Key contenders, medal predictions and more as we bring you our preview to the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade

The Serbian capital of Belgrade stages the World Indoor Championships on March 18-20. Some of the sport’s biggest names will be in action such as world record-holders Mondo Duplantis, Yulimar Rojas and Ryan Crouser, plus Olympic champions Jakob Ingebrigtsen, Marcell Jacobs and Shaunae Miller-Uibo, whereas a 37-strong GB team that includes Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Keely Hodgkinson will be hoping to make their mark.

The latest issue of AW magazine contains an in-depth event-by-event guide to the championships but an edited version appears below.

Men’s 60m 

Based on past championships it’s likely a time in the 6.4s will be required to win. In the last 14 championships, the time has only once been slower than 6.50. USA will again field the strongest team and have won nine of the 18 titles, with Jason Gardener, Dwain Chambers and Richard Kilty winning gold for Britain.

Main contenders

Christian Coleman (USA): The world outdoor 100m champion holds all the records and, following his recent anti-doping suspension, will be keen to make a point that he is the world’s best. He started his 2022 campaign with a 6.49 in New York and won the US Indoor title in 6.45.

Marvin Bracy (USA): Second in 2014 and seventh in 2016, proved he is now going back in the right direction with a 6.48 equalling PB in the US Trials.

Marcell Jacobs (ITA): The surprise Olympic 100m champion has shown great form indoors already in 2022, winning in Berlin in 6.51 and then 6.49 in Lodz and 6.50 in Lievin and also won the Italian title.

British challenge: Adam Thomas, Andrew Robertson.

AW prediction: 1 Coleman (USA); 2 Jacobs (ITA); 3 Bracy (USA)

Women’s 60m 

Ewa Swoboda starts favourite after beating Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah in Toruń. USA have won seven of the past titles and are again likely to have a strong medal challenge. Britain’s only medal of the past in this event came from Jeanette Kwayke with a silver in 2008.

Main contenders

Ewa Swoboda (POL): With fast victories at Toruń (7.03) Lodz (7.00) and Dusseldorf (7.10) and a 6.99 in the Polish Championships, the European Indoor champion looks a clear favourite and is much improved since 2018 when she exited in the semis.

Marybeth Sant Price (USA): Though beaten by Miciah Brisco’s 7.07 in the US Champs, looks the best American bet after setting successive January world leads of 7.15, 7.12, 7.11 and 7.08, as well as also clocking 7.06 and 7.04 this year.

Mujinga Kambundji (SUI): The 2018 bronze medallist has looked sharper race by race this winter and won in Paris in 7.06.

British challenge: Daryll Neita, Cheyanne Evans-Gray.

Prediction: 1 Swoboda (POL); 2 Sant Price (USA); 3 Kambundji (SUI)

Ewa Swoboda (Mark Shearman)

Men’s 400m

This event looks like being incredibly open and none of the five fastest Americans prior to the trials, including Müller Indoor Grand Prix winner Kahmari Montgomery or world leader Randolph Ross, entered the US Championships. The USA will still start favourites to add to their five golds but they surprisingly have only won one of the last 12 finals and, with the event slightly down in terms of quality, there could be some surprise medallists.

Main contenders

Trevor Bassitt (USA): The US trials winner in 45.75 is a versatile runner with a 45.27 PB. With a 7.67 hurdles best and having run 20.48 indoors this winter at 200m, his potential is huge.

Jereem Richards (TTO): The 2017 World Championships 200m bronze medallist ran 45.83 in his opening race of the year and, with 19.97 outdoor 200m speed, he will be hard to beat if he competes.

Liemarvin Bonevacia (ITA): The two-time European Indoor medallist is the fastest man in the world this year with a 45.48 in the Dutch Championships and he was second in the Muller Grand Prix.

Pavel Maslak (CZE): The three-time champion has been world champion since 2014 but it seems he has little chance of retaining the title being ranked just 69th in the world after his sixth place at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham in 46.80. He will still be a potential medallist given his superb competitive record and a lack of quality elsewhere.

Prediction: 1 Bassitt (USA); 2 Richards (TTO); 3 Bonevacia (NED)

Women’s 400m

European indoor champion Femke Bol takes on the Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo. The former has been in great form lately whereas the latter has had her racing plans earlier this year disrupted by minor injury.

