An ill-timed injury after his world indoor record of 6.16m in Donetsk means that France’s Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie is not able to defend his title won in Istanbul.
Raphael Holzdeppe and Bjorn Otto, the Germans who joined the French star on the podium at the World Championships last year as well as at the Olympic Games and European Championships in 2012, will also be missing from Sopot.
So who can grasp the hand of opportunity?
Malte Mohr is the most likely candidate. The German cleared 5.84m to win his national title in Leipzig just over a week ago and then improved to an indoor PB of 5.90m in Berlin on Saturday.
Home hope Pawel Wojciechowski, the 2011 world outdoor champion, is finally regaining form following injury. Look out also for Luke Cutts, the new British record-holder with a mark of 5.83m, and Brazil’s rapidly improving 2012 world junior champion Thiago Braz.
Simon Turnbull for the IAAF