04 MAR 2014 Preview Sopot, Poland

Men's heptathlon preview – IAAF World Indoor Championships Sopot 2014

Ashton Eaton in the heptathlon shot at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships (Getty Images)Ashton Eaton in the heptathlon shot at the 2012 IAAF World Indoor Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright

There is only one favourite in the heptathlon. Ashton Eaton’s past three outings in this event have ended in a world record and although there might not be a fourth straight superlative, it is difficult to believe that someone could beat him.

The 26-year-old comes to Sopot as the reigning Olympic, world and world indoor champion in combined events competitions and the world indoor-record holder with 6645 from Istanbul two years ago.

With this being his sole combined events competition of 2014, Eaton will want to make it a good one.

Other medal contenders should be the Netherlands’ 2014 world indoor leader and reigning European indoor champion Eelco Sintnicolaas and 2011 European indoor champion Andrei Krauchanka from Belarus.

Canada’s Damian Warner will be starting his first career heptathlon and is surely looking for a top-three finish as well. The world decathlon bronze medallist has already set a 7.69 personal best in the 60m hurdles this season.

Silver medallist two years ago, Ukraine's Oleksiy Kasyanov will be strong on the first day, while Belgian record-holder Thomas Van Der Plaetsen can be expected to creep up the leaderboard after the pole vault.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF