Commonwealth one-two enjoy exciting rematch at the World Indoor Tour Gold event in Toruń on Wednesday night
If the women’s 800m at the ORLEN Copernicus Cup in Toruń this week is anything like last summer’s Commonwealth Games final, it will be a thrilling race. Seven months ago in Birmingham, Mary Moraa used bizarre tactics to beat Keely Hodgkinson and the pair meet for a much-anticipated rematch at the latest World Indoor Tour Gold event on Wednesday (Feb 8).
At the Commonwealth Games, Moraa flew through the first 200m in 25.9 and continued to lead approaching the bell in 56.5 but then allowed the entire field to swallow her up as she went from first to last place on the penultimate bend. On the back straight she moved back up to fourth place and then powered down the home straight to win in 1:57.07 as Hodgkinson took silver in 1:57.40 with Laura Muir edging out Natoya Goule for bronze.
Hodgkinson is clearly in great form going into this week’s showdown as she set a 600m world best of 1:23.41 in Manchester last week. Moraa, however, also beat Hodgkinson in the Diamond League final last year and has yet to race in 2023. In fact this will be the Kenyan’s first-ever indoor race.
It is also maybe not quite a two-horse race either. Diribe Welteji of Ethiopia was fourth in the world 800m final in Eugene last July behind Athing Mu, Hodgkinson and Moraa. Also in the Toruń line-up is 2019 world champion Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda, world leader Noelie Yarigo of Benin and Slovenia’s Anita Horvat, who won the 800m in Karlsruhe recently.
The women’s mile will feature a world record attempt with Gudaf Tsegay of Ethiopia attacking Genzebe Dibaba’s mark of 4:13.31 set in 2016. Tsegay set a world indoor 1500m record of 3:53.09 in Lievin two years ago and she has since won the world 5000m title.
Elsewhere in Toruń, world indoor 3000m champion Lemlem Hailu is joined by fellow Ethiopians Ejgayehu Taye, Werkwuha Getachew and Freweyni Hailu.
Ewa Swoboda faces Mujinga Kambundji and Daryll Neita in the women’s 60m. Swoboda is racing on home soil and set her PB of 6.99 on the same track 12 months ago.
In the women’s sprint hurdles another Polish athlete, Pia Skrzyszowska, takes on Jamaica’s world 100m hurdles silver medallist Britany Anderson and European indoor champion Nadine Visser of the Netherlands.
Olympic and world indoor champion Miltiadis Tentoglou is up against Thobias Montler and Marquis Dendy in the long jump.
In-form British middle-distance runners Guy Learmonth (800m) and George Mills (1500m) are also in action.
UK viewers can watch the meeting live on ViaPlay (£15 subscription) or Sky channel 422 or Virgin channel 553.
Look out for a preview of Saturday’s Millrose Games on the AW website this week.
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