World Indoor Championships: Three talking points

athletics04 March 2024 14:00| © AFP

Femke Bol, Armand 'Mondo' Duplantis and Noah Lyles were among a raft of high-profile athletes who starred at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow as they honed their form ahead of this summer's Paris Olympics.

We look at three talking points from the championships heading into the July 26-August 8 Paris Games.


Lyles left Glasgow with two silvers, but maximum coverage thanks to his embracing of the public and media as he seeks to assert himself as the rightful successor to Usain Bolt.

The US sprinter, who won treble world outdoor gold in Budapest last year, had announced that he saw the 60m crown as one of four he wanted to bag in 2024, along with titles in the 100, 200 and 4x100m relay at Paris.

But that came unstuck as teammate Christian Coleman beat him to gold in the sprint.

Lyles was then a late call-up to the 4x400m relay, running a slick third leg as the US team ultimately lost out to Belgium.

"Everything I've been doing this year – I've seen a good 4x4 leg, I've seen a great 60 metres – and I've been able to run three rounds in one day. I'm very positive about Paris," said Lyles, whose pre-champs contract renewal with Adidas was described as the biggest since Bolt's with Puma.

"I am ready to go outdoor and take this new-found 60m ability and put it to the 100m."

Fred Kerley, 2022 100m champion and Tokyo Olympic silver medallist, accused the US track federation of favouritism in drafting Lyles into the relay team.

But Lyles was quick to dismiss criticism from Kerley. "He could be here, but he isn't. So he mad, come on out here."


Unmistakable with her upright running gait and long stride, Femke Bol succeeded where Lyles failed, leaving Scotland with two golds won in most impressive style.

The Dutchwoman bettered her own world record to win the individual 400m in a totally dominant display of gun-to-tape running.

The two-time world 400m hurdles champion called her display around two laps of the 200m track at the Emirates Arena "amazing".

"It was such a strong race, I knew I had to go out fast. My coach said to me 'You can run faster', but to be honest I just wanted to win," Bol said.

"This is great because I've not done hurdles for four weeks and it gives me confidence. I am missing the hurdles."

Bol's second gold came as she anchored the Dutch women's quartet to victory in the 4x400m relay. As soon as she took hold of the baton for the final leg, all bets were off on anyone catching her.

Bol can now refocus on the 400m hurdles and a potential showdown with American star Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, the Olympic champion who set the world record when winning the 2022 world title in Eugene.

The question is whether the pair will double up in the hurdles and the 400m flat.


Mondo Duplantis suffered a scare before going on to retain his pole vault title.

The US-born Swede is an athlete who loves to compete and he has long treated indoor competition as ideal preparation for global championships.

He was pushed all the way in the early part of the pole vault, needing three attempts to clear 5.85 metres. He eventually wrapped up gold with a best of 6.05m, going close to bettering his own world record of 6.23m.

"I try not to overthink it and learn from the mistake I made on the first two and put it all together. I was able to pull it out of the bag," Duplantis said.

He added that he was "never negative about the fouls. It is always pressure on the last attempt because you are on the line but I always look at it positively. If I have one attempt left then I have a chance".

That attitude has served the two-time world outdoor and Olympic champion well and it would take a brave person to bet against the Swede defending his title come Paris.