Main contenders

Femke Bol (NED): The world leader (50.30) is also the European indoor 400m champion and the Olympic bronze medallist over the 400m hurdles, where her time of 52.03 would have easily qualified her for this event on the flat. She is a great competitor and will probably try to win the race on the second lap rather than the first.

Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH): Olympic 400m champion in Rio and Tokyo over 400m but has not finished a race since her win in Tokyo. Was due to compete in Birmingham last month, for example, but withdrew.

Lynna Irby (USA): The American who ran in the heats of the both mixed and women’s 4x400m relay in Tokyo won the US trials in 51.88. Owner of a 50.62 indoor best, she also has a 49.80 outdoor PB and a 36.42 pre-trials 300m confirmed good shape.

British challenge: Jessie Knight, Ama Pipi.

Prediction: 1 Bol (NED); 2 Miller-Uibo (BAH); 3 Irby (USA)

Femke Bol (Getty)

Men’s 800m

Spain won the first World Indoor Games in 1985 but haven’t tasted victory since but have a good chance with world leader Mariana Garcia, but the event looks very open. Kenya marginally are the most successful nation with three golds but only one since 1993. Britain have won one gold (Tom McKean) and two bronzes (both Andrew Osagie).

Main contenders

Mariana Garcia (ESP): Has won big races in Staten Island and Lievin and topped the world rankings with his outright PB and Spanish record 1:45.12 though did lose races at Manchester and the Spanish Championships. He will be out to improve on his fourth place in the 2019 European Indoors.

Collins Kipruto (KEN): A 1:43.95 performer outdoors last summer, he gained a win at the Müller Grand Prix in 1:45.39 to pip Elliot Giles.

Bryce Hoppel (USA): The 2019 world outdoor fourth-placer impressed with a perfect paced 1:45.30 win in the US Championships.

Elliot Giles (GBR): Fourth in 2018, the world’s most consistent performer of the year with eight 800m and 1500m wins and two seconds from his 10 races and his best times are 1:45.42, 1:45.42 and 1:45.43!

British challenge: Elliot Giles, Charlie Da’Vall Grice, Guy Learmonth.

Prediction: 1 Giles (GBR); 2 Hoppel (USA); 3 Garcia (ESP)

Elliot Giles (Mark Shearman)

Women’s 800m

European indoor champion Keely Hodgkinson tops the world rankings with her British record-breaking Müller Indoor Grand Prix run of 1:57.20 which was the fastest in the world for 20 years and lies sixth all-time. Britain have won three medals – silvers for Jenny Meadows and Jane Finch, as well as Jo Fenn’s bronze – compared to Mozambique’s seven golds, silver and a bronze won exclusively by Maria Mutola!

Main contenders

Keely Hodgkinson (GBR): Olympic silver medallist Hodgkinson is a big favourite and warmed up for Belgrade with a UK record at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix and a fast 400m in the UK Indoor Championships.

Natoya Goule (JAM): The Olympic finalist set a Jamaican record 1:58.46 in winning at Lievin but was a well-beaten third at Birmingham behind Hodgkinson and has failed to survive the heats in the last three World Indoors.

Halimah Nakaayi (UGA): The fast-finishing shock world outdoor champion won her first three races indoors this season in Karlsruhe, Lievin and Val-de-Reuil but was beaten by Goule in her Ugandan record 1:58.58.

Ajee’ Wilson (USA): The double world indoor silver medallist won her two 800m races in style this season prior to winning the US title and also ran a fast 600m. She is a good competitor, having also won medals at the last two outdoor World Championships.

British challenge: Keely Hodgkinson, Jenny Selman.

Prediction: 1 Hodgkinson (GBR); 2 Wilson (USA); 3 Nakaayi (UGA)

Keely Hodgkinson (Mark Shearman)

Men’s 1500m

The 1500m at the last World Indoors, in 2018, was five seconds slower than any previous edition but it is unlikely that Jakob Ingebrigtsen will allow the race to dawdle as much, given that he will be keen to utilise his superior strength. Britain has only won a single medal at this event – a David Strang silver in 1993.

Main contenders

Jakob Ingebrigtsen (NOR): The Olympic and European Indoor champion ran a stunning 3:30.60 world record in Lievin and should be too strong and wily for his opponents even though he is only 21 and this will be his first World Indoor Championships as he chases Norway’s first ever medal in the event.

