The organisers of the traditional Russian Winter indoor meeting on February 3, the third in the 2013 IAAF Indoor Permit series, have brought together London 2012 Olympic Games 800m medallists Nijel Amos and Timothy Kitum for a duel over 600m.
Botswana’s Amos and Kenya’s Kitum, the silver and bronze medallists respectively over two laps of the track in London who also finished first and second at the 2012 World Junior Championships, are both still teenagers and have in their sights not only the world best of 1:15.12 for the non-championship distance, which has been held by Germany’s Nico Motchebon since 1999, but also the top junior mark of 1:16.92, set by USA's Casimir Loxsom in 2010.
The meeting record is 1:15.26, set last year by Poland’s Adam Kszczot, when local star Yuriy Borzakovskiy finished second in a Russian record of 1:16.08 and the 2004 Olympic 800m champion will again be involved in the race over three laps of Moscow’s CSKA Arena.
An excellent women’s Pole Vault field has also been put together and will feature the last two outdoor IAAF World Championships gold medallists, Poland’s Anna Rogowska and Brazil’s Fabiana Murer.
This experienced pair will be up against two of the emerging talents in the event: Great Britain’s Holly Bleasdale and Ukraine’s Ganna Shelekh.
Now 21, in January this year Bleasdale jumped 4.87m indoors in France, a height only three other women have ever bettered indoors or outdoors. Still only 19, Shelekh cleared 4.60m indoors last winter.
A lot of attention will also be on Russia’s 2012 European 110m Hurdles gold medallist Sergey Shubenkov, who ran a national record of 13.09 no less than three times during the summer and was the fastest European outdoors in 2012.
Shubenkov will be competing in the 60m Hurdles and is aiming to reduce his personal best of 7.56, which was set last winter.
Phil Minshull and organisers for the IAAF