Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Armand Duplantis, Gudaf Tsegay, Grant Holloway, Karsten Warholm, Marcell Jacobs and Femke Bol will be in the spotlight at the Meeting Hauts de France Pas de Calais at the Arena Stade Couvert in Liévin, the fifth leg of the World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold.
Men's pole vault:
Armand Duplantis will chase his third win in the men's pole vault in Liévin after claiming victories in 2020 with 6.07m and 2021 with 5.86m. The Swedish star aims to attack the long-standing meeting record held by Sergey Bubka, who broke one of his 35 world records by clearing 6.14m in 1993.
Since he last competed in Liévin, Duplantis has improved his world record to 6.21m at the World Championships in Eugene.
Armand Duplantis: "I have been sparing with my competitions this season. I have picked the ones that will give me the best chance of breaking the world record. I don't know if Sergey Bubka's meeting record of 6.14m is going in the progression I do. If I am feeling good jumping, I don't know if I would go to 6.15m, which would be on a pole similar to the one I would need for 6.22m. If I am going to get that record, I am going to do it by clearing at 6.22m".
The Liévin line-up reunites the entire podium of the World Championships in Eugene 2022. Duplantis will renew his rivalry against Christopher Nilsen and Ernest John Obiena, who won silver and bronze medals, respectively, with the same height of 5.94m.
Nilsen won two silver medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and at the World Championships in Eugene 2022 with 5.94m and the world indoor bronze medal in Belgrade with 5.90m. The US pole vaulter set the national indoor record with 6.05m in the French pole vault meeting of Rouen last year and won in Metz with 5.82m last Saturday.
Obiena became the first athlete from the Philippines to win a world medal. The pole vaulter coached by Vitaliy Petrov beat Duplantis in the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Brussels last September. Obiena improved his Asian indoor record to 5.91m in Uppsala and won the World Indoor Tour competition in Torun with 5.87m.
The other top names to watch are KC Lightfoot, fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021, winner in Karlsruhe this year with 5.83m and second in Uppsala con 5.91m, Ben Broeders, Belgian indoor record holder with 5.82m in Torun last week, double Commonwealth Games champion Kurtis Marshall from Australia, Claudio Stecchi, fourth in Torun with 5.72m, US Jacob Wooten, who cleared 5.82m in Mondeville, Menno Vloon, Dutch record holder with 5.96m, Rutger Koppelaar from the Netherlands, second in Torun with his seasonal best of 5.82m, and Valentin Lavillenie, European Indoor silver medallist in Torun 2021 with 5.80m and fourth at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade 2022 with 5.85m.
Men's 1500 metres:
Ingebrigtsen will return to the Stade Couvert in Liévin, where he took almost half of a second off the previous 1500m world indoor record held by Ethiopia's Samuel Tefera in 2019, clocking 3:30.60 in February 2022. Ingebrigtsen had previously won another 1500m race in Liévin one year earlier in 3:31.80.
One month after his world record Ingebrigtsen won the world indoor silver medal in Belgrade behind Tefera. During the 2022 summer season, Ingebrigtsen won the gold medal in the 5000 metres and the silver medal in the 1500 metres in Eugene, two European gold medals in the 1500m and 5000m in Munich and the Diamond League title in the 1500m in Zurich in a world seasonal best of 3:29.02.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen: "I like this meeting a lot. This is my fourth time here. It's been in my plans to race here for some time, although I have not had the training I was hoping for because I got a virus that prevented me from doing the work I wanted after getting back from the European Cross Country Championships in December."
Ingebrigtsen will take on Michal Rozmys from Poland, who holds an outdoor PB of 3:32.43 and finished seventh at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade 2022, and Adel Mechaal from Spain, who finished fifth in the 1500m at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 with 3:30.77.
Women's 1500 metres:
Gudaf Tsegay has fond memories of the Liévin track, where she broke the world indoor record in the 1500 metres in 2021 with 3:53.09 and won the mile in 4:21.79. The Ethiopian middle distance star won the mile in the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Torun in 4:16.16, setting the second fastest time in history behind Genzebe Dibaba's world record of 4:13.13 in Stockholm in 2016. In that race Tsegay finished a distant second in 4:24.28 at the age of 18.
Tsegay won the gold medal in the 5000m and silver in the 1500m at the World Championships in Eugene.
Tsegay will face 800m world indoor silver medallist Freweyni Hailu, who won the 3000m in Torun and finished second in the 800m showing her versatility over different distances.
