With World Indoor Tour Gold Madrid 22 less than three weeks away, scheduled for Wednesday, 2 March at C.D.M. Gallur, European indoor medalists Nadine Visser, Anna Kielbasinska and Lorraine Ugen are the first international athletes announced for the final meet of the World Athletics global circuit. But they won’t be the last.
Netherlands’ Nadine Visser already knows how to win in Madrid. She did it a year ago, obliterating her own Dutch 60m hurdles record with 7.81. The 27-year-old will race again at C.D.M. Gallur on 2 March, but this time the record to break is 7.77, which she set on her way to her second European title in Torun.
That 7.77 PB is the seventh-fastest ever by a European woman, the second-fastest in the 21st Century and the best of the last 13 years.
The two-time-reigning European indoor champion also took bronze at World Indoor Championship in Birmingham 2018. Outdoors Visser finished fifth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, seventh at London 2017 World Championship and sixth at Doha 2019 World Championship in the 100m hurdles. She owns the Netherlands’ record in the event with 12.51, set in 2021.
Poland’s Anna Kielbasinska has excelled since she decided to step up from the short sprints to the 400m. She focused on the event in 2018, when she was 27, and set PBs of 52.14 (outdoors) and 53.40 (indoors) in that first season. Thenceforth Kielbasinska has not stopped improving her level until setting a 51.10 world indoor lead earlier in 2022 — which was bettered 10 days later by Netherlands’ Femke Bol with 50.72.
Kielbasinska, 31, holds the Polish 400m indoor record with 51.10. Worth noting Poland’s 4x400m relay has won an Olympic silver, two world silver medals indoors, and global bronze and silver medals outdoors since 2016, so her national record says a great deal about her fitness.
In Madrid, Kielbasinska will try to break the 51-second barrier indoors, which only two European athletes have done in the last decade.
Though she didn’t participate in any of the finals but in the heats, Kielbasinska is an Olympic and world 4x400m silver medalist. The sprinter did race the final at the Glasgow 2019 European Indoor Championship, commanding the Polish 4x400m relay to the title by running the first leg.
After her 51.92 victory at INIT Indoor Meeting Karlsruhe, Kielbasinska leads the World Indoor Tour Gold standings with 10 points along with United States’ Wadeline Jonathas.
In Belgrade, the 31-year-old sprinter aspires to become the first Poland’s quarter miler to win an individual World Championship medal, both indoors and outdoors. The one and only precedent in the global stage happened at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, where legend Irena Szewinska claimed her third and last career gold of a total of seven Olympic medals.
Great Britain’s Lorraine Ugen will try to win the World Indoor Tour Gold overall title in long jump in Madrid on 2 March. The 30-year-old currently stands in second position with 10 points after her 6.71m triumph at the NB Indoor GP. That 6.71m leap ranks the Briton fourth in the world in 2022.
National indoor record-holder with 6.97m, Ugen is one of the eight European women to jump over 6.90m indoors in the last five years, and only one of the four to break the 7-meter barrier outdoors in the same period. Her 7.05m outright best is just 2 cm off the Great Britain’s record.
Ugen has been representing her country for almost a decade. Her biggest success came at Portland 2016 World Indoor Championship, where she took bronze with a then British record of 6.93m. One year later, the long jumper won silver at Belgrade European Indoor Championship by setting the current national best of 6.97m.
Outdoors, Ugen has finished fifth twice at World Championships, in Beijing 2015 and London 2019, and has been Olympian in Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020. While studying at Texas Christian University, Ugen won two NCAA long jump titles, outdoors in 2013 and indoors in 2014.