The Meeting Hauts de France Pas de Calais Trophée EDF on Saturday, February 10 is gearing up for an electrifying display of athletic prowess with a constellation of track and field luminaries poised to grace the event. Among them, Lamecha Girma, who previously etched his name into the history books at this very venue by setting a world indoor record in the 3000 metres, is set to captivate audiences once more, albeit in the 2000 metres this time around. The event promises an unparalleled spectacle as it showcases the talents of world champions including Femke Bol, lighting up the women’s 400 metres; Grant Holloway, hurdling through the men’s 60 metres hurdles; Gudaf Tsegay, pacing the women’s 3000 metres; Hagos Gebrhiwet, leading the charge in the men’s 3000 metres; and Fabrice Hughes Zango, soaring in the men’s triple jump.
Women’s 400 metres:
Femke Bol will compete in Liévin for the second consecutive edition. Last year the Dutch athlete improved the 400 metres meeting record to 50.20 and went on to break the world record of 49.26 at the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn. She returns to the Arena Stade Couvert as the reigning world 400 metres hurdles champion.
Bol started her 2024 indoor season with a double win in the 200 metres in a Dutch Indoor record of 22.64 and in the 400 metres with a world lead of 49.64 in Metz.
Bol broke the European record in the 400 metres hurdles with 51.45 at the Diamond League meeting in London and won two world gold medals in this discipline in 51.70 and in the 4x400 relay. She won five more Diamond League races in Florence in the 400 metres hurdles (52.43), Oslo (52.30), Lausanne (52.76), Brussels (52.11) and Eugene (51.98) breaking the meeting record at each of these events.
Bol will face her training partner Lieke Klaver, who started the 2024 indoor season with two wins in this year’s edition of the World Indoor Tour Gold meetings in Ostrava in 50.54 and Torun in 50.57, Laviai Nielsen from Great Britain, third in Ostrava in 51.31, and Amandine Brossier from France, who finished second in Metz in 51.67.
Men’s 60 metres hurdles:
Three-time world 110 metres hurdles champion Grant Holloway will chase his fourth consecutive win in the 60 metres hurdles in Liévin after finishing first in 2021 in 7.32, in 2022 in 7.35, in 2023 in 7.39. The US hurdler broke Colin Jackson’s long-standing world indoor record with 7.29 in 2021 and equalled this record in the semifinal of the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade before winning the world indoor title in 7.39. Holloway has remained unbeaten indoors for ten consecutive years.
Holloway improved the world lead twice in Boston clocking 7.37 in the heats and 7.35 in the final last week.
Holloway will line up against Jakub Szymanski, winner at the ISTAF indoor meeting in Dusseldorf with a Polish record of 7.47, Lorenzo Ndele Simonelli, fourth at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul 2023 with 7.59 and Italian indoor record holder with 7.50 in Lodz, 2018 European outdoor champion Pascal Martinot Lagarde and Just Kwaou Mathey from France, who won the European outdoor bronze medal in the 110 metres hurdles in Munich 2022 and improved his PB to 7.51 in Val de Reuil in 2024.
Women’s 60 metres hurdles:
World record holder Tobi Amusan from Nigeria will make her third appearance this indoor season. Amusan won in Astana in 7.77 and finished second in 7.75 in Boston improving the African record both times.
Amusan will be challenged by two-time European indoor champion Nadine Visser from the Netherlands and Pia Skrzyszowska from Poland. Visser won two races in Metz and Torun with the same time of 7.80, missing her indoor PB by 0.03.
European outdoor champion Skrzyszowska won two races in Lodz in 7.85 and Ostrava in 7.82 and finished second in Torun in her seasonal best of 7.81.
Men’s 200 metres:
Erriyon Knighton will run the first indoor 200 metres of his career on the track where Namibia’s Frankie Fredericks set the world record with 19.92 in 1996. Knighton, who turned 20 two weeks ago, broke Usain Bolt’s world under 18 record with 19.84 at the 2021 US Olympic Trials and the world under 20 record with 19.69 at the 2022 US Championships in Eugene. He finished fourth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 in 19.93. One year later he finished third at the World Championships in Eugene 2022 becoming the youngest ever individual sprint medallist in World Championships history. Last year he won the world silver medal in Budapest in 19.75. He became the youngest winner of a Diamond League race with his win in Brussels in 2022. Knighton will face Blessing Afrifah from Israel, world under 20 champion in Cali 2022 in 19.96 ahead of Letsile Tebogo, and Ryan Zeze from France, who recently improved his indoor PB to 20.51 in Albuquerque.