The other Ethiopian top names are Axumawit Embaye and Hirut Meshesha, world indoor silver and bronze medallists in the 1500m in Belgrade in 2022. Hailu, Embaye and Meshesha hold indoor PBs of 4:02.
Men's 60 metres hurdles:
Grant Holloway will chase his third win in the men's 60 metres hurdles in Liévin. The world indoor record holder had remained undefeated indoors since 2014, when he competed in high school races, and is seeking to extend his unbeaten streak of 52 consecutive wins.
This streak includes two wins in Liévin in 2021 in a meeting record of 7.32 and in 2022 in 7.35.
The 25-year-old US hurdler won his first world indoor title in Belgrade in 7.39 after equalling his world indoor record in the semifinal with 7.29. Later last year, he won his second world outdoor gold medal in Eugene in 13.03. He owns seven of the fastest times in history in the 60 metres hurdles. He set two of these performances in Liévin.
Holloway started his 2023 indoor season with a win at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston in 7.38, beating Daniel Roberts by 0.08.
Holloway will renew his rivalry with Roberts, who clocked 7.46 twice in Boston and Torun. The line-up also features European 110m silver medallist and multiple world and European indoor medallist Pascal Martinot Lagarde, who clocked a seasonal best of 7.53 in Paris Bercy last Saturday, and Damian Czykier, who holds the Polish indoor record with 7.48 and finished fourth at the World Championships in the 110m hurdles in Eugene.
Men's 400 metres:
Reigning Olympic and European 400 metres hurdles, champion Karsten Warholm tackles his European indoor record. He won the European indoor title in 45.05 in Glasgow 2019, equalling the long-standing European record held by Thomas Schoenlebe since 1987. The Norwegian star moved to second in the world seasonal list with 45.31 in his first race of the 2023 season at the Karsten Invitational in Ulsteinvik.
Warholm won the Olympic gold medal in the 400m hurdles, breaking his world record with a dazzling time of 45.94. Last summer, he made a come-back from a hamstring injury to win his second consecutive European record in the 400m hurdles in Munich, improving the championships record to 47.12.
Karsten Warholm: "As I have never been here before, I can't say whether it's a fast track, but I have heard good things about it from my coach. I have started hosting meetings in my home town, a good track in beautiful surroundings, a bit like Liévin. It's good to be there trying to put on a show".
The line-up also features Dylan Borlée, world outdoor bronze medallist in Doha 2019 and world indoor champion in Belgrade 2022 with the 4x400 relay.
Women's 400 metres:
World and Olympic 400m hurdles medallist Femke Bol will run her second 400 metres race of the season just four days after she set the Dutch record and the fourth time in the all-time world list with 49.96 in Metz. Bol also improved the Dutch indoor record in the 200 metres at this meeting to 22.87.
Earlier this month Bol broke the world indoor all-time best in the 500m with 1:05.63 in her first race of the 2023 season in Boston.
The Dutch athlete won two gold medals in the 400m and in the 4x400 relay at the European Indoor Championships in Torun and the Olympic bronze medal in the 400 metres hurdles in a European record of 52.03.
Last season the Dutch star won two world indoor silver medals in the 400m and 4x400 relay in Belgrade and two medals of the same color in the 400 metres hurdles with 52.27 and in the 4x400 mixed relay at the World Championships in Eugene. Last August she won three European Championships in Munich in the 400 metres with 49.44, in the 400 metres hurdles in 52.67, and in the 4x400 relay with 3:20.87.
Femke Bol: "It is my first time here, although I have always watched this meeting on TV. There are packed crowds. It's amazing. It's a good track, a good atmosphere, and a great meeting. You always want to do well when you are somewhere great athletes are and have been".
Bol will face her friend and training partner Lieke Klaver, who finished fourth at the World Championships in Eugene and won the European 4x400 relay gold medal in Munich last year. Klaver improved her PBs to 51.00 in the 400m in Ostrava and 22.97 in the 200m in Metz this year.
The Polish challenge is led by Natalia Kaczmarek and Anna Kielbasinka, who won silver and bronze medals in the 400 metres at the European Championships in Munich in 2022. Kielbasinska and Kaczmarek hold indoor PBs of 51.10 and 51.15, respectively.
Women's 800 metres:
Keely Hodgkinson will make her second appearance in Liévin, where she suffered the only indoor defeat of her career in 2021, just a few weeks before her first European Indoor gold medal in Torun on her 19th birthday.
Since then Hodgkinson has won three silver medals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021 in a national record of 1:55.81, at the World Championships in Eugene in 1:56.38, at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the gold medal at the European Championships in Munich in 2022. The British middle-distance star broke the world's all-time indoor best time in the 600 metres on her home track in Manchester with 1:23.41 and extended her winning streak indoors with a win in her first 800 metres of the 2023 season in Torun in a world-leading time of 1:57.87. She broke the British indoor record with 1:57.20 at the British Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham.
Hodgkinson will renew her rivalry against Kenya's Mary Moraa, who finished third at the World Championships in Eugene and won the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Birmingham and the Diamond League final in Zurich ahead of the British athlete. Moraa finished fourth in 2:01:51 in Torun last week.
The other top names in the field are 37-year-old Noelle Yarigo from Benin, who placed second in Torun, and 2019 world outdoor champion Halimah Nakaayi, ranked third in the world seasonal list with 1:59.18.
Men's 60 metres:
Olympic 100 metres champion Marcell Lamont Jacobs will compete in the 60 metres for the second time this season. The Italian star made a winning start to his season at the Orlen Cup in Lodz, where he placed first in the heat in 6.61 and in the final in 6.57 in his first appearance since his European gold medal in the 100 metres in Munich in 9.95.
Marcell Jacobs: "I got the rust off my legs in Lodz. I was not happy with my first race of the season. The indoor season is a preparation for the summer season when I aim to win the only gold medal missing in my collection at the World Championships in Budapest".
With his victory in Lodz he has extended his winning streak in indoor competitions to 19 consecutive contests. He had not lost an indoor race since 12 February 2021, when he finished second to Mike Rodgers in 6.53 in Lodz.
Jacobs won two gold medals in the 60 metres at the European Indoor Championships in Torun 2021 in 6.47 and at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade 2022 in a European record of 6.41. With this performance, Jacobs is ranked fourth on the all-time world list.
Jacobs claimed his first win in Liévin in 2021, when clocked 6.54 before going on to win the European Indoor gold medal and two Olympic titles in the 100 metres and in the 4x100 relay. He returned to the French town to win in 6.50 a few weeks before winning the world indoor title in Belgrade.
After Liévin Jacobs will chase his third consecutive national indoor title at the Italian Championships in Ancona next weekend in his final competition before the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul.
Jacobs will take on reigning Commonwealth Games champion Ferdinand Omanyala from Kenya, who won two 60m races on French soil this winter in Mondeville in 6.55 and Paris Bercy in 6.56. Omanyala set the African 100 metres record by clocking 9.77 at the Continental Tour Gold meeting in Nairobi in 2021.
The other top names in the line-up Arthur Cissé from Ivory Coast, who holds an indoor PB of 6.53, Karl Erik Nazarov from Estonia, who finished fourth in the 60 metres at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade, and 18-year-old French rising star Jeff Erius, who won the European Under 20 silver medal in the 100 metres in Tallin 2021.
Women's pole vault:
Katie Nageotte, who is now competing under her new surname Moon after getting married on 31 December, also returns to Liévin, where she won in 2019 with 4.62 and in 2021 with an indoor seasonal best of 4.80m and placed third in 2022.
Moon won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2021 with 4.90m, the world indoor silver in Belgrade 2022 with 4.75m and the world outdoor gold medal in Eugene with 4.85m. The US pole vaulter won her first World Indoor Tour Gold competition of the year at the Millrose Games in New York last Saturday, setting the second-best performance in the world with 4.81m.
Moon will go head to head against Slovenia's Tina Sutej, Finland's Wilma Murto and Greece's Ekaterini Stefanidi.
Sutej set the world-leading mark with 4.85m in Ostrava and won her most recent competition of the year in Paris Bercy with 4.78m. The 34-year-old Slovenian pole vaulter won two bronze medals at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade and at the European Championships in Munich.
Murto won the European Championships in Munich last August, improving her PB to 4.85m and placed sixth at the World Championships in Eugene. The Finnish pole vaulter set her indoor PB by clearing 4.75m in Kuortane last January and is fourth on the world indoor seasonal list.
Stefanidi won gold medals at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, at the World Championships in London 2017 and at the European Championships in Berlin 2018. Last summer she finished second to Murto at the European Championships in Munich with 4.75m In her first two competitions of the 2023 season she placed third in Boston with 4.55m and in New York with 4.62m.
The other top names to watch are former Commonwealth Games champion Alysha Newman from Canada, national record holder with 4.82m and second in Paris Bercy with 4.71m last Saturday, Roberta Bruni, who improved the Italian record to 4.72 in Rovereto last year and finished seventh at the European Championships in Munich 2022, China's Xu Huiqin, seventh at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade last year.
Men's long jump:
Olympic and European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou from Greece will chase his second win at this year's World Indoor Tour Gold. The Greek jumper won in Torun last week, setting a world-leading performance with 8.40m. In his only previous appearance at the Liévin meeting, Tentoglou placed second with 8.21m in 2021.
Tentoglou will renew his rivalry with Swedish rival Thobias Montler in a rematch of last year's World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. In the Serbian capital Tentoglou won the world indoor title improving his national indoor record to 8.55m. Montler leapt to a national indoor record of 8.38m to win the silver medal. Tentoglou beat Montler again at last August's European Championships in Munich with 8.52m.
Montler jumped beyond the 8 metres barrier twice this season with 8.19m in Stockholm and 8.17m at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Torun, where he finished second to Tentoglou.
The line-up also features three-time world indoor medallist Maruis Dendy, Cuba's Maykel Massò, who won the Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo and placed fourth at the World Championships in Eugene, Frenchman Erwan Konaté, a two-time world under 20 gold medallist in Nairobi 2021 and Cali 2022, and Kevin Mayer, world record holder and double world gold medallist in 2017 and 2022 in the decathlon.
Women's triple jump:
Liadagmis Povea from Cuba will seek her second win at this year's World Indoor Tour Gold after clinching first place in Karlsruhe with a world-leading mark of 14.64m. Povea will renew her rivalry against her compatriot Leyanis Perez Hernandez and Ukraine's Maryna Beck Romanchuk, who finished second and third in Karlsruhe with 14.48m and 14.41m, respectively. Perez and Povea finished fourth and fifth, respectively at the World Championships.
Beck Romanchuk won the world indoor silver medal in Belgrade with 14.74m and the European outdoor gold medal in Munich a PB of 15.02m.
Women's 3000 metres:
Ethiopian runners are set to dominate the women's 3000 metres. Ejgayehu Taye leads the starting list with the fastest time among the entrants with 8:26.77 and will face her compatriots Lemlem Hailu and Diribe Welteji. Taye won the 3000m world indoor bronze in Belgrade and finished second in the 3000m at the Torun World Indoor Tour meeting with 8:47.81.
Hailu, who won the world indoor gold medal in the 3000m in Belgrade, finished first in Karlsruhe in a seasonal best of 8:37.55 and third in Torun.
Welteji finished fourth in the 800m at the World Championships in Eugene and won the 3000m in Val de Reuil in 8:33.44 earlier this month.
The line-up also features Werkuha Getachew from Ethiopia, world silver medallist in the 3000m in Eugene, Zerfe Wondemagegn from Ethiopia, the world under 20 silver medallist in the 3000m steeplechase in Nairobi 2021, Ayal Dagnachew from Ethiopia, Alice Finot, French 3000m steeplechase record holder with 9:14.34 and European indoor silver medallist and Olympic 5000m finalist Nadia Battocletti from Italy, who set the national indoor record in the 3000m with 8:41.72, and Marusa Mismas, sixth in the 3000m steeplechase at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 9:14.84.
Men's 3000 metres:
Olympic 3000m steeplechase Lemecha Girma from Ethiopia starts with the fastest time among the entrants with his PB of 7:27.98 set in Liévin in 2021.
Girma will face Mohamed Katir, world bronze medallist in the 1500m in Eugene and European silver medallist in the 5000m in Munich last year, Grant Fisher, fourth in the 10000m at the World Championships in Eugene and North American record holder in the 5000m with 12:46.96 and in the 10000m with 26:33.94, Thierry Ndikmwenayo from Burundi, winner in the 3000m at the Monaco Diamond League meeting with 7:25.93, Jacob Krop from Kenya, world silver medallist in the 5000m in Eugene and winner in the 5000m at the Brussels Diamond League meeting in 12:45.71, and Birhanu Balew, who holds a PB of 7:31.77.
Men's 800 metres:
Benjamin Robert will be seeking his second win in a big international meeting in front of his home fans following his triumph at last year's Diamond League meeting in Paris Charlety in his outdoor PB of 1:43.75. The Frenchman set his seasonal best of 1:47.04 in Metz last Saturday.
Robert will take on Andreas Kramer, who won in Torun last week and holds a seasonal best of 1:45.90, Collins Kipruto from Kenya, who is currently sixth in the world seasonal list with 1:45.89, and Tony Van Diepen from the Netherlands, who won the Olympic silver medallist in the 4x400 relay in Tokyo 2021 and clocked 1:44.14 in the 800m in the Paris Diamond League meeting last year.