Meseret Defar and Bernard Lagat, holders of seven World indoor titles between them, will contest the 3000m in Karlsruhe – an IAAF Indoor Permit meeting – on February 2.
Lagat, winner of the 1000m at this meeting in 2007, is just one of a handful of outstanding athletes entered for the men’s 3000m. Joining him will be the two men who joined him on the podium at last year’s IAAF World Indoor Championships – Augustine Choge and Edwin Soi.
The two Kenyans finished 1-2 in Karlsruhe last year and were almost inseparable. Choge was awarded the victory but both were credited with the same time, 7:29.94 – the fastest 3000m performance of 2012, indoors or outdoors.
Also in the field will be Ethiopia’s Yenew Alamirew, the fastest man this millennium for the indoor 3000m. Two years ago, aged just 20, Alamirew set a lifetime best of 7:27.80 in Stuttgart – a time that has only ever been beaten by World indoor record-holder Daniel Komen and Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie.
European 5000m silver medallist Arne Gabius is also entered and he has his sights set on breaking the German indoor 3000m record of 7:37.51, set in Karlsruhe 18 years ago by Dieter Baumann. Gabius came close to achieving it last year in Karlsruhe when he finished fifth in 7:38.13.
Defar, World indoor record-holder for the 3000m, has never competed in Karlsruhe before. The Ethiopian, who last year won the Olympic 5000m title, will be looking to smash the meeting record of 8:36.87 set last year by Mariem Alaoui Selsouli.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF