévin for the third consecutive year. The Liévin race features five sprinters with a PB of 9.85 in the 100 meters or faster.
The Italian sprint star won his first 60m race in Liévin in his then PB of 6.54 last year and claimed the European Indoor gold medal in Torun, improving his lifetime best to 6.47, just 0.05 off the European record held by Dwain Chambers.
Jacobs started the outdoor season with an Italian 100 meters record of 9.95 at the Memorial Giulio Ottolia in Savona and finished in the top three at two Wanda Diamond League meetings in Stockholm (second in 10.05) and third in Monaco in 9.99. He crowned a successful season with the Olympic gold medal in the 100m in Tokyo in a European record of 9.80. Five days later, he clocked the second leg in 8.92, helping the Italian team win the Olympic gold medal in the 4x100 relay in a national record and World leading time of 37.50.
Jacobs started the 2022 indoor season with two wins in the 60 meters in 6.51 at the ISTAF Indoor meeting in Berlin and at the Orlen Cup in Lodz in 6.49, missing his Italian Indoor record by 0.02.
Jacobs will face Ronnie Baker, who set the Liévin meeting record with 6.44 in 2020, just missing his indoor PB by 0.04. The US sprinter won the world indoor bronze medal in Birmingham 2018 with 6.44 and placed fifth in the Olympic 100m final in 9.95. Baker beat Jacobs in two Wanda Diamond League meetings in Stockholm in 10.03, Monaco in 9.91, and the Olympic semifinal in Tokyo in 9.83 to 9.84. Still, Jacobs triumphed in the final to win the Olympic gold medal.
The other top US sprinters to watch are Michael Rodgers and Marvin Bracy, who won the world indoor silver medal in the 60m respectively in Doha 2010 and Sopot 2014 and shared the same PBs of 6.48 in the 60 meters and 9.85 in the 100 meters. Bracy won four Continental Tour races in the 100m in Memphis with 9.85, Rovereto with 9.98, Berlin with 9.95 and Zagreb with 9.86.
The line-up also features Kenya's Ferdinand Omanyala, who broke the African record in the 100m clocking 9.77 in the Continental Tour meeting in Nairobi last September, Arthur Cissé from Ivory Coast and 2013 European Indoor champion Jimmy Vicaut from France, who finished second and third respectively to Marcell Jacobs in Berlin this year, and US Cravont Charleston, who equalled his 60 metres PB with 6.54 in Metz this winter.
Women's pole vault: Nageotte clashes against Sidorova
Olympic pole vault gold medallist Katie Nageotte will make her second appearance in Liévin. Three years ago, the US star won in the French meeting clearing 4.62m. Nageotte enjoyed a very successful season in 2021 winning the US Olympic Trials with her lifetime best of 4.95m (fourth best performer in the world outdoor all-time list), the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with 4.90m and three Wanda Diamond League meetings in Doha (4.84m), Monaco (4.90m) and Eugene (4.82m).
Nageotte also made two global finals finishing fifth at the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham with 4.70m and seventh at the 2019 World Championships in Doha with 4.70m.
The US pole vaulter started her 2022 season with a win at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno (Nevada) with 4.60m and finished third at the Millrose Games in New York with 4.35m.
Anzhelika Sidorova will make her first appearance in Liévin. The Russian vaulter won the world gold medal in Doha 2019, the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo 2021, two world indoor silver medals in Sopot 2014 and Birmingham 2018, two European Indoor gold medals in Prague 2015 and Glasgow 2019, and the European outdoor title in Zurich 2014. She won the Diamond League final in Zurich, improving to 5.01m, and started the 2022 indoor season with a world-leading mark of 4.80m in Moscow last week.
The line-up also features 2015 world champion Yarisley Silva, Tina Sutej from Slovenia, and Iryna Zhuk from Belarus, who finished second and third at the European Indoor Championships in Torun 2021. Sutej beat Zhuk with 4.70m on countback in Val de Reuil last Monday, while Silva finished third with 4.65m.
Men's pole vault: Nilsen takes on Thiago Braz
Three vaulters with PBs over 6.00m will compete in the men's pole vault. Olympic silver medallist Chris Nilsen will take on 2016 Olympic champion Thiago Braz Da Silva from Brazil, 2019 world bronze medallist Piotr Lisek, Emmanouil Karalis from Greece, who finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with 5.80m, Ernest John Obiena from the Philippines, who cleared 5.93m in Innsbruck last September and won in Lodz last week clearing 5.81m, 2018 European outdoor silver medallist Timur Morgunov, Menno Vlonn, Dutch Indoor record holder with 5.96m, 2021 European Indoor silver medallist Valentin Lavillenie from France and US vaulters Matt Ludwig and Jacob Wooten, who share the same outdoor PB of 5.90m, and Kurtis Marshall from Australia, who won the Commonwealth Games gold medal with 5.70m in Gold Coast and finished fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham with 5.80m in 2018.
Nilsen equaled the North American indoor record, clearing 6.02m in Tourcoing, and won the World Indoor Tour meeting in Metz with 5.91m.
