Tomas Stanek in the shot put at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 (Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview Birmingham, UK

Preview: men's shot put – IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018

IAAF World Indoor Tour winner Tomas Stanek is enjoying a rich vein of form this winter with victory in four out of five competitions in addition to an eye-catching 22.17m Czech record in Dusseldorf earlier this month.

The 26-year-old took European indoor silver last year before narrowly missing a medal at the IAAF World Championships London 2017, but he heads to Birmingham in form to win his first major championship title.

Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki heads to Birmingham as the only man in the world to have beaten Stanek this year. The European indoor champion will be keen to replicate his 22.00m winning effort from Torun, where Stanek settled for second place with 21.83m.

European silver medallist Michal Haratyk, meanwhile, heads into the competition fresh off a 21.47m lifetime best to win the Polish title over Bukowiecki two weeks ago.

Although he has not competed indoors this season, world indoor and outdoor champion Tom Walsh of New Zealand has thrown 21.87m this winter and the 25-year-old Olympic bronze medallist will be in strong contention to retain his title. 

Authorised neutral athlete Maksim Afonin has thrown a 21.39m lifetime best this month, while Germany’s two-time world champion David Storl has a season’s best of 21.19m and has made it on to the podium at the past five major indoor championships he has contested.

World bronze medallist Stipe Zunic, who set a Croatian record of 21.13m in Dusseldorf, and USA’s two-time world indoor champion Ryan Whiting, who has been improving with every competition this winter, will also be targeting medals.

Nicola Sutton for the IAAF