Women’s 3000 metres:
Gudaf Tsegay returns to the venue where she broke the world indoor record in the 1500 metres clocking 3:53.09. This year she will run the 3000 metres, where she set a PB of 8:16.69 in Birmingham in 2023. She set the world seasonal lead clocking 3:58.11 in Boston last week.
Tsegay won two world outdoor titles in the 5000 metres in Eugene 2022 in 14:46.29 and in the 10000 metres in 31:27.29 in Budapest 2023, the world silver medal in the 1500 metres in Eugene 2022 and the world indoor gold medal in the 1500 metres in Belgrade 2022 in 3:57.19. She broke Faith Kipyegon’s world outdoor record in the 5000 metres at the Diamond League Final with 14:00.21 in Eugene. Tsegay set a world under 18 record with 4:08:47 in the 1500 metres in Stockolm in 2014, a world under 20 record with 4:01.81 in Glasgow in 2016 and a senior record during her career with 3:53.09 in Liévin in 2021.
Tsegay will face Ethiopia’s Hirut Meshesha, world indoor bronze medallist in the 1500 metres in Belgrade 2022, Lemlem Hailu, who won the world indoor gold medal in the 3000m in Belgrade 2022 and set her indoor PB with 8:29.28 in Madrid 2021 and pacemaker Saron Behre, world under 18 record holder in the mile with 4:24.23 in Ostrava this year.
Women’s 1500 metres:
Ethiopian stars Freweyni Hailu, Diribe Welteji, Birke Haylom, Hirut Meshesha, Axumawit Embaye and Habitam Alemu lead a star-studded line-up in the women’s 1500 metres.
Hailu won the world indoor silver medal in the 800 metres in Belgrade 2022 and finished fourth in the 1500 metres at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 and at the World Championships in Eugene 2022.
Diribe Welteji won the world silver medal in the 1500 metres at the World Championships in Budapest 2023 in 3:55.69, the gold medal in the mile at the World Road Running Championships in Riga 2023. Welteji won the mile in Astana in 4:23.76 and finished second in the 1500m in Torun in 3:55.47 in her first two races of this year’s World Indoor Tour.
Birke Haylom broke the world under 18 record in the mile clocking 4:17.13 at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo and finished second in the 1500m with 3:54.93 in Chorzow last year. Haylom finished second in the 1500m in 3:58.43 at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston.
Meshesha, who won the world indoor medal in the 1500 metres in Belgrade, finished third in the 1500m with 3:56.47 in Torun and won the 3000 metres in 8:28.46 in Metz this year.
Embaye won two world indoor silver medals in the 1500 metres in Sopot 2014 and Belgrade 2022. She finished third this year in Astana in the mile in 4:25.42.
Alemu won the 800 metres in Torun setting the world seasonal lead with 1:57.86 and finished sixth over this distance with 1:57.56 at the World Championships in Budapest.
The impressive line-up also features Beatrice Chepkoech, world record holder in the 3000m steeplechase with 8:44.32 in Monaco 2018, world silver medallist in the 3000 metres steeplechase in Budapest 2023 and Kenyan indoor record holder in the 1500 metres, 2021 world under 20 5000 metres champion Mizan Alem from Ethiopia.
Men’s 2000 metres:
Lamecha Girma from Ethiopia will run the 2000 metres this time with the goal to break the world all-time best mark set by Kenenisa Bekele of 4:49.99 in Birmingham in 2007.
