Ashton Eaton headlines the 16 combined events performers who've earned their tickets to Sopot, Poland to compete in next month's World Indoor Championships. Eaton has won the last three major men's combined events titles, starting with the 2012 World Indoor Championships in Istanbul, during which he set the indoor heptathlon worth record with 6,645 points. He went on to win the decathlon at the 2012 Olympics and the 2013 World Championships, and is the solid favorite to win the heptathlon in Sopot.
The other heptathlon competitors include: Ukraine's Oleksiy Kasyanov, the 2012 runner-up in Istanbul; Andrei Krauchanka of Belarus, who won silver medals at both the World Indoor Championships and the Olympics in 2008; 2013 World Championship bronze medalist Damian Warner of Canada; 2012 European champion Pascal Behrenbruch of Germany; 2013 European indoor champ Eelco Sintnicolaas of the Netherlands; Belgium's promising Thomas Van Der Plaetsen, who's won the European Junior championship, European Under-23 title and World University Games championship over the last five years; and Kai Kazmirek of Germany, the 2013 European Under-23 champ.
Ukraine's Hanna Melnychenko, the 2013 World champion in the heptathlon, is the favorite to win the women's pentathlon in Sopot. But she's not as solid a favorite as Eaton. Her challengers include Sharon Day-Monroe, who just set a national and North American indoor pentathlon record of 4,805 points at the U.S. Indoor Championships. Other pentathlon performers are: Eaton's wife, Canadian Brianne Theisen-Eaton, who took the heptathlon silver at the Moscow World Championships; Claudia Rath of Germany, who was fourth in Moscow; Poland's Karolina Tyminska, who was fourth in Istanbul; Yana Maksimava of Belarus, who's second to Day-Monroe on the 2014 pentathlon list with a 4,686-point performance; 23-year-old Nadine Broersen of the Netherlands, who's third this year at 4,656 points ; and Ukraine's Alina Fyodorova, who's fourth in 2014 with 4,596 points.