Reigning Olympic and World Indoor Champion Matthew Centrowitz Will Skip 2018 Indoor Season, Race in Australia Instead

By Jonathan Gault
January 18, 2018

Rather than attempt to defend his World Indoor 1500-meter title, 2016 Olympic champion Matthew Centrowitz will skip the 2018 indoor season and head Down Under, according to his father Matt Centrowitz. The younger Centrowitz made the decision in concert with his coach, Alberto Salazar. Centrowitz will spend approximately a month in Australia — and possibly New Zealand.

Centrowitz had quite a year indoors in 2016

Centrowitz after winning World Indoors in 2016

“He’s gonna open up in Australia sometime in February or March,” the elder Centrowitz said, adding that Matthew is “100% healthy.”

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Australia is hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast from April 4-15. Notable meets in the buildup to those championships include the Sydney Athletics Grand Prix on March 17, the Summer of Athletics Grand Prix in Brisbane on March 22, and the Queensland Track Classic on March 28. It is unclear which meets Centrowitz will compete at.

The decision to head to Australia marks an aberration in Centrowitz’ professional career. Centrowitz had run an indoor season in five of his six seasons since turning professional in the fall of 2011, only missing 2014 due to a virus. The 28-year-old Centrowitz spent the fall of 2017 in Eugene taking classes at the University of Oregon and helping out former coach Andy Powell with the Ducks’ cross country team.

In other news, the elder Matt Centrowitz is in the embryo stage of working with Point Road Productions and co-producers/co-writers Billy Raftery and Taylor Materne to adapt his memoir, Like Father, Like Son, into a screenplay with the intention of adapting it into a feature film. The book tells the story of how Centrowitz used running to escape his hardscrabble upbringing in the Bronx and become a two-time Olympian and American record holder at 5,000 meters. We reviewed the book last year here; you can read an excerpt here.

Talk about Centrowitz not defending his world indoor crown on our world famous fan forum / messageboard: MB: Breaking: Reigning world indoor champ Matthew Centrowitz will NOT defend his crown – will race in Australia instead