Samuel Tefera (ETH): Despite running a fast 3:33.70 in Lievin, he was a distant second to Ingebrigtsen as he lost his world record. He should be a lot closer if he runs the 1500m in Belgrade but knows he won’t be allowed to finish as fast as he did in winning the world title in 2018.

Abel Kipsang (KEN): The Olympic fourth-placer won his first two 1500m races of the season at Metz and Birmingham – the latter in an indoor PB 3:34.57. He did lose a 2000m race in Lievin, though, when his strength let him down in the last 400m.

British challenge: Neil Gourley, George Mills.

Prediction: 1 Ingebrigtsen (NOR); 2 Tefera (ETH); 3 Kipsang (KEN)

Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Getty)

Women’s 1500m

Gudaf Tsegay, the world record-holder and world leader, has so far performed at a different level to all 1500m runners this winter and can win the race in any scenario. Many of her potential rivals won’t be competing given that, towards the end of February, Ethiopia occupied six of the top seven spots in the rankings and are limited to two places. Britain has won two silver medals in the past, through Kelly Holmes and Laura Muir, though Ethiopia dominate with five golds.

Main contenders

Gudaf Tsegay (ETH): In Lievin, a heavy fall for the Olympic 5000m bronze medallist early on may have derailed her world record bid but she still won at a canter. She threatened her own 1500m mark with history’s second-fastest run in Toruń and she will surely do better than her third place from 2016.

Axumawit Embaye (ETH): The probable Ethiopian No.2 won in Karlsruhe in 4:02.12 and finished second in the 2014 Championships and fourth in 2016.

Winnie Nanyondo (UGA): The 2019 World Championships 800m fourth-placer has focused more on the longer distance this winter and set Ugandan records in both Karlsruhe and Torun (4:03.54). May benefit more from a more tactical Championships race rather than a paced event.

British challenge: Erin Wallace.

Prediction: 1 Tsegay (ETH); 2 Embaye (ETH; 3 Nanyondo (UGA)

Men’s 3000m

Ethiopia have four of the top five in the rankings and that doesn’t include double champion Yomif Kejelcha or 1500m champion Samuel Tefera.

Main contenders

Berihu Aregawi (ETH): The Diamond League 5000m champion in 2021 has run 7:26.20 for 3000m indoor this winter to lead the world rankings.

Lemecha Girma (ETH): The Olympic steeplechase silver medallist won his two dust-ups with Barega and Wale in Lievin and Toruń. Both times were around the 7:30 mark courtesy of a blazing last 100m.

Selemon Barega (ETH): Olympic 10,000m champion has been fast and consistent this winter winning in Madrid and close defeats to Girma in Lievin and Torun.

Adel Mechaal (ESP): The 2017 European Indoor champion has looked in great form, winning at Staten island in a Spanish record 7:30.82 and he also ran a fast 3:35.30 1500m in the Müller Grand Prix.

British challenge: Marc Scott, Jamaine Coleman.

Prediction: 1 Girma (ETH); 2 Barega (ETH); 3 Aregawi (ETH)

Women’s 3000m

Ethiopia have won eight of the nine last titles and should also be successful in Belgrade, with the top two in the 2022 rankings but USA have a strong duo too.

Main contenders

Dawit Seyaum (ETH): The Olympic finalist and 2016 runner-up at 1500m tops the world lists with her Liévin win and she also won the Müller Indoor Grand Prix at 1500m.

Ejgayehu Taye (ETH): The Olympic 5000m fifth placer was second in Liévin in 8:26.71 and that all-time top 10 performance is her only race of the year.

Alicia Monson (USA): The Olympic 10,000m finalist made a big breakthrough with an 8:31.62 win in New York and could lead the non-Ethiopian challenge but US trials winner Elle Purrier St Pierre also had a great chance.

Gabriela DeBues-Stafford (CAN): Her two races in 2022 were both Canadian records (3000m in 8:33.92 and 5000m in 14:31.38) and the Olympic 1500m fifth-placer will be hard to outkick.

British challenge: Amy-Eloise Markovc and Amelia Quirk.