Girma returns to the Arena Stade Couvert in Liévin where he broke the world indoor record in the 3000 metres clocking 7:23.81 last year improving the previous mark of 7:24.90 set by Daniel Komen in 1998. Girma went on to improve the world 3000 metres steeplechase record to 7:52.11 at the Wanda Diamond League in Paris and the Ethiopian outdoor record with 3:29.51 in the 1500m at the Diamond League meeting in Lausanne in 2023. The Ethiopian athlete won three world silver medals in Doha 2019, Eugene 2022 and Budapest 2023 and the Olympic silver medal in Tokyo 2021. Girma opened the 2024 season with a win at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Boston last week setting the world seasonal lead and a meeting record in the 3000m with 7:29.09 after recording an intermediate split of 4:58.44 at 2000 metres.
Girma will line up against Adisu Girma, who set a PB of 7.41.53 in the 3000m, Melese Nberet from Ethiopia, world youth champion in the 800 metres in Nairobi 2017, World University 1500m champion Benoit Champion and 1500m Olympic finalist Charles Grethen from Luxembourg.
Men’s 3000 metres:
Olympic 10000 metres champion Selemon Barega will renew his rivalry with Getnet Wale in the 3000 metres a few days after their clash in Torun. Barega set the fastest time in the world this year with 7:25.82 in Torun last Tuesday. The Ethiopian athlete returns to Liévin where he finished second in in 2021 in 7:26.10.
Wale finished second in Torun in 7:26.73 behind Barega on 6 February. He finished fourth in the 3000 metres steeplechase at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and Eugene 2022 and at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021.
Hagos Gebrhiwet won the 5000 metres with his PB of 12:42.18 in the Diamond League in Monaco and won the 5 km at the World Road Running Championships in Riga 2022.
The other Ethiopian runners in the line-up are two-time world indoor champion and former world indoor record holder Samuel Tefera, who won the 1500m in Torun in 3:34.61, and Biniam Mehary, who improved the world indoor under 20 record in the 1500m in Torun with 3:34.83 last Tuesday.
Lobalu made his breakthrough on the international stage when he won the 3000 metres at the Diamond League meeting in Stockolm in 7:29.48 beating Jacob Kiplimo. He finished fourth in the 3000m at the Indoor meeting in Metz in 7:42.45 last Saturday.
Men’s 1500 metres:
The line-up is led by 1500m world bronze medallist Narve Gilje Nordas from Norway, who set a PB of 3:29.47 over this distance in Oslo last year. The Norwegian athlete will face Adel Mechaal from Spain, who finished fifth in the Olympic final in the 1500m in Tokyo and clocked 3:35.53 in the 1500m in Torun and 7:43.60 in the 3000m in Valencia this year. Teddese Lemi from Ethiopia, fourth in the 1500 metres with 3:33.59 at the World Championships in Belgrade 2022, Kenya’s Vincent Keter, world under 20 champion in the 1500 metres in Nairobi 2021, and Frenchman Azzedine Habz, European Indoor bronze medallist in the 1500 metres in Istanbul 2023.
Women’s pole vault:
Reigning world and Olympic champion Katie Moon will be aiming to win for the third time in the women’s pole vault in her fourth appearance at the Liévin meeting. The US vaulter won at the Stade Couvert in Liévin in 2019 with 4.62m and finished third in 2022 setting her indoor seasonal best with 4.82m. Moon won in last year’s edition of the French meeting with 4.83m. She is aiming to break the meeting record of 4.89m set by Yelena Isinbayeva in 2005.
Moon won the Olympic gold medal with 4.90m in Tokyo 2021, and two world titles in Eugene 2022 and Budapest 2023, when she shared the title with Nina Kennedy. Moon holds PBs of 4.95m outdoors and 4.94m indoors. She competed twice this year clearing 4.53m in Reno and 4.70m in Ashland.
European outdoor and indoor champion Wilma Murto will make her second appearance this indoor season a few weeks after improving her Finnish record to 4.81m in Kuortane. Murto set her outdoor PB clearing 4.85m when she won the European outdoor title in Munich 2022.
Molly Caudery from Great Britain set the world seasonal lead by clearing 4.83m in Val de Reuil. The British pole vaulter finished fifth at the World Championships in Budapest with 4.75m.
Tina Sutej from Slovenia won bronze medals at the 2022 European outdoor Championships in Munich and at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade. The 35-year-old Slovenian athlete won in Ostrava with 4.73m and finished third in Mondeville with 4.64m this year.
