Kiwis ready for World Indoor Champs

The New Zealand team have all arrived in the Polish city of Sopot for the IAAF World Indoor Athletics Championships.

Five team members and three support personnel have flown in from bases in Kenya, Switzerland, New York, Michigan, South Canterbury and Auckland.                                                                                                                 

The championships start on Friday with Shot Putter Tom Walsh the first to compete at 10.15pm on Friday evening NZ time. He faces 21 competitors in his event and although he is the youngest by two years, the South Canterbury builder is not overawed.

Walsh recently set a New Zealand record with 20.61m in Melbourne and believes if he throws well he is in good enough shape to make the top eight who progress to the final on Saturday morning NZ time.

Walsh  who heads into the event ranked 17th, has spent the past week training with Valerie Adams and her coach Jean-Pierre Egger near Zurich in Switzerland and is very happy with his preparations.

Lucy van Dalen will be next up in the heats of the 3000m at 11.25pm. Formerly from Wanganui, van Dalen spent four years at Stony Brook University in New York state and has plenty of experience running on the 200m banked indoor tracks. She recently ran a personal best 8:53.95 indoors in New York, ranking her 14th of the 20 entrants. Twelve will qualify for the Monday morning final.

The last in action in the opening session of the championships will be Nick Willis in the 1500m just after midnight NZ time. This event is expected to be very open with no clear favourite. The first challenge for Willis will be to negotiate the tight field and sharp turns of the indoor track to position himself to become one of the nine qualifiers for the final to be run on Sunday morning.

Zane Robertson will contest the 3000m heats on Saturday morning while Valerie Adams starts the defence of her world title on Saturday evening.

Source: Athletics NZ

For More: Athletics New Zealand World Indoor Champs page

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