Prediction: 1 Tsegay (ETH) 8:28.65; 2 G DeBues-Stafford (CAN) 8:30.25; 3 Seyaum (ETH) 8:33.25

Men’s 60m hurdles 

USA have won 10 of the previous titles and should make it 11, with Allen Johnson the only three-time winner. Britain have won two golds previously thanks to Colin Jackson and current champion Andy Pozzi. Jackson also previously won three silvers.

Main contenders

Grant Holloway (USA): The world outdoor champion was only second in the Olympics but he has been in stunning form this winter, winning in Liévin in 7.35 and Birmingham (7.40) and then taking the US title in 7.37. He has never lost a 60m hurdles race as a senior athlete.

Pascal Martinot-Lagarde (FRA): A three-time world indoor medallist who has also won four European Indoor medals, he has been in good shape in 2022, winning in Karlsruhe and Metz and second coming in Liévin in 7.46. He was beaten by European winner Wilhelm Belocian in the French Championships, however.

Andy Pozzi (GBR): The Briton defends his title this weekend but ranks outside the world top 10 this winter with a best of just 7.59.

Jarret Eaton (USA): In 2018 he lost out on gold to Pozzi by one hundredth of a second and this year he was third in both Liévin and Birmingham before coming second in the US trials in 7.47.

British challenge: Andy Pozzi, David King.

Prediction: 1 Holloway (USA); 2 Eaton (USA); 3 Martinot-Lagarde (FRA)

Grant Holloway and Andy Pozzi (Mark Shearman)

Women’s 60m hurdles

The USA have won seven of the last 10 championships and will again field a strong team. The only British medallist is the recently retired Tiffany Porter with a silver and two bronzes.

Main contenders

Danielle Williams (JAM): The 2015 world outdoor champion failed to negotiate her only World Indoor Championships appearance, back in 2016, but after missing the Olympics may be keen to get back in the medals. She leads the world and has won all seven of her heats and finals up to the end of February.

Britany Anderson (JAM): Has run 7.82 this season and should definitely be in the medal hunt.

Gabriele Cunningham (USA): The Olympic finalist destroyed her previous best with a 7.82 US Championships victory ahead of Alaysha Johnson.

British challenge: Megan Marrs.

Prediction: 1 Williams (JAM); 2 Anderson (JAM); 3 Cunningham (USA)

Men’s 4x400m relay

Although they were surprisingly beaten by Poland in 2018, USA have won 10 golds and should have too much speed and relay experience for their opponents again. Britain have previously won three silver medals and two bronze.

Main contenders

USA: Even though most of their top athletes are absent, they will still have the fastest quartet on paper and have won six of the last seven championships.

Poland : They shocked the USA in 2018, having not won a medal in the previous six championships, but seem to lack the individual talents this year and might be lucky to make the podium.

Netherlands: The 2021 European indoor champions have a strong quartet again this winter and should be close to another medal.

British challenge: Alex Haydock-Wilson, Ben Higgins, Samuel Reardon, Thomas Somers, James Williams.

Prediction: 1 USA; 2 Spain; 3 Netherlands

Women’s 4x400m

Russia won the first eight titles but USA have won four of the last five and their one loss was by three hundredths of a second. Poland, though, have far more of their best athletes competing than the USA do so it’s not as clear-cut this time. Britain beat the USA in 2012 and have won medals in three of the last four championships.

Main contenders

USA: They may be favourites due to their history and relay expertise but it’s effectively a C team compared to their Olympic squad.

Poland: Have been a distant second in the past two championships but look to have a stronger team this winter with three athletes ranked in the top dozen at 400m.

Netherlands: The European champions easily beat Poland in Torun last year and could do so again if Femke Bol is anywhere near the leaders at the start of the last leg.

British challenge: Keely Hodgkinson, Mary John, Jessie Knight, Ama Pipi, Victoria Ohuruogu, Hannah Williams.

Prediction: 1 Poland; 2 Netherlands; 3 GBR

Men’s high jump

Sweden have won the most titles with five (four of them to most successful individual Stefan Holm). Robbie Grabarz’s silver in 2016 is the best UK result, but this year Korea should win their first medal and incredibly he is the only athlete entered who has cleared 2.30m indoors this winter in what looks a very thin event.

