Preview: World Athletics Indoor Tour Gold Meeting Madrid

Posted by: Watch Athletics

The final event of the World Indoor Tour Gold in Madrid on Friday, February 23rd, will be showcased by twelve international medalists. Among them are Tom Walsh, a double Olympic bronze medalist in shot put, and Devynne Charlton, the world indoor record holder, marking the highlight of the meeting.

Women’s 60 metres hurdles: 

Devynne Charlton from Bahamas will make her debut at the Madrid Indoor meeting just two weeks after breaking Susanna Kallur’s world indoor record by one hundredth of a second with 7.67 at the Millrose Games in New York. Charlton won the world indoor silver medal in Belgrade 2022 and placed fourth at the World Championships in the 100 metres hurdles in Budapest. 

Charlton started her season with 7.88 in Lousville (Kentucky) on 13 January and followed this result with a national record of 7.75 on 20 January in Lubbock (Texas). She then finished third in the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Boston in 7.76 two weeks before breaking the world record in New York. Charlton’s world record was then equalled by Tia Jones at the US Championships last week in Albuquerque. 

Charlton is currently second in the World Indoor Tour standings. A win in the Spanish capital would earn the overall win in her discipline and a $ 10000 bonus. 

Charlton will face Nadine Visser from the Netherlands, two-time European Indoor champion in Glasgow 2019 and Torun 2021 and winner at the World Indoor Tour meetings in Metz and Torun with the same time of 7.80, Pia Skrzyszowska from Poland, European outdoor gold medallist in Munich 2022 and winner in two World Indoor Tour meetings this year in Lodz in 7.85 and Ostrava in 7.82, Reetta Hurske from Finland, European Indoor gold medallist in Istanbul 2023 and winner at the Madrid meeting last year in 7.79. 

The track of the CDM Gallur witnessed a world record in the men’s 60 metres hurdles set by Grant Holloway, who clocked 7.29. 

The meeting record set by Reetta Hurske last year could be under threat on the fast Madrid track. 

Men’s 60 metres hurdles: 

The last three European indoor champions, Milan Trajkovic from Cyprus (Glasgow 2019), Wilhelm Belocian from France (Torun 2021) and Jason Joseph from Switzerland (Istanbul 2023), national record holders Lorenzo Simonelli from Italy, Enrique Llopis from Spain and European outdoor champion Asler Martinez from Spain will highlight the men’s 60 metres hurdles. 

Joseph won the European Indoor title last year in a Swiss record of 7.41, The Swiss hurdler is still unbeaten this year. He won at the Paris Bercy meeting in 7.50 and the national indoor title in 7.43 in St. Gallen, setting the third fastest time in the world in 2024. Last summer the Swiss hurdler finished seventh in the World Championships final in the 110 metres hurdles in Budapest and improved the national outdoor record to 13.08 in Zurich. 

Belocian won the European Indoor gold medal in 7.42 in Torun 2021. The Frenchman won the national indoor title in 7.44 in Miramas last weekend. 

Simonelli started this indoor season with a national record of 7.50 in Lodz and finished second in Torun in 7.56 and fourth in Liévin in 7.52. Last weekend the 21-year-old improved his record to 7.48 at the National Indoor Championships in Ancona. 

Martinez won the world bronze medal in Eugene and the European outdoor title in Munich in the 110 metres hurdles in 2022. The Spanish hurdler won in Val de Reuil in 7.49 and the national indoor title in Ourense in 7.53 in the 60 metres hurdles. 

Llopis equalled the Spanish indoor record with 7.48 at last year’s edition of the Madrid indoor meeting and finished second to Martinez at the Spanish indoor Championships in Ourense in 7.58 this year. 

Men’s shot put: 

The men’s shot put includes seven athletes with a PB over the 22 metres barrier. 

