2024 World Indoors Viewing Guide: Record Breakers, Lyles v Coleman, & Can An American Win the 1500?

Noah Lyles v Christian Coleman in the 60 is a mouthwatering matchup, while Cole Hocker has a legit shot at gold in the men's 1500

GLASGOW, Scotland –  The 2024 World Athletics Indoor Championships are this weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, and the action should be incredible. If you like head-to-head matchups, they don’t come much bigger than 100m world champion Noah Lyles vs world record holder Christian Coleman in the men’s 60m. If you crave individual greatness, how about Grant Holloway in the 60m hurdles, Ryan Crouser in the shot put, Mondo Duplantis in the pole vault, and Femke Bol in the 400m? And then there are the men’s and women’s 3,000s, each of which is packed with big names — Josh KerrSelemon BaregaYared Nuguse on the men’s side, Gudaf TsegayLaura MuirElle St. PierreJessica Hull on the women’s side. Almost every event has something that makes it worth watching.

The crowd should be into it. The Emirates Arena, which hosted the 2019 Euro Indoors, has drawn rave reviews as a venue and the crowd is expected to be loud. They should have plenty to cheer about. Even though Scotland has a population of just 5.4 million, the home nation has medal threats in the 800 (Jemma Reekie), 1500 (Kerr), and 3,000 (Muir). If one of them is in the lead on the bell lap, the noise will be deafening.

LetsRun.com will have wall-to-wall, boots-on-the-ground coverage from Glasgow all week. Sign up for our Supporter’s Club to get a free t-shirt and daily podcasts from Glasgow. We’ve already ranked every American’s distance medal chances and previewed the single best race of the championships: the men’s 3,000. Now it’s time to run through everything else you need to know ahead of one of the biggest meets of the year.

(P.S. If you know someone who might be interested in learning about track & field because it’s an Olympic year, send them this preview. Watching World Indoors is a great way to learn about some of the key players ahead of Paris this summer. And reading the LetsRun preview is the best way to prep for World Indoors).

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World Record Alert

Women’s 400 (prelims Friday 5:20 a.m. ET, semis Friday 4:10 p.m. ET, final Saturday 4:00 p.m. ET)
Men’s shot put
(final Friday 3:20 p.m. ET)
Men’s 60 hurdles (prelims Saturday 5:10 a.m. ET, semis Saturday 2:10 p.m. ET, final Saturday 4:30 p.m. ET)
Women’s 60 hurdles
(prelims Sunday 5:25 a.m. ET, semis Sunday 2:40 p.m. ET, final Sunday 4:00 p.m. ET)
Men’s pole vault
(final Sunday 2:00 p.m. ET)

Each of these events features an athlete who has broken the world record in either 2023 or 2024. But only two of the five athletes have won a world indoor title in their careers. Let’s run through each of them briefly.

Femke Bol, Netherlands, women’s 400 (49.24 indoor WR)

Bol has broken the indoor world record in each of the past two years but had to settle for silver in her last appearance at World Indoors in 2022 behind double Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo. But with Miller-Uibo and American stars Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Britton Wilson skipping Glasgow, Bol is the heavy favorite for gold. The #2 seed is her Dutch training partner Lieke Klaver, but her most intriguing rival is Alexis Holmes, the US champ who stunned Bol on the anchor leg of the mixed 4×400 at Worlds last year.

Ryan Crouser, USA, men’s shot put (23.56 overall WR)

At this point, Ryan Crouser is the shot put GOAT. He’s a double Olympic champion (with two Olympic records), a double world champion, and owns world records indoors and out (and seven of the eight best throws in history). His glittering resume is missing just one title: world indoor champion. Crouser didn’t compete indoors in 2018, there was no World Indoors in 2020 due to COVID, and he took silver in 2022 behind Brazil’s Darlan Romani in a stunning upset.

That defeat to Romani was Crouser’s first in more than two years, and Crouser was battling an elbow injury at the time (Crouser still threw 22.44m, a mark only three men have bettered indoors). Since then, Crouser has remained nigh on unbeatable, and his 22.80m winning toss at USAs was just .02 off his own world indoor record. As for Crouser’s challengers, Romani and 2016/2018 champ Tom Walsh of New Zealand are both entered, as is 2023 outdoor Worlds silver medalist Leonardo Fabbri of Italy.