Main contenders

Gianmarco Tamberi (ITA): The joint Olympic champion has yet to compete in 2022 but has a great indoor record having won the world indoor title in 2016 and the European Indoor gold in 2019.

Woo-Sang-Hyeok (KOR): The former world youth champion was fourth in the Olympics but has been even better this winter, jumping a world lead 2.36m in Hustopece and then winning in Banka Bystrica with 2.35m.

Hamish Kerr (NZL): Olympic finalist has not competed indoors this winter but a 2.30m outdoors in New Zealand makes him a likely medal contender.

Prediction: 1 Woo-sang-Hyeok (KOR); 2 Tamberi (ITA); 3 Kerr (NZL)

Women’s high jump

The event in 2022 has thus far been poor compared to previous years with Eleanor Patterson’s world lead only equal 48th all-time. Bulgaria are the most successful nation with five golds with four won by world outdoor record-holder Stefka Kostadinova. Note, there is no Mariya Lasitskene, the world and Olympic champion, due to the ban on ANA athletes because of the war in Ukraine.

Main contenders

Eleanor Patterson (AUS): The Olympic fifth-placer set her 1.99m world lead at Banka Bystrica and followed that up with a 1.95m win in the Müller Indoor Grand Prix and will start as the in-form athlete in her first indoor Championships.

Yaroslava Mahuchikh (UKR): The reigning European indoor champion (in Lasitskene’s absence) and Olympic and world medallist also has not been at her best this year, losing at Hustopece and Banska Bystrica.

Nadezha Dubovitskaya (KAZ): If she can bring her 1.96m form this season to Belgrade she will be in the mix.

British challenge: Emily Borthwick.

Prediction: 1 Patterson (AUS); 2 Mahuchikh (UKR); 3 Dubovitskaya (KAZ)

Eleanor Patterson (Mark Shearman)

Men’s pole vault

Sergey Bubka won four titles – three for the Soviets and one for Ukraine. Bubka aside, Russia have won four titles and so have France. Sweden should soon be able to add their name to the list of winners.

Main contenders

Mondo Duplantis (SWE): The Olympic champion and world record-holder has also dominated pole vaulting in 2022, winning all five competitions with heights over six metres and his last one was a world record 6.19m.

Chris Nilsen (USA): The Olympic silver medallist was American champion with a 5.91m leap and has also jumped a US record of 6.05m recently.

KC Lightfoot (USA): The Olympic fourth-placer has been ultra consistent around the 5.90m mark all winter and he won at Dortmund with a 5.95m leap.

Prediction: 1 Duplantis (SWE); 2 Nilsen (USA); 3 Lightfoot (USA)

Mondo Duplantis (Mark Shearman)

Women’s pole vault

Historically Russia have previously won five golds to USA’s three and this time the battle for top spot is likely to be between the top two Americans as ANA athlete Anzhelika Sidorova cannot compete. Yelena Isinbayeva is the most successful athlete in history with four golds and a silver. Britain’s single medal is a bronze for Holly Bradshaw in 2012.

Main contenders

Katie Nageotte (USA): The Olympic champion was fifth in 2018 and started the season gently but improved to a 4.80m third place in Liévin and a 4.75m second place in the US Trials.

Sandi Morris (USA): The 2018 winner, usually a highly consistent jumper, failed to make the Olympic final but she has got back to form in 2022, winning in New York with a 4.75m leap and then a 4.80m victory in the US Championships.

Tina Sutej (SLO): European Indoor silver medallist has been in great from in 2022, setting National records of 4.75m at Clermont Ferrand and a 4.80m win at Rouen.

Prediction: 1 Morris (USA); 2 Nageotte (USA); 3 Sutej (SLO)

Katie Nageotte (Mark Shearman)

Men’s long jump

This event looks being incredibly open, with no one jumping big in 2022 and only nine centimetres covering the top seven in the rankings. Surprisingly given their Olympic dominance, USA are headed by Cuba’s six golds here with Ivan Pedroso winning five of the titles and America have only won one gold and one silver in the last seven championships. Chris Tomlinson’s silver in 2008 is the only ever British medal.

Main contenders

Jarrion Lawson (USA): Won the US Championships by moving up from fourth with his last jump. He was the 2017 world silver medallist outdoors and fourth in the last championships to match his 2016 Olympic place.

