Australia’s Sally Pearson ran in Berlin on Saturday, her first indoor competition since her 2012 gold medal-winning run in Istanbul.
Pearson, who clocked her fastest ever outdoor debut with 12.59 in Perth last month, showed in the German capital that she is ready to mount a fierce defence of her crown with a scintillating 7.79 world-leading time in her heat and 7.80 in the final.
If she wins, Pearson will join Lolo Jones as the only back-to-back winner of the world indoor women's 60m hurdles title.
US champion Nia Ali and long-jumper-turned-hurdler Janay DeLoach Soukup should challenge after running lifetime bests of 7.80 and 7.82 at the US Indoor Championships.
DeLoach, winner of the long jump silver medal two years ago in Istanbul, could become the first athlete in history to win World Championship medals, indoors or outdoors, in the hurdles and jumps.
Germany’s Nadine Hildebrand and Great Britain’s Tiffany Porter, both of whom have run 7.91 this season, could in the medal mix as well.
Nicola Bamford for the IAAF