The line-up also features 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Eliza McCartney from New Zealand, who finished second in Val de Reuil with 4.64m, Angelica Moser from Switzerland, European Indoor champion in Torun 2021 and fifth at the World Championships in Budapest 2023, and 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Alysha Newman from Canada, who set the Canadian record with 4.82m in Paris in 2019 and won in Mondeville with a seasonal best of 4.73m.
Men’s triple jump:
Burkina Faso’s Fabrice Hughes Zango will chase his second win in the men’s triple jump in Liévin. Zango broke the world indoor record held by his coach Teddy Tamgho by leaping to 18.07m in Aubière in January 2021 and went on to win for the first time in his career at the Liévin meeting with 17.82m. Zango won bronze medals at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021, the world silver medal in Eugene 2022 and the world gold medal in Budapest becoming the first athlete from his country to win a title at these championships. He started the indoor season with 17.15m in Val de Reuil.
Zango will face Andy Diaz Hernandez from Italy, who won the past two editions of the Diamond League final in Zurich 2022 and Eugene 2023 and set the world indoor lead with 17.61m in Torun last Tuesday, Lazaro Martinez from Cuba, world indoor champion in Belgrade with 17.64m, Emmanuel Ihemeje from Italy, three-time NCAA champion and fifth placer at the World Championships in Eugene 2022 with 17.17m.
Men’s shot put:
Tom Walsh from New Zealand will take on world outdoor silver medallist Leonardo Fabbri and European indoor champion Zane Weir from Italy, and Filip Mihaljevic from Croatia, reigning European outdoor champion in Munich 2022.
Weir won his first two competitions of the 2024 indoor season in Nordhausen with a world lead of 21.84 and in Rochlitz with 21.38m. The Italian shot putter of South African origin won the European Indoor gold medal in Istanbul 2023 with the Italian indoor record of 22.06m and recorded the best European performance since 1988 with 22.44m in Padua last September. Weir’s training partner Leonardo Fabbri set the third performance in the world this year with 21.67m in Nordhausen and finished first in Lodz with 21.26m and second with 21.06m in Rochlitz. Fabbri won the world silver medal in Budapest with his PB of 22.34m and finished fourth at the Diamond League final in Eugene with 22.31m.
Walsh started his indoor season with 21.17m in Ostrava. He won the world outdoor title in London 2017, the world indoor title in Birmingham 2018, two Olympic bronze medals in Rio de Janeiro 2016 and Tokyo 2021.
Men’s 800 metres:
Tshepiso Maselela from Botwsana is still unbeaten this indoor season after winning three 800 metres races in Ostrava in 1:46.41, Metz in 1:45.56 and Torun in 1:46:07. Maselela finished sixth at the World Championships in Budapest and improved his outdoor record to 1:44.03 in Brussels last year.
Maselela will face world 800m indoor champion Mariano Garcia from Spain, Adrian Ben from Spain, European indoor champion in Istanbul 2023, Benjamin Robert, European indoor silver medallist in Istanbul 2023 and last year’s winner in Liévin, Elliot Crestan from Belgium, European indoor bronze medallist in Istanbul 2023, and Simone Barontini from Italy, European indoor finalist in Istanbul and semifinalist at the World Championships in Budapest with his PB of 1:44.34.
Women’s 800 metres:
Jemma Reekie from Great Britain will go up against Noelle Yarigo from Benin, Worknesh Mesele from Ethiopia and Halimah Nakaayi from Uganda in the 800 metres.
Reekie finished fourth in the Olympic final in Tokyo 2021 in 1:56.90 and fifth in the World Championships in Budapest in 1:57.72 and set her indoor PB of 1:57.91 in 2020.
Yarigo set the national record of 1:58.48 in Torun in 2021 and finished third in this year’e edition of this meeting in her seasonal best of 2:00.23.
Mesele finished second in Torun in the 800 metres in 1:59.93 last Tuesday and clocked 3:57.00 in the 1500 metres outdoor in Chorzow 2023. Naakayi won the world outdoor gold medal in Doha 2019.