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Mike Rosenbaum

World Indoor Championships Begin Friday

By March 5, 2014

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The 15th World Indoor Championships begin in Sopot, Poland on Friday. Among the intriguing matchups is the expected battle between 39-year-old American Bernard Lagat, a three-time World Indoor gold medalist at 3000 meters, and 19-year-old Ethiopian Hagos Gebrhiwet, the 2014 world leader at 7:34.13.

Russia's Ivan Ukhov has dominated the indoor high jump season and leaped as high as 2.42 meters (7 feet, 11 inches). He'll not only be seeking gold in Sopot, but a shot as Javier Sotomayor's indoor world record of 2.43/7-11. Speaking of world marks, Ashton Eaton set the indoor heptathlon world record in the 2012 Championships and may take a run at improving the standard this weekend.

On the women's side, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce will compete in her first World Indoor Championships, in the 60 meters. With a personal best of 7.04 and a season best of 7.10, she's not the favorite - Murielle Ahoure (6.99 PR/7.03 season best) holds that honor - but Fraser-Pryce is at her best in the big meets, which should make the 60 a must-see event. Genzebe Dibaba, who's set three indoor world records this season, is the 3000-meter favorite. The injury-plagued Blanka Vlasic is apparently healthy and will shoot for her third World Indoor high jump title.

Among the late scratches due to injury are French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie and American middle distance prodigy Mary Cain.

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