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Grant Holloway, USA, men’s 60m hurdles (7.27 WR)

A version of this stat gets trotted out with almost every race Holloway runs, and I’m going to throw it at you again because it gets more impressive with every victory: Holloway has never lost a 60-meter hurdle race with barriers set at thecollege/professional height (39 inches). Since his first race as a University of Florida freshman in January 2017, Holloway has piled up 60 straight victories (including prelims) and owns six of the seven fastest times ever. Holloway’s start is insane, his execution terrific, but it is his consistency that stands above all: in a 7-second race where one error can prove fatal, Holloway rarely makes mistakes and never one big enough to cost him a race.

Make sure you watch every round in Glasgow. Holloway tied the world record in the semis at 2022 World Indoors and broke the record outright in the semis at USA Indoors two weeks ago at altitude in Albuquerque.

Mondo Duplantis, Sweden, men’s pole vault (6.23m WR)

Duplantis set his first world record in February 2020 and since then, the WR has been under threat anytime he steps onto a runway. Duplantis has swept every global title since then and he has a flair for the dramatic: of the seven world records he has set, two have come in the final event of a World Championship (2022 indoors and 2022 outdoors) while a third came at the last meet of 2023 in the Diamond League final. The last time Duplantis jumped in Glasgow in 2020, he broke the WR, so we already know he can go high at the Emirates Arena.

Devynne Charlton, Bahamas, women’s 60m hurdles (7.67 WR)

Charlton has the most on the line of any of the world record holders: she is the only one of the group to have never won a global title, earning silver at the last World Indoors in 2022. Charlton’s 7.67 WR at Millrose on February 11 came as a surprise, but she backed it up two weeks later by running 7.68 in Madrid and enters Worlds as the favorite. The only bummer is that Tia Jones, who tied Charlton’s WR at the US championships two weeks ago, is injured and will miss the meet.

Wait, Warholm showed up?

So far, the most notable thing Norwegian 400 hurdles king Karsten Warholm had done in 2024 was the time he ran a shirtless practice rep at Bislett Stadium on a -5 degree Fahrenheit day in January:


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A post shared by Karsten Warholm (@kwarholm)

So it was a pleasant surprise to see Warholm’s name among the entries for the 400m at World Indoors. Warholm has quite a bit of indoor experience, winning the 400 at Euro Indoors in 2019 and 2023. That 2019 Euros was in Glasgow, where Warholm had plenty of fun. He even donned a traditional Scottish kilt, which resulted in this glorious screenshot:

Winning the world title is obviously Warholm’s primary objective, but a secondary aim is surely to become the first European under 45 seconds indoors. Warholm ran his pb of 45.05 in Glasgow in 2019, which is tied for the European record with East Germany’s Thomas Schönlebe from 1988.

The indoor 400 is always chaotic, though. Warholm’s biggest competition figures to be reigning champion Jereem Richards of Trinidad & Tobago who, like Warholm, has yet to race in 2024. But keep an eye on American Brian Faust, whose collegiate journey took him from Villanova to Purdue to Kentucky and now to a surprise US title at age 25.

Ranking the best races to watch at Worlds

I’ve already discussed the 60 hurdles and the 400s so I won’t include them here. Let’s look at the remaining eight track races.

8. Women’s 1500m (prelims Friday 2:05 p.m. ET, final Sunday 4:45 p.m. ET)

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Two years ago in Belgrade, the Ethiopian 1500 trio of Gudaf TsegayAxumawit Embaye, and Hirut Meshesha made history by becoming the first country to sweep the podium in an event at World Indoors (this is nearly impossible to do because each country only gets two entries unless they have the winner of the World Indoor Tour). Ethiopia could do the same in 2024 with an entirely different team as Freweyni Hailu (3:55 sb), Diribe Welteji (3:55 sb), and Birke Haylom (3:58 sb) are the top three seeds by some distance. Another Ethiopian sweep would be impressive, but not necessarily the most exciting racing. Things could get interesting, however, if someone like US champ Nikki Hiltz can break them up.

JG prediction: 1. Welteji 2. Hailu 3. Haylom

7. Men’s 800m (prelims Friday 7:22 a.m. ET, semis Saturday 7:30 a.m. ET, final Sunday 4:10 p.m. ET)
6. Women’s 800m (prelims Friday 6:40 a.m. ET, semis Saturday 7:10 a.m. ET, final Sunday 4:20 p.m. ET)

I’m lumping these events together because both suffer from the same problem: none of the big guns are running this event. In the 800, there is a very clear women’s big three of Mary MoraaKeely Hodgkinson, and Athing Mu and a very clear men’s big two of Marco Arop and Emmanuel Wanyonyi and the event is weaker by their absence.

