Athletics: What you should know before the start of the Istaf Indoor in Berlin

As of: February 20, 2024 5:59 p.m

World-class athletics in Berlin: The Istaf Indoor is the largest indoor meeting in the world and goes into its eleventh edition on Friday. A world record holder canceled at short notice, but there are still good reasons for a visit to the arena at Ostbahnhof.

Eight disciplines, no boredom

The hall opens its doors on Friday (February 23) at 4:30 p.m. and sporting entertainment will be provided until late in the evening. Some of the best athletes in the world of athletics compete in eight disciplines – such as the 60-meter sprint, long jump and discus throw [].
As with the Istaf edition in Düsseldorf at the beginning of February, para-athletes will also be competing in Berlin for the first time. “As with the Istaf in the Berlin Olympic Stadium, we also want to establish para-sprints at the Istaf Indoor and, at the start of the Paralympics year, draw attention to the outstanding sprinters from different starting classes,” says meeting director Martin Seeber. “For many years, junior wheelchair speed racing competitions have been an integral part of our program. Now the fans in Berlin can also look forward to fast sprint races by the para stars.”

Canceled his participation in the Istaf Indoor at short notice: hurdles world record holder and series winner Grant Holloway.

Big names from the region – and the rest of the world

The bad news first: American superstar Grant Holloway canceled his participation on Monday. He wants to concentrate on the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow. Holloway is a three-time world champion and world record holder in the 60 meter hurdles indoors (7.27 seconds). The 26-year-old has not lost an indoor race for ten years and most recently won 64 races in a row. The anticipation of athletics enthusiasts in Germany was correspondingly great to see him run in Berlin on Friday. Puppy cake.
The good news is: Even without Holloway, there are some big names in the announced field of participants. Above all, the top German track and field athlete Malaika Mihambo. The long jumper won the gold medal at the 2021 Olympic Games, and Mihambo has also won the World Championships twice (2019 and 2022).
“The Istaf Indoor cannot be compared to any other meeting, the atmosphere is unique,” ​​says Mihambo. In Berlin, the 30-year-old will meet, among others, European indoor champion Jasmin Sawyers (Great Britain).

Starting at the Istaf Indoor in Berlin: Malaika Mihambo, Olympic champion and world champion in the long jump.

Kristin Pudenz from SC Potsdam, who won the silver medal at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, will be competing in the discus throw. The Slovenian discus world champion Kristjan Čeh is also expected in Berlin.
In the 60-meter sprint, the Jamaican star Omar McLeod, who became Olympic champion in the 110-meter hurdles in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, competes against the European indoor champion Samuele Ceccarelli (Italy) and the Briton Jeremiah Azu. The two Munich natives Yannick Wolf and Aleksandar Askovic are also among the challengers.
In the women’s category, the top German sprinters and European relay champions Alexandra Burghardt (SV Wacker Burghausen) and Rebekka Haase (LV 90 Erzgebirge) will be at the start. Local hero Lisa Marie Kwayie from the Neuköllner Sportfreunde will also be involved on Friday.
The German champion Franziska Schuster (TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen) and her club colleague and training partner Marlene Meier are among the participants in the 60 meter hurdles.

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Live and in color on site – or in the stream

Around 12,000 spectators are expected in the arena at Ostbahnhof on Friday. Tickets for the event are currently still available.
If you can’t be there, you still don’t have to miss anything: rbb|24 and ARD Sportschau are broadcasting the event in a live stream.

Broadcast: rbb24, February 23, 2024, 9:45 p.m