Women's long jump: Rojas clashes against Bekh Romanchuk
Triple jump star Yulimar Rojas will make her first appearance in this edition of the World Indoor Tour Gold in the long jump. The Venezuelan star coached by Ivan Pedroso won the Olympic gold medal in the triple jump breaking the world record with 15.67m. After the Olympic Games, the 2020 World Athlete of the Year won two Diamond League competitions in Lausanne with 15.56m and in Zurich with 15.48m. Rojas set the world indoor record jumping 15.43m in Madrid's World Indoor Tour meeting.
In the long jump, Rojas leaped to a wind-assisted 7.27m and a legal PB of 6.88m in the Spanish Club Championships in La Nucia last year. She started her 2022 season with a leap of 6.55m in Madrid last weekend.
Rojas will face Ukraine's Maryna Beck Romanchuk, who won the European Indoor gold medal in 2021 and the world outdoor silver medal with 6.92m. Beck Romanchuk recently leaped to 14.34m in the triple jump and will compete for the first time in the long jump this winter.
The Ukrainian jumper placed second at the European outdoor Championships in Berlin 2018 and fifth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021. She holds PBs of 6.96m indoors and 6.93m outdoors. The other top names are Nastassia Mironchyk Ivanova, who won the European Indoor silver medal in Glasgow 2019 and holds PBs of 7.08m outdoors and 6.93m indoors, 2019 European Under 20 heptathlon champion Maria Vicente from Spain, who set her long jump record of 6.70m last January, US Quanesha Burks, who won the US Indoor title in 2020 and finished fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham 2018, Noor Vidts from Belgium, who finished fourth in the heptathlon at the Olympic Games, Akela Jones from Barbados, who won the World under 20 gold medal in Eugene 2014, and Frenchwoman Maelly Dalmat, who finished fourth in the European Under 23 Championships in Tallin 2021.
Men's 800 meters: Kszczot will make his final appearance in Liévin
Adam Kszczot will bid his farewell from athletics at the end of the indoor season. The Polish 800m star set the meeting indoor clocking 1:44.57 in 2012 and won the world indoor gold medal in Birmingham 2018, a total of six European medals (three indoors in Paris Bercy 2011, Goteborg 2013 and Belgrade 2017 and three outdoors in Zurich 2014, Amsterdam 2016 and Berlin 2018 and three world silver medals (one indoors in Sopot 2014 and two outdoors in Beijing 2015 and London 2017).
Elliot Giles from Great Britain and Mariano Garcia from Spain will start as favorites after winning the first two meetings of the 2022 World Indoor Tour. Giles won in Karlsruhe for the second consecutive edition in 1:46.78 and two more meetings in this circuit in Liévin in 1:43.63 and Torun in a British indoor record of 1:43.63 in 2021.
Garcia won his first World IndoorTour meeting in Staten Island on 6 February, setting the World-leading time and the Spanish indoor record with 1:45.12. The best Kenyan athletes in the line-up are Cornelius Tuwei and Collins Kipruto, who broke the 1:44 barrier clocking 1:43.76 and 1:43.95, respectively.
Women's 3000 meters: All-Ethiopian clash between Taye, Seyaum, and Worku
Ejgayehu Taye from Ethiopia will run her second indoor race in a high-quality competition. Taye broke the Ethiopian outdoor record in the 3000m clocking 8:19.52 in Paris last August and set her 5000m PB of 14:14.09 in Hengelo. The 22-year-old Ethiopian runner will line up against Dawit Seyaum, world indoor 1500m silver medallist in Portland 2016, Fantu Worku, World under 20 silver medallist in the 1500m in Bydgoszcz 2016, Zerfe Wondemagegn, World under 20 silver medallist in the 3000m steeplechase in Nairobi 2021, and Melknet Wudu, a double world under 20 medallist in Nairobi 2021 (second in the 5000m and third in the 3000m).
Women's 800 meters: Nakaayi takes on Goule
World 800m champion Halimah Nakaayi from Uganda will run her second race this week, a few days after setting the World leading time of 1.59.55 in Val de Reuil, Nakaayi will take on Jamaica's Natoya Goule, who won the 800m in 1:59.62 in Staten Island, and Ethiopia's Freweyni Hailu, who finished fourth in the 1500m in 3:57.60 in Tokyo last year.
Men's 2000 meters:
Olympic 1500m fourth placer Abel Kipsang will make his second indoor appearance in the 2000 meters just five days after winning the 1500m race in 3:36.23. Kipsang could target the Kenyan record of 4:55.72 over this rarely contested distance. The 25-year-old Kenyan middle-distance runner will face Azzedine Habz from France (PB 3:31.74), Samuel Zeleke from Ethiopia (PB 3:32.80), and Maximilian Thorwirth from Germany, who set his indoor PB of 7:38.14 in the 3000m in Staten Island.
Men's triple jump:
Algeria's Yasser Triki will open his indoor season after finishing fifth in the men's triple jump with his PB of 17.43m in the Olympic final in Tokyo. Triki will face 2019 European Indoor champion Nazim Babayev from Azerbaijan, the two-time World under 20 champion Lazaro Martinez from Cuba, Max Hess from Germany, European outdoor champion in Amsterdam 2016, and Greece's Andrea Pantazis, who took a surprising World Indoor Tour win in Karlsruhe.