Many of the world’s top athletes are now starting to turn their attention towards the indoor season and four of the sport’s top stars – Ethiopia’s Mohammed Aman, France’s Teddy Tamgho, Cuba’s Yarisley Silva and Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos – have confirmed this week that they intend to compete at the 2014 World Indoor Championships in the Polish city of Sopot next March.
Aman, still only 19, is the defending World indoor champion over 800m and added the outdoor title over two laps of the track in Moscow.
Baring any setbacks in his preparations in the coming months, Aman will go to Sopot as the favourite after an outstanding year in which he also won the Diamond Race, and set a national record and 2013 world-leading time of 1:42.37 in the IAAF Diamond Race final in Brussels.
Triple Jump star Tamgho is the World indoor record holder having memorably jumped 17.92m not once but twice at the 2011 European Indoor Championships. He won the 2010 World indoor title with a leap of 17.90m, which was also a World indoor record at the time, but injury prevented him defending his crown last year in Istanbul and he is keen to regain his title.
Like Aman, he won at this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Moscow, when he became just the third man ever to jump over 18 metres with a stunning winning effort of 18.04m.
Silva looking for gold
Silva, the London 2012 Olympic Games Pole Vault silver medallist and Moscow 2013 bronze medallist, made her intentions clear on local television in Cuba on Wednesday. “I want to get the gold medal at the World Indoor Championships and I want to clear five metres indoors,” she said.
She holds the indoor and outdoor area records with 4.82m and 4.90m respectively, both marks being achieved in 2013 by the 26-year-old vaulter.
Silva was seventh at the last edition of the World Indoor Championships in 2012, her only appearance at the event.
Triple jumpers Pedro Pablo Pichardo, the Moscow 2013 silver medallist, and Ernesto Reve are also expected to be part of the Cuban team going to Sopot and will certainly provide strong opposition for Tamgho.
Santos, like his Caribbean counterpart Silva a silver medallist in London and bronze medallist in Moscow but over 400m, is also still a teenager and only turns 20 on 12 November.
He is looking to do much better than in Istanbul when he failed to progress beyond the semi-finals.
Santos is aiming to become his country’s first individual medallist at the championships, although the Dominican Republic’s 4x400m quartet took the bronze medals in 2008.
Phil Minshull for the IAAF