Marquis Dendy (USA): First and third in the last two World Indoor Championships – the USA’s only medallist since 2004 – his indoor record is more consistent than outdoors, where in three World Championships and an Olympics he has failed to make the final.

Miltiadis Tentoglou (GRE): The Olympic and European outdoor champion and double indoor champion was only ninth in 2018 but has jumped steadily in 2022 with a win in Metz (8.22m) and a second place in Ostrava.

Prediction: 1 Tentoglou (GRE); 2 Dendy (USA); 3 Lawson (USA)

Women’s long jump 

This should be a far better quality than the men’s event, with 11 jumpers at 6.70m or further this winter. Russia/Soviet Union have the most titles with six compared to USA’s five, though American Brittney Reese is the most successful individual with three golds and a silver.

Main contenders

Ivana Vuleta (SRB): The defending champion (who won under her maiden name Spanovic) has also won silver and bronze medals and, backed by a home crowd in Serbia, could win a fourth consecutive title judging by a 6.85m national title win.

Khaddi Sagnia (SWE): The European indoor bronze medallist was sixth in the last championships but only ninth in the Olympics. Highly consistent this year she had wins in Berlin with 6.68m and at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix with a 6.70m leap which she matched in Toruń before jumping 6.69m for the Swedish title.

Lorraine Ugen (GBR): A former world indoor medallist looked back to near her best with a 6.75m win at the British Championships.

British challenge: Lorraine Ugen.

Prediction: 1 Vuleta (SRB); 2 Sagnia (SWE); 3 A Jones (BAR)

Ivana Spanovic (Mark Shearman)

Men’s triple jump   

With just two athletes over 17 metres this winter, standards have been poor and thus the event could be see a surprise winner. USA top the gold count with five, while Britain have won one gold (Phillips Idowu in 2008) and one silver through Jonathan Edwards in 2001.

Main contenders

Donald Scott (USA): The Olympic seventh-placer has won all four of his competitions in 2022, including a 16.88m win in the US Championships and with double world indoor champion Will Claye out of form, he should lead US challenge.

Lazaro Martinez (CUB): The former world youth and world junior champion has been in great form in 2022, winning in Lievin (17.21m) and Madrid (17.12m).

Yasser Triki (ALG): The Olympic fifth-placer was second in Paris with a 16.95m leap and could medal challenge in a poor quality event.

Prediction: 1 Martinez (CUB); 2 Scott (USA); 3 Triki (ALG)

READ MORE: Six Ukrainians compete in Belgrade

Women’s triple jump

There should surely be only one winner with world record-holder Yulimar Rojas at a different level to her opponents. Russia have previously won five golds, not counting Ukraine’s Inessa Kravets, who won in 1991 for the Soviet Union. Britain have won three golds – Ashia Hansen in 1999 and 2003, while Yamile Aldama won in 2012. Hansen also came second in 1997.

Main contenders

Yulimar Rojas (VEN): After initially flirting with the long jump this season she has now returned to the triple jump and will go for her third indoor title to match her three global outdoor wins, including the last Olympics. Tops the 2022 rankings by a huge 79 centimetres.

Theo Lafond (DMA): Tops the world lists with an altitude-assisted 14.62m but has a poor competitive record other than a Commonwealth Games bronze and was 12th in the Olympics and 17th in the 2018 edition.

Patricia Mamona (POR): The European indoor champion was a surprise silver medallist in the Olympics with a shock 15.01m leap (her next best is 14.66m) but she only has a best of 14.17m in her four competitions of 2022.

Prediction: 1 Rojas (VEN); 2 Lafond (DMA); 3 Mamona (POR)

Yulimar Rojas (Getty)

Men’s shot put

Until the Olympics there had been some very close global contests in the event but Ryan Crouser is now operating at a totally different level to his opponents and will surely add to USA’s eight golds. With three gold medals, Christian Cantwell tops the individual totals. No Briton has ever come close to winning a medal.

Main contenders

Ryan Crouser (USA): Won the American championships with a 22.51m throw to give himself a 67cm lead in the world rankings and on his 23.30m Olympic gold form he will win by over a metre and shatter the world indoor record.

Filip Mihaljevic (CRO): The European Indoor bronze medallist, who was third here in 2016, is the best of the rest so far in 2022 with a temporary world lead in Toruń with a 21.84m throw.

