Robbie Grabarz in the high jump at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix (© AFP / Getty Images)
World indoor high jump medallists Robbie Grabarz and Erik Kynard are the first stars to be added to the start list for the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham on 18 February, the fifth IAAF World Indoor Tour meeting of 2017.
The pair will renew their rivalry in what is expected to be one of the highlights of the meeting.
Both athletes have previously been victorious at this meeting, Grabarz winning in 2012 and Kynard coming out on top in 2014, setting an indoor PB of 2.34m in the process.
Grabarz and Kynard shared a podium at the London 2012 Olympic Games with Kynard taking silver and Grabarz sharing the bronze. But the positions were reversed at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 as Grabarz finished ahead of his US rival.
They both jumped 2.33m at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with the Briton finishing ahead on count-back. But Kynard ended the year slightly ahead in their head-to-head record at 4-3.
“I’m really focused on an incredible year ahead,” said Birmingham-based Grabarz. “The indoor season is a chance for me to start the season strongly. I have performed well in the past in the indoor events and hope that it will set me up for a fantastic 12 months of athletics across the UK, especially in Birmingham.
“The Müller Indoor Grand Prix is the ideal way for me to begin my journey to the IAAF World Championships in London this summer, as well as looking ahead to the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham,” he added.
Organisers for the IAAF
2017 IAAF World Indoor Tour calendar
28 Jan – Boston, USA
1 Feb – Dusseldorf, GER
4 Feb – Karlsruhe, GER
10 Feb – Torun, POL
18 Feb – Birmingham, GBR