SOPOT, Poland — Team USA, led by captains Bernard Lagat (Tucson, Ariz.) and Michelle Carter (Ovilla, Texas), is poised and ready for the 14th IAAF World Indoor Championships, March 7-9, at Ergo Arena in Sopot, Poland.
2014 U.S. women’s high jump champion Inika McPherson (Houston, Texas) will be the first athlete competing for Team USA in the qualifying round of the women’s high jump to open competition. The event begins at 10 a.m. CET/4 a.m. ET.
The first event on the track in the morning session is the heats of the women’s 400 meters. Both Francena McCorory (Hampton, Va.) and Joanna Atkins (Minneloa, Fla.) will look to advance out of their heats beginning at 10:05 a.m. CET/4:05 a.m. ET. McCorory took home the U.S. indoor title with a world-leading 50.85.
Friday also marks the start of the combined events. Reigning world heptathlon champion and current world record holder Ashton Eaton (Eugene, Ore.) starts his title defense at 12:10 p.m. CET/6:10 a.m. ET with the heptathlon 60 meters. American record holder Sharon Day-Monroe (Los Angeles) will look for her first world title with the women’s indoor pentathlon beginning at 12 p.m. CET/6 a.m. ET. Day-Monroe has the world lead in 2014 with her score of 4,805 points.
The only two finals Friday are the women’s pentathlon and the men’s shot put. The qualifying round for men’s shot put, featuring Americans Ryan Whiting (Port Matilda, Pa.) and Kurt Roberts (Ashland, Ohio), starts at 10:15 a.m. CET/4:15 a.m. ET. Whiting is the defending world champion in the event and won the U.S. indoor title by throwing a whopping 22.23m/72-11.25, the longest throw indoors in six years.
There are 14 returning members of Team USA from the World Championship team in Istanbul, including three-time champion Lagat (3,000m), 2014 U.S. champion pole vaulter Mary Saxer (Buffalo, N.Y.) and U.S. 3,000m runner-up Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.), who competed in the 1,500m two years ago. Team USA turned in an 18-medal effort in Turkey, including gold medals from five current members of Team USA (Eaton, Lagat, Whiting, and the women's 4x4 relay that included Natasha Hastings and Jernail Hayes).
The youngest member of Team USA is Ajee’ Wilson (Neptune, N.J.), who is the two-time defending U.S. Champion in the 800 meters. Wilson ran a world-leading 2:00.43 to take the national title two weekends ago in Albuquerque. She’ll take to the track at 1 p.m. CET/5 a.m. ET.
The meet will be streamed live online on UniversalSports.com throughout the weekend with primetime broadcast coverage on Universal Sports beginning at 8 p.m. ET Friday-Sunday. Click here for local listings.
A full timetable of events can be found on IAAF.org. The official hashtag for the IAAF World Indoor Track & Field Championships is #Sopot2014. Join the conversation along with USATF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.