That said, indoor 800s are always worth watching because of the potential for argy-bargy and general chaos. With nine men between 1:45.00 and 1:45.70, there is no clear favorite on the men’s side. Eliott Crestan of Belgium has been in the best form this year, running 1:45 three times and winning all three races, but Romanian-born Italian Catalin Tecuceanu will be riding high after running a world-leading 1:45.00 to win in Madrid last week. Reigning champ Mariano Garcia of Spain appears to be rounding into form as well and Americans Bryce Hoppel (bronze in ’22) and Isaiah Harris could both be factors.

JG prediction: 1. Crestan 2. Tecuceanu 3. Hoppel

On the women’s side, Ethiopia’s Habitam Alemu is the world leader at 1:57.86 but Jemma Reekie, who grew up just outside of Glasgow in Kilbarchan, will be the sentimental favorite and is a legitimate threat to win it all after her 1:58.24 win at the British champs. 1:55 woman Natoya Goule-Toppin is also one to watch (though she hasn’t raced this year) and American fans will be eager to see how US champ Allie Wilson and 20-year-old Addy Wiley fare at their first global championship.

Editor’s addition by Robert Johnson: Can I add that Natoya Goyle-Toppin really deserves to medal? The former 3-time NCAA champ is now 32 and she’s been really good for a really long time as she first broke 2:00 in 2013. She’s run 1:56 or faster in each of the last three years including a 1:55.96 Jamaican national record in her last race at the Pre Classic in September – yet she’s never medalled indoors or out.

JG prediction: 1. Reekie 2. Alemu 3. Halimah Nakaayi

4. Men’s 1500m (prelims Friday 3:10 p.m. ET, final Sunday 4:30 p.m. ET)

This event is missing a number of the top dogs from the event — Ingebrigtsen is out, Kerr and Nuguse are running the 3,000. But it’s exciting because two of America’s top talents — 20-year-old Hobbs Kessler and 22-year-old Cole Hocker — are entered, and both are serious medal threats.

Kevin Morris photo

On Tuesday, I outlined why Hocker has a strong chance not just at a medal, but to win gold. Hocker was 7th at Worlds in the 1500 last year, and of the six men to beat him in Budapest, only two are running World Indoors: Spain’s Mario Garcia Romo (who is not in good form) and Norway’s Narve Nordas (who ran a poor 3:37 season opener but looked better last week in winning the 3,000 in Madrid in 7:41).

Plus, Hocker was 7th after an injury-delayed season that did not see him race until June 16. He has encountered no such issues in 2024, running a stellar 8:05 2-mile at Millrose before deploying a masterful performance at USA Indoors to win the 1500. In that race, he crushed Kessler — a guy who had just run 3:48 at Millrose — by more than a second. Hocker has a big kick, has plenty of indoor experience, and has raced two global finals outdoors, running personal bests in each. All the pieces are in place for him to do something special in Glasgow.

His biggest obstacle is two-time defending champ Samuel Tefera of Ethiopia. Tefera’s career defies explanation: somehow he is unbeatable at World Indoors and utterly terrible at outdoor championships (he’s never made a final). It’s not as if Tefera always runs horribly outdoors. In 2019, he defeated a strong field to win the London Diamond League mile but dropped out of his semi at Worlds. In 2021, he ran 3:30 in Monaco, then bombed out of the Olympics in the first round a month later. Last year he was in good shape but decided to focus on the 5,000 for some reason, where his 12:58 sb was nowhere close to fast enough to make the loaded Ethiopian team.

But for whatever reason, Tefera runs exceptionally well indoors. In 2018, an 18-year-old Tefera won the 1500 world title in Birmingham barely a month after his first-ever indoor race. The following year, he set an indoor world record of 3:31.04. And in 2022, he stunned Jakob Ingebrigtsen to repeat as world champion in Belgrade.

With another World Indoors upon us, Tefera is once again in terrific shape. He began his 2024 campaign with a 7:33 3,000 pb in Kazakhstan on January 27, then won the 1500 in Torun on February 6 in 3:34. Tefera’s most recent race, a 7:46 for 8th in Lievin, did not go as well, but that was just four days after his win in Torun. He’s a serious threat to three-peat, something no man has done in any of the distance events at World Indoors.

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One other man to keep an eye on is Geordie Beamish of New Zealand. Beamish was the 2019 NCAA mile champ at NAU, and he has an outstanding kick, which he notably deployed to beat Hocker in the 3,000 at Millrose in 2022. Hocker turned the tables on Beamish at Millrose, outkicking him by .03, but Beamish later revealed that he had miscounted laps, which explains why he split 26.69 for his penultimate 200! (Beamish also said Hocker was the first man to pass him in the final 200m since 2019).

