Reigning European outdoor champions Ivet Lalova and Nevin Yanit will be among the stars lured indoors to grace this year’s PSD Bank Meeting in Düsseldorf on 8 February, the organisers announced on Wednesday (9).
Bulgaria’s 28-year-old Lalova won the 100m title at the 2012 European Athletics Championships in Helsinki last summer, bringing her career full circle.
In the summer of 2005, she was among the women most likely to be among the medals when the IAAF World Championships were held in the Finnish capital but a few weeks beforehand Lalova snapped the femur in her right leg in a collision with another athlete during warm-up at a meeting in Athens.
Lalova will run the 60m in the German city and faces two strong African rivals: Ivory Coast’s 2012 the IAAF World Indoor Championships 60m silver medallist Muerielle Ahoure and Gabon’s Ruddy Zang Milama, the bronze medallist in the same event from the 2010 World Indoor Championships.
A pair of fast US hurdlers will also be on the start line of the 60m Hurdles alongside Turkey’s 26-year-old Yanit, who won 100m Hurdles gold medals at the 2010 and 2012 European Athletics Championships and also took fifth place at the London 2012 Olympic Games this summer.
Danielle Carruthers finished second in the 2011 World Championships 100m Hurdles while Ginnie Crawford has twice been a finalist in same event at the World Championships.
The organisers once again expect a capacity crowd of 2000 in the Arena-Sportpark, as has been the case in recent years.
One man assured of plenty of cheers from everyone in the audience will be Germany’s 2012 Olympic Pole Vault silver medallist Bjorn Otto.
In the men’s 60m, meeting record holder Kim Collins will be in action. It was in 2011 that the 2003 World Championships 100m gold medallist from St. Kitts and Nevis sped to a time of 6.52.
Among others, Collins will face the 22-year-old Frenchman Christophe Lemaitre who retained his European 100m crown in Helsinki and finished sixth in the Olympic Games 200m.
Phil Minshull and organisers for the IAAF