Keely Hodgkinson and Andrew Pozzi aim for glory at European Indoor Championships

Torun will host the 2021 European Indoor Athletics Championships

The European Indoor Athletics Championships this weekend will provide welcome relief for athletics fans who have seen little of the sport in the past year. 

The 36th biennial event is taking place in Torun, Poland, providing athletes with a wonderful opportunity to lay out their credentials ahead of the Tokyo Games or propel themselves into contention.

European leading athlete Keely Hodgkinson, 2018 World Indoor 60m champion Andrew Pozzi, and 2019 European Indoor silver medallist Holly Bradshaw are among the leading names who will compete this week.  

The likes of Dina Asher-Smith, Elliot Giles and Laura Muir will be missing out to focus on this year’s delayed Olympics but there are many more Olympic hopefuls in the 46-strong British team, such as Jamie Webb and Morgan Lake, eager to make their mark at this competition.

READ MORE: Athletics will ‘ruthlessly weed out drugs cheats’, Sebastian Coe insists

Who are the ones to watch? 

2019 European Indoor silver medallist Webb goes into the 800m with the quickest time of those competing with 1:44.54, which he clocked in Torun last month behind Europe’s best Giles.

This moved Webb to second on the UK all-time indoor 800m list, and he is likely to pull off a similar form this weekend.

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Guy Learmonth will be joining Webb in the 800m, having improved his indoor PB this season with 1:46.73, but both Brits will face a serious challenge from Poland’s home favourite Adam Kszczot and Sweden’s Andreas Kramer

READ MORE: Sebastian Coe ‘delighted’ for Elliot Giles after breaking his 800m British record

Hodgkinson smashed the U20 record in Vienna last month to record 1:59.03 to top Britain’s U20 all-time standings in the 800m. She will be making her senior debut at the Europeans and goes in well over a second faster on the others entered in this race. Olympic finalist Joanna Jóźwik, who has won a medal in this event before, will be keen to make the most of home advantage though. 

In the men’s 60m hurdles, Pozzi goes in second fastest of the line-up this year at 7.51 and is the favourite to win but will face competition from Wilheim Belocian who tops the 2021 European rankings. 

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Tiffany Porter features in the female equivalent and is also second on European standings after clocking 7.89 in the US earlier this year. Her younger sister Cindy Sember, who ran 7.89 herself in 2016 where she finished fourth in the Olympics, has ran 8.01 this winter but could still join her sister in the final if she gets under 8. 

Bradshaw has shown fine form in the pole vault this indoor season and cleared her highest bar in nine years last month. Her 4.85m clearance was only two centimetres off her personal best and her form gives her a great chance of claiming European gold. 

Lake goes into the women’s high jump joint second in the 2021 European rankings after clearing 1.96m in Budapest in February, which doubled up as an Olympic qualifying standard. A repeat of that standard is likely to get her a medal.  

Holly Mills enters the competition following a lifetime best score of 4557 points in the pentathlon last month, placing her fifth on the UK all-time list.

While Sophie McKinna is also worth watching after throwing an indoor personal best in the shot put at the European Indoor Selection Trial, marking 18.54m.  

READ MORE: Dina Asher-Smith completes back-to-back 60m sprint victories

Which Brits are competing?

Women:

400m: Jessie Knight, Ama Pipi, Jodie Williams

800m: Ellie Baker, Isabelle Boffey, Keely Hodgkinson

1500m: Holly Archer, Katie Snowden

3000m: Amy-Eloise Markovc, Verity Ockenden, Amelia Quirk

4x400m Relay: Zoey Clark, Beth Dobbin, Jessie Knight, Yasmin Liverpool, Ama Pipi, Jodie Williams

60m Hurdles: Emma Nwofor, Tiffany Porter, Cindy Sember

Pole Vault: Holly Bradshaw

Long Jump: Abigail Irozuru, Jazmin Sawyers

High Jump: Emily Borthwick, Morgan Lake

Shot Put: Sophie McKinna, Amelia Strickler

Pentathlon: Holly Mills

Men:

60m: Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Oliver Bromby, Andrew Robertson

400m: Joe Brier, Lee Thompson, James Williams

800m: Guy Learmonth, Jamie Webb

1500m: Piers Copeland, Archie Davis, Neil Gourley

3000m: Andrew Butchart, Jack Rowe, Philip Sesemann

4x400m Relay: Joe Brier, Efe Okoro, Tom Somers, Owen Smith, Lee Thompson, James Williams

60m Hurdles: Andrew Pozzi

Pole Vault: Charlie Myers

Long Jump: Jacob Fincham-Dukes

High Jump: Joel Khan

Timetable of finals:

Friday March 5

9:00   Pentathlon 60m hurdles 

9:52   Pentathlon high jump 

12:05   Pentathlon shot put 

18:00   Pentathlon long jump 

18:06   Women’s shot put 

19:20   Men’s long jump 

19:35   Men’s shot put 

19:45   Pentathlon 800m 

20:00   Women’s 3000m 

20:35   Men’s 1500m 

Saturday March 6

9:00   Heptathlon 60m 

9:42   Heptathlon long jump 

11:15   Heptathlon shot 

17:50   Heptathlon high jump 

18:15   Women’s pole vault 

18:40   Women’s long jump 

18:50   Women’s 1500m 

19:10   Men’s 400m 

19:25   Women’s 400m 

19:58   Men’s 60m 

Sunday March 7

9:00   Heptathlon 60m hurdles 

9:53   Men’s triple jump 

10:00   Heptathlon pole vault 

10:19   Men’s high jump 

16:00   Men’s 60m hurdles 

16:05   Men’s pole vault 

16:15   Women’s 60m hurdles 

16:20   Women’s triple jump 

16:30   Heptathlon 1000m 

16:45   Women’s high jump 

16:52   Men’s 3000m 

17:13   Women’s 800m 

17:25   Men’s 800m 

17:46   Women’s 60m 

17:57   Men’s 4x400m 

18:10   Women’s 4x400m 

Where to watch:

Thursday March 4 – BBC Red Button 18:00-20:00

Friday March 5 – BBC2 9:00-12:15, BBC Sport website 12:15-13:00, BBC Red Button 18:00-18:30, BBC2 18:30-21:00

Saturday March 6 – BBC2 8:45-12:00, BBC Red Button 12:00-13:00, BBC2 17:30-20:15

Sunday March 7 – BBC2 8:45-12:45, BBC2 15:45-18:30, BBC Red Button 18:30-19:00

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