Nine events to follow on a busy weekend of national indoor championships

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With the World Athletics Indoor Championships only three weeks away, more than 25 national championships will be taking place across Europe this weekend as athletes look to book or confirm their places in Belgrade, Serbia from 18-20 March. 

We put the spotlight on nine of the expected highlights and there will be coverage of the best of the national indoor championships action on the European Athletics website and social media channels across the weekend. 

Jacobs makes first home appearance since Tokyo in Ancona

Marcell Jacobs will be making his first competitive appearance on Italian soil since winning two gold medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Italian Indoor Championships in Ancona.

Having won double gold in Tokyo as well as the European indoor 60m title in Torun last March, Jacobs will be seeking his fourth major title in just over 12 months at the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade from 18-20 March.

Jacobs is unbeaten in his six 60m races this winter - heats and finals included - and he has approached his national indoor record of 6.47 in his last two finals, stopping the clock at 6.49 and 6.50 respectively. Will he better his record in front of a sell-out crowd this weekend?

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Bol poised to further extend her win streak in Apeldoorn

Femke Bol has won her last 11 indoor 400m races and the Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medallist looks set to ameliorate this figure at the Dutch Indoor Championships in Apeldoorn.

Bol arrives fresh from victory at the Copernicus Cup in Torun where she regained her world lead with a 50.64 clocking, missing her national indoor record by just 0.01. Like Jacobs, Bol could also rewrite the domestic record books at her national championships.

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Hodgkinson to step down in distance in Birmingham

One week after opening her season with a 1:57.20 800m clocking in Birmingham, Keely Hodgkinson will be back in action on the same track but the Olympic silver medallist will drop down to the 400m at the British Indoor Championships.

Hodgkinson doesn’t possess an indoor 400m lifetime best but the 19-year-old showed good speed in a rare one lap outing just after the Tokyo Olympics, stopping the clock at 52.61 in a low-key race in Nottingham. The Brit has also publicly stated she holds ambitions of being part of 4x400m relay teams in the future.

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Mihambo on double duties in Leipzig

Malaika Mihambo found form in the last round of the ISTAF Indoor in Dusseldorf last weekend when she soared out to a world lead of 6.96m. Not only will Mihambo be contesting her specialist event at the German Indoor Championships in Leipzig, she will test her speed in the 60m as well.

This will be Mihambo’s last competition of an abbreviated indoor campaign. She will skip the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade in order to focus on defending her world and European titles this summer.

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Martinot-Lagarde versus Belocian in Miramas

One of the standout clashes at the French Indoor Championships in Miramas pits reigning European indoor champion Wilhem Belocian against European outdoor champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde in the 60m hurdles.

Surprisingly, Martinot-Lagarde has never been beaten by Belocian in their eight previous encounters although Belocian almost ended his spell of defeats against Martinot-Lagarde in Metz where they finished first and second in the 60m hurdles in 7.51 and 7.52 respectively.

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Mechaal targets another middle distance double

In-form Adel Mechaal is targeting his third 1500/3000m double at the Spanish Indoor Championships in Ourense. His path to the 3000m title should be a comfortable one in the absence of Mohamed Katir although he will face opposition from the likes of Saul Ordonez, Ignacio Fontes and Jesus Gomez in the 1500m.

However, Mechaal and Katir are due to go head-to-head next week over 3000m at the World Indoor Tour meeting in Madrid.

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Field events in focus at the Greek Indoor Championships

Reigning Olympic and European long jump champion Miltiadis Tentoglou will be among the star attractions at the Greek Indoor Championships in Athens. One target for Tentoglou could be the world lead of 8.26m which is held by combined events specialist Simon Ehammer from Switzerland.

Olympic fourth-placer Emmanouil Karalis headlines the pole vault while in-form Marija Vukovic from Montenegro - who is based in Greece - competes as a guest in the high jump.

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Ehammer to contest individual events in Magglingen

After setting a world leading score of 6285 points in Aubiere last month, Simon Ehammer will focus on the 60m hurdles and long jump at the Swiss Indoor Championships in Magglingen this weekend on the road to Belgrade.

Sister act Mujinga and Ditaji Kambundji are also expected to sweep the 60m and 60m hurdles titles respectively.

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Thiam’s season’s debut in Louvain-la-Neuve

Two-time Olympic heptathlon champion Nafissatou Thiam will make her one and only appearance of the indoor season at the Belgian Indoor Championships in Louvain-la-Neuve. 

She will contest the 60m hurdles where she will face Anne Zagre and fellow combined events specialist Noor Vidts, the silver medallist behind Thiam at the European Indoor Championships last year.

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