Two-time world indoor shot put champion Tom Walsh will clash against Italian indoor record holder Leonardo Fabbri and European indoor champion Zane Weir from Italy. Walsh won the 2017 world outdoor gold medal and holds the Oceanian records outdoors (22.90m) and indoors (22.31m). The shot putter from New Zealand ended the 2023 outdoor season with a third place at the Wanda Diamond League final in Eugene with 22.69m. He competed three times during the 2024 indoor season finishing third in Ostrava with 21.17m, second in Liévin with 22.16m and first in Belgrade with 21.91m. A win in Madrid would secure Walsh the first place in the World Indoor Tour overall standings. 

Fabbri won his first competition in the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Liévin improving Zane Weir’s national record by 31 cm to 22.37. This year Fabbri also won in Lodz with 21.26m and finished second in Nordhausen with 21.67m and in Rochlitz with 21.06m. Last summer Fabbri won the Golden Gala in his home city Florence with 21.73m, the world outdoor silver medal in Budapest with 22.34m and finished fourth in the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene with 22.31m. 

Zane Weir from Italy started the 2024 indoor season with two wins in Nordhausen with 21.84m and Rochlitz with 21.38m beating Fabbri both times. The Italian shot put won the European Indoor gold medal in Istanbul with the previous Italian Indoor record of 22.06m and set the best European outdoor performance since 1988 with 22.44m in Padua last September. 

The other athletes to watch are Darlan Romani from Brazil, World Indoor champion and fourth placer at the World Championships in Doha 2019 with a South American record of 22.53m, Rajindra Campbell from Jamaica, who broke the national outdoor record of 22.22m at the World Athletics Continental Tour Silver in Madrid. The line-up also features  Chukwuebuka Enekwechi from Nigeria, who set the national outdoor record with 21.80m in Shifflange (Luxembourg) in 2021, US Roger Steen, who leads the World Indoor Tour ranking ahead of Walsh with 17 points after finishing second in Astana with 20.58m and won in Ostrava with 21.38m, Tomas Stanek from Czech Republic, four-time European Indoor medallist and second in Ostrava with 21.33m and third in Liévin with 21.32m, and Bob Bertemes from Luxembourg, who set a set a seasonal best of 21.71m last January and set a national record of 22.22m in 2019.  

Men’s triple jump: 

Spanish triple jumper Jordan Diaz Fortun will return to Madrid where he set the national indoor record of 17.59m, just eight months after setting a national outdoor record of 17.87m in Nerja in 2022. The jumper of Cuban origin won the world under 18 title in Nairobi 2017 and the world under 20 gold medal in Tampere 2018. 

Diaz Fortun will face Yasser Tricki from Algeria, fifth at the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2021 with 17.43m and second at this year’s World indoor Tour meeting in Liévin in 2024, Jean Marc Pontvianne from France, European bronze medallist in Munich 2022, Max Hess from Germany, European champion in Amsterdam 2021. 

Women’s high jump: 

Eleanor Patterson from Australia will seek her second win in Madrid. Patterson secured her World Indoor Tour title by winning at the Madrid meeting with 1.96m in 2022. The Australian jumper went on to win the world indoor silver medal in Belgrade 2022 jumping the 2.00 metres barrier for the first time in her career. Outdoors she won the world gold medal in Eugene 2022 with the Oceanian record of 2.02m and the world silver medal in Budapest 2023 with 1.99m. 

Patterson will clash with Ella Junnila from Finland, European indoor bronze medallist in Torun 2021, and Ukraine’s Yulia Chumachenko, gold medallist at the 2019 World University Games in Neaples, Lia Apostolovski from Slovenia, who equalled her PB of 1.95m in Banska Bystrika this year, and Michaela Hruba from Czech Republic, world under 20 champion in Bydgoszcz 2016. 

Men’s pole vault: 

Three-time world medallist Piotr Lisek from Poland will clash against 22-year-old Pedro Buaro from Portugal. Both athletes showed their good form this year. Lisek set his seasonal best with 5.82 in Roubaix and won the Polish indoor title in Torun last week with 5.80m. Buarò set the Portuguese indoor record with 5.82m this year. 