Beamish still held on to run his final 200 in 28.33 and almost defeat an outstanding kicker in Hocker. Many took that validation of one of the criticisms of Beamish — that he allows himself to be dropped too easily in the middle of races when he still has something in the tank. He has the wheels to compete with anyone in the 1500 in Glasgow. The question is whether he can put himself in position to use them.

As for Kessler, he ran a poor race at USAs, but there are two silver linings. One is that it is unlikely he will run that poorly tactically two races in a row. The second is that he will have had 13 days to recover since his last race (before that, he had raced three weekends in a row). Hocker is America’s best medal bet in this event, but Kessler has international experience (he is the road mile world champ, after all) and legitimate podium potential.

JG prediction: 1. Hocker 2. Tefera 3. Beamish

3. Women’s 3,000m (final Saturday 3:15 p.m. ET)

Gudaf Tsegay is one of the world’s greatest distance talents, but as far as entertainment value, her presence in this race actually makes it less compelling. Tsegay, who is the world record holder at 1500 indoors (3:53) and 5,000 outdoors (14:00) and narrowly missed the 3,000 indoor record with her 8:17.11 in Lievin on February 10, is just way better than everyone else in this field. Barring a humongous upset, she’s leaving with the gold medal.

Behind Tsegay, the field is very deep. You’ve got home favorite Laura Muir, American Elle St. Pierre (the 2022 silver medalist who is running better than ever after giving birth 11 months ago), Australian Jessica Hull (who beat St. Pierre on February 4 in Boston), steeple WR holder Beatrice Chepkoech of Kenya, and Ethiopians Hirut Meshesha (3:54/8:28 pbs) and Lemlem Hailu (reigning champ, though she hasn’t finished a race all year). The battle for silver and bronze should be incredible, and if one of those women can somehow upset Tsegay, this could turn into the race of the meet.

JG prediction: 1. Tsegay 2. Muir 3. St. Pierre

2. Men’s 60m (prelims Friday 8:10 a.m. ET, semis Friday 2:45 p.m. ET, final Friday 4:45 p.m. ET)

The men’s 60 is the closest we have in this meet to the marquee event in all of track & field, the men’s 100 meters. The problem is, for much of the 2000s and 2010s, the 60 felt diminished because the best sprinter in the world — guy by the name of Bolt — did not race indoors.

Kevin Morris photo

But since Bolt’s retirement in 2017, the last two editions of the 60 at World Indoors have been very entertaining and the 2024 installment should be tremendous. First we had Christian Coleman‘s emergence in 2018, setting a world record of 6.34 at USAs and winning Worlds in Birmingham. Then in 2022 we had the showdown we missed at the Olympics: Coleman vs. Italy’s Marcell Jacobs. Jacobs won that one by a hair in an instant classic.

Now we’ve got the planet’s best sprinter, Noah Lyles, stepping down and trying to do something that has not been done in 25 years. In the history of sprinting, only one man has held the 60m, 100m, and 200m global titles simultaneously: Maurice Greene, who won all three in 1999.

That Lyles could be the one to succeed Greene is remarkable. For much of Lyles’ career, his first 30 meters was the weakest part of his race. And while he is still not the fastest out of the blocks, he has made improvements in that area, which have allowed Lyles to stay in contact with the fast starters before letting loose with his unparalleled top-end speed. Over the past two years, he’s dropped his pb from 6.55 to 6.43, and at USAs two weeks ago, he handed Coleman just his second loss at 60 meters in the last seven years.

LRC The Start: How Important Is Noah Lyles’ Start to His Chances of Success in the 100 Meters?

That 6.43 in Albuquerque suggests special things are in store for the outdoor season, but first Lyles has three more races ahead of him in Glasgow. As the world leader, Lyles has a great shot to win, but Coleman and Jamaica’s Ackeem Blake (6.45 sb) have both lost to Lyles by .01 this season and will be eager to avenge those defeats. But even if Lyles is beaten, the fact that he is in Glasgow at all is a win for the sport. Lyles, as the face of the men’s sprints, is one of track’s biggest stars (and, according to his agency, now the highest-paid). Merely by his presence, this race becomes big. The sport could use more of that.

JG prediction: 1. Lyles 2. Coleman 3. Blake

1. Men’s 3,000m (final Saturday, 3:40 p.m. ET)

The race of the championships. Josh Kerr Selemon Barega Yared Nuguse is such a great matchup that I wrote an entire separate article on it here. Enjoy the meet, everyone! LRC World Champ v Olympic Champ v 3:43 Miler: Who Wins the Incredible Men’s 3000 at World Indoors?

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