Konrad Bukowiecki (POL): The 2017 European indoor champion and former world junior champion, was 23rd in Olympic qualifying but has been in good form in 2022, just missing out on a win in Toruń by a centimetre.

British challenge: Scott Lincoln.

Prediction: 1 Crouser (USA); 2 Mihaljevic (CRO); 3 Bukowiecki (POL)

Ryan Crouser (Getty)

Women’s shot put

With seven throwers over 19m, this should be a great contest. Russia have won seven titles, though New Zealand’s Valerie Adams, with four golds, is the most successful individual. Britain have never won a medal.

Main contenders

Auriol Dongmo (POR): The Olympic fourth-placer and ex-Cameroon athlete won the European Indoor title in 2021 and has been in even better shape in 2022 with world leads of 19.61m and then 19.90m as she bids for her first global medal.

Maggie Ewen (USA): The 2019 world outdoor fourth-placer won the US Championships with a big PB of 19.79m but she lacks experience in the big events.

Jessica Schilder (NED): The European under-23 champion is another thrower in PB form, improving the Dutch record to 19.72m in Apeldoorn, and will be keen to rectify an Olympic disappointment where she was 19th in qualifying.

British challenge: Sophie McKinna, Amelia Strickler.

Prediction: 1 Dongmo (POR); 2 Schilder (NED); 3 Ewen (USA)

Men’s heptathlon

Olympic decathlon champion Damian Warner has not competed at all in 2022, but is due to compete in Belgrade. USA have dominated in the past with seven winners and five of the last six, with Ashton Eaton winning three times.

Main contenders

Damian Warner (CAN): Olympic decathlon champion has been quiet recently but clearly has been targeting Belgrade.

Garrett Scantling (USA): The Olympic fourth-placer dominated the US Trials with a world-leading PB of 6382 points.

Simon Ehammer (SUI): The European under-23 long jump champion and 2019 European junior champion won in Aubiere with a top class 6285 score which included a 8.26m jump and a 7.74 hurdles.

Kai Kazmirek (GER): Qualifies by winning the World Athletics Combined Events Challenge in 2021 but has only one competition – a 60m hurdles – to his name in the German Championships in 2022 so far.

Prediction: 1 Warner (CAN); 2 Ehammer (SUI); 3 Scantling (USA)

Damian Warner (Getty)

Women’s pentathlon    

Adrianna Sulek of Poland tops the world rankings but the event was thrown wide open when Katarina Johnson-Thompson made a late decision to defend her title. Previously, Britain and Ukraine share the most golds with two apiece – the former’s wins coming through Jessica Ennis-Hill (2010) and Johnson-Thompson (2018). No athlete has ever won twice.

Main contenders

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR): The Briton, who has not competed in 2022, won gold four years ago in Birmingham and is hoping to bounce back from a painful Olympic experience which was marred by injury.

Kendell Williams (USA): Though beaten in the US Championships by Chari Hawkins, the former world junior champion has a solid record, having finished fifth in the last Olympics and World Championships and fifth in the 2016 World Indoors where she set her 4703 PB. She qualifies by being the 2021 Combined Events Challenge winner.

Noor Vidts (NED): Like Johnson-Thompson has not competed in a pentathlon this winter but was fourth in the Olympic heptathlon last summer and took silver in the European Indoors 12 months ago behind Nafi Thiam.

Adrianna Sulek (POL): The athlete in form with three successive world leads – 4569 at Aubiere in January, 4598 at Tallinn in February and 4756 in the Polish Championships in March.

British challenge: Holly Mills, Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Prediction: 1 Johnson-Thompson (GBR); 2  Sulek (POL); 3 Vidts (NED)

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mark Shearman)

Timetable and results

For detailed timetable info and results, CLICK HERE

How to watch

For viewers in the UK, the event is on BBC at the following times.

March 18: BBC2 08:15-13:15 and 16:30-19:00; BBC Three 19:00-20:15
March 19: BBC2 08:15-12:00 and 16:30-20:45
March 20: BBC2 08:45-10:30; BBC1 10:30-12:00; BBC2 15:30-19:05

»  See the March issue of AW magazine for more detailed previews for the World Indoor Championships plus an exclusive interview with Mondo Duplantis