Ukrainian high jumper Yuliya Levchenko (© AFP / Getty Images)
Ukrainian high jump duo Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Yuliya Levchenko will compete at the Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe on 31 January, while a host of global medallists will line up for the long jump at the Copernicus Cup in Torun on 8 February, organisers of the World Athletics Indoor Tour meetings announced on Tuesday (21).
Mahuchikh, the World Athletics Rising Star of 2019, set a world U20 record of 2.04m to take the silver medal at last year’s World Championships. Still only 18, she started her season in fine style in Lviv last weekend by breaking the world U20 indoor record (pending ratification) with 2.01m, a mark that equals the senior Ukrainian indoor record.
Compatriot Levchenko, who was the world silver medallist in 2017, has also got off to a strong start this year. The 22-year-old equalled her indoor best of 2.00m in Kiev earlier this month, her best ever start to a season.
While Mahuchikh has the better lifetime best, Levchenko has the edge in their career head-to-head record at 9-2.
Germany’s Imke Onnen, who set an indoor PB of 1.96m last year before going on to reach the World Championships final, will also compete in Karlsruhe.
While the high jump will be one of Karlsruhe’s highlights, the long jump looks set to delight the crowds in Torun.
The three medallists from the 2019 European Indoor Championships – Ivana Spanovic, Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova and Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk – will renew their rivalry. The addition of world bronze medallist Ese Brume of Nigeria and 2016 world indoor bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen means there will be four seven-metre jumpers in the field.
Spanovic, the world indoor champion and Olympic bronze medallist, is the most accomplished of the field. The Serbian leapt 7.24m to win her second of three European indoor titles, putting her third on the world indoor all-time list.
Torun’s 60m field contains Asia’s fastest man, the European indoor champion, and the 2014 world indoor champion.
China’s Su Bingtian, who moved to fifth on the world indoor all-time list when taking world indoor silver in 6.42 in 2018, will be racing in Torun for the first time in his career. The 30-year-old will face European indoor champion Jan Volko, who set a Slovakian indoor record of 6.57 when winning in Torun in 2018, and 2014 world indoor champion Richard Kilty, who also ran 6.57 when he last competed in Torun back in 2015.