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10 big questions for Sopot 2014

Just days before the start of 2014's major global athletics event, here are ten things worth getting excited about.

1. Can G-Dibby deliver?

Having scored a hat-trick of indoor world records in just 15 days, there's no doubt that Genzebe Dibaba has been the star of the indoor season. Opting to run the 3000m in Sopot, will Dibaba race conservatively in pursuit of gold or be tempted to have a tilt at her own 8:16.60 world record? Her form is red hot (she smashed the 3000m record by more than seven seconds), so anything is possible.

Genzebe Dibaba breaking the two miles indoor world best at the 2014 Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham  (Getty Images)

Our hat-trick heroine in action in Birmingham.

2. Is Marvellous Marvin the real deal?

With James Dasaolu and Yunier Perez (the year's two stand-out indoor sprinters) both absent through injury, attention will turn to a 20-year-old from Florida named 'Marvellous' Marvin Bracy. The collegiate American footballer powered to victory at the Millrose Games in 6.50secs, and followed that up with the US title in 6.48sec. Sopot could provide the perfect platform for Bracy to introduce himself on the world stage.

3. Can Ivan Ukhov find 2cm?

25 years ago today, Javier Sotomayor set an indoor world record 2.43m at the world champs in Budapest: a mark which still stands. It would be fitting that if a quarter of a century later, Ivan Ukhov, the only man in history to successfully jump over 2.40m three times in the same indoor season, should finally break Sotomayor's record. The Olympic champ has cleared 2.40m, 2.41m and 2.42m this season. Surely a mammoth 2.44m can't be too far away?

High jumper Ivan Ukhov playing basketball (SPIKES)

Baller: Ivan Ukhov has Sotomayor's WR in his sights.

4. Adams and Pearson to score a down-under double?

Anzac Day, the day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand, falls on 25th April, but should Sally Pearson and Valerie Adams both strike gold on 8th March, SPIKES will start a petition for a new joint-national holiday.

The chances look good. Kiwi Adams is seeking her third world indoor shot put title, and is unbeaten since 2010. Aussie Pearson galloped to a world leading 7.79secs in Berlin last weekend, and is favourite to retain her world indoor 60mH title.

5. Will the local girl deliver?

Athlete's always pinpoint the electric atmosphere as the best thing about indoor championships, and the atmosphere in the brand new Ergo Arena will enter overdrive if local favourite Anna Rogowska clinches pole vault gold. Sopot born and raised, the current world leader and former world outdoor champion will be roared on by a partisan crowd.

Anna Rogowska Polish pole vaulter ()

Sopot star: Anna Rogowska only lives round the corner.

6. Can Superman set ANOTHER world record?

Before he takes a break from multi-events to run in the 400m hurdles this summer, Ashton Eaton is seeking to break the world record of 6645pts, which he tallied when winning world indoor gold two years ago. If he surpasses that total, it would be his fourth heptathlon world record. Aged 26 and in the prime of his career, you'd be a fool to bet against him.

7. Will the Poles embrace the champs?

With nearly three-quarters of the 22,500 available tickets already sold, we've got high hopes that the atmosphere will crackle inside the Ergo Arena. Watch out for Polish athletics heroes Tomasz Majewski (shot), Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski (800m), Kamila Licwinko (high jump) and Anna Rogowska (pole vault, above).

8. Can SAFP master the 60m?

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has won five outdoor world titles, two Olympic golds and was crowned 2013 IAAF Female Athlete of the Year. Yet a major indoor title has thus far eluded the Jamaican speed queen.

A relative novice on the boards, having only made her indoor debut last year, the diminutive Fraser-Pryce appears to have all of the attributes to excel over the shorter distance. Ivorian world 60m no.1 Murielle Ahoure will be among those out to deny her.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce 60m | Sainsbury's Indoor Games ()

Better out than in: Fraser-Pryce hasn't won a major indoor title, yet...

9. Will Wilson fly the flag?

We've grown accustomed to East African endurance runners completely sweeping the board at major championship, but it's possible we could witness a power shift in Sopot. There's no Mary Cain, but in Ajee Wilson, the USA have a 19-year old US junior record holder over 800m, who finished 6th in Mosocow. She's also the current world indoor leader. 

10. Who will take men's pole vault gold?

This is a serious question, so answers on a postcard (or a tweet to @spikesmag), please! Few moments have touched the athletics world in recent years quite like Renaud Lavillenie’s spectacular 6.16m world-record in Donetsk. Yet after injuring his foot in the process, and with world champion Raphael Holzdeppe also missing – who will seize the opportunity and win gold?

Former world indoor silver medallist Malte Mohr (the world leader), home favourite Pawel Wojciechowski and Briton Luke Cutts look best placed to capitalise.