Women’s long jump:

Romania’s Florentina Iusco will face 2017 European under 20 champion Milica Gardasevic from Serbia and Spain’s Fatima Diame. Iusco won the national title in Bucarest with 6.72m last week. Gardasevic, who holds a PB of 6.90m, won the Serbian title this year in Belgrade with 6.60m. 

Women’s 1500 metres: 

Ethiopian teenager Birke Haylom starts as the favourite in the women’s 1500 metres. Haylom finished second in Boston improving her PB to 3:58.43 and placed third in Liévin with 4:00.00. Haylom won the world under 20 title in the 1500 metres in Cali 2022. Last summer she improved the world under 20 record over the mile distance to 4:17.13 at the Bislett Games in Oslo and finished second in the 1500m in Chorzow with her outdoor PB of 3:54.93. 

Haylom will face 2021 European indoor champion Elise Vanderelst from Belgium and Revee Walcott-Nolan, who finished second at the British Indoor Championships in the 1500 metres in Birmingham last week, Olympic finalist Marta Perez from Spain, and Spanish 3000 metres record holder Marta Garcia, Ludovica Cavalli, Italian indoor champion in the 3000m and 11th in the 1500m at the World Championships in Budapest, Giulia Aprile and Marta Zenoni from Italy, who finished first and second in the 1500m at the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona last week. 

Men’s 800 metres: 

European indoor finalist Catalin Tecuceanu from Italy is currently third in the World Indoor Tour Ranking with 12 points after finishing second in Ostrava in 1:46.90 and third in Torun in 1:46.64 and has a good chance to take the overall win as Tshepiso Maselela and Bryce Hoppel are not competing in Madrid. Tecuceanu will line up against European Under 23 silver medallist Mohamed Attaoui from Spain, who finished second at the National Indoor Championships in 1:47.81 and improved his PB to 1:45.49 in Lyon, Adrian Ben from Spain, European Indoor champion in Istanbul 2023, Alvaro De Arriba, European Indoor champion in Glasgow 2019, Pieter Sisk, who improved his indoor PB to 1:46.10 in Apeldoorn, and Uganda’s Tom Dadriga, who improved his outdoor PB to 1:44.78 in Madrid last July. 

Women’s 800 metres: 

Ethiopia’s Worknesh Mesele will clash against her compatriot Tigist Girma in the women’s 800 metres. Mesele finished second at the World Indoor Tour Gold meeting in Torun in 1:59.93. Girma finished second in the 800 metres in Belgrade in 2:00.21 and fourth in the 1500 metres in 3:58.79 in Torun in 2024.  

Lorea Ibarzabal from Spain will be aiming to break the 2-minute barrier for the first time indoors. Ibarzabal finished fourth at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul 2023 in 2:00,87 and won the National indoor title this year in Ourense. 

Men’s 3000 metres: 

World 1500 metres bronze medallist Narve Gilje Nordas from Norway will face Telahun Haile Bekele from Ethiopia and Elzan Bibic from Serbia in the men’s 3000 metres. 

Nordas improved his outdoor PB to 3:29.47 in the 1500 metres at the Bislett Games in Oslo and won the world bronze medal in the 1500m with 3:29.68 in Budapest in 2023. The Norwegian athlete finished fifth in 3:37.45 in the 1500m in Liévin this year. 

Bekele finished fifth in the 5000 metres at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. The Ethiopian athlete improved his PBs to 12:42.70 in the 5000m in Monaco last year and to 7:25.48 in the 3000 metres at the Wanda Diamond League Final in Eugene last September in his most recent race. 

Emisa Girma, a world under 20 champion in the 800 metres in Cali 2022, is stepping up in distance to run his first 3000 metres. 

Bibic won the European indoor bronze medal in the 3000 metres in Istanbul 2023 and set his outdoor 3000 metres PB with 7:37.03 in Zagreb in 2023. 

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