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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 11:37 GMT
Records reign indoors
From humble beginnings in 1985, the championships have doubled in size over the course of nine competitions.


It is 17 years since the IAAF World Indoor Games were held in Paris in January 1985.

However, as the meeting coincided with the North American indoor season, it was very much a European affair.

In an effort to embrace global athletics in 1987, the inaugural IAAF World Indoor Championships were held in America.

Since that inception, the prestigious event has been held every two years, but recently moved on the calendar, meaning the 10th championships in Budapest take place just 12 months after the 2003 World Indoors in Birmingham.

1987 - Indianapolis, USA

Track - 60m, 60m hurdles, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m walk
Field - High jump, long jump, triple jump, pole vault, shot put
Track - 60m, 60m hurdles, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 3000m walk
Field - High jump, long jump, shot put
Five world records fell at the first World Championships in 1987.

The Indianapolis crowd were entertained by 13 men's and 11 women's events, Heike Dreschler winning two golds.

Dreschler secured a new world record in the 200 metres and also took gold in the long jump.

But Canada's Ben Johnson stole the plaudits with a world record in the 60m, and the drama did not end at the conclusion of the race.

After being disgraced at the Seoul Olympics, when Johnson was revealed as a drug's cheat, his gold medal and world record were instead given to America's Lee McRae.

1989 - Budapest, Hungary

Two years on in Budapest, another five world records were broken, two in dramatic circumstances.

Cuba's legendary high jumper Javier Sotomayor finally won gold with a record jump of 2.43 metres after six hours of competition.

However, an even greater head-to-head took place on the track.

Elly van Hulst and Liz McColgan broke away from the field in the 3000m matching each other stride for stride.

The Dutch athlete finally snatched victory from McColgan and smashed the world record as the pair finished 15 seconds ahead of the rest of the field.

Kenya's Paul Ereng also broke the 800 metres world record despite leaving it late on two counts.

Ereng only entered the championships at the last minute and then waited to the bell before making his move from fifth to first to claim the first of two gold medals at the championships.

1991 - Seville, Spain

The entry list for Seville in 1991 increased by 50%.

The list of competitions also increased as did the number of world records.

The 4x400 metres for men and women were introduced along with the women's triple jump.

Spain saw Germany competing as a unified nation for the first time and they claimed gold in the two new relay events - although in the men's version the four was made up entirely of former East German athletes.

Legendary Ukranian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka also cleared six metres for the first time.

1991 also marked Johnson's return to international athletics after his two-year ban following the Seoul Olympics.

He was unable to make a significant impression and win back the gold he "lost" in 1987 as he finished in fourth place behind America's Andre Cason, who pipped Linford Christie on the line.

1993 - Toronto, Canada

Men's heptathlon - 60m, 60m hurdles, 1000m, high jump, long jump, pole vault, shot put
Women's pentathlon - 60m, 800m, high jump, long jump, shot put
When the championships re-crossed the Atlantic to Canada in 1993, the heptathlon and pentathlon were introduced.

America's Dan O'Brien set a world record in the heptathlon matching Inessa Kravet's feat in the second year of the women's triple jump.

Toronto was the last occasion that the men's 5000m and women's 3000m walking titles would be competed for at the championships.

Russia's Mikhael Shchennikov ensured he left the stage holding onto the men's walking gold medal, a prize he never lost in six years of competition.

That run of success included three world record efforts - the first of which he only secured by one-hundreth of a second in 1987.

1995 - Barcelona, Spain

Back in Europe and back in Spain in 1995, only one world record was broken in Barcelona.

Two years after coming second to Kravets in the triple jump, Russia's Iolanda Chen not only climbed to the top step of the podium but in the process also broke the Ukranian's world record.

Romania's Gabriela Szabo made her debut at the championships winning the first of her three gold medals in the 3000m.

And Sotomayor and Bubka each collected their third world indoor gold medals in the high jump and pole vault respectively.

1997 - Paris, France

Yekaterina Podkopayeva and Mary Decker-Slaney
Podkopayeva and Slaney battle for victory
Wilson Kipketer stole the show in Paris in 1997 claiming two of the four world records that fell over the three days.

Running in the 800 metres, the Dane broke the world record in his heat on the first day before subsequently breaking that record in the final two days later.

America's Stacy Dragila won the women's pole vault on its introduction to the competition with a world record.

The final record was broken in the penultimate event in the championships when Russia's women successfully defended their 4x400m title with a time they again broke in 1999.

But the most dramatic win came in the women's 1500m.

Russia's Yekaterina Podkopayeva beat the 38-year-old American Mary Decker-Slaney, by three-hundreths of a second, to become the oldest world champion in history at the age of 44.

1999 - Maebashi, Japan

Competition awards, having been introduced in Seville, were increased to $50,000 for winners in Japan and helped to attract a quality field of athletes and ensured that the seventh indoor world championships were the best ever.

America's men's 4x400m team, like the Russian women's relay squad, broke the indoor record to win a fourth successive gold.

Cuba's Ivan Pedroso also won a fourth consecutive title and in the process produced the second longest indoor leap in the long jump.

In the women's 800m another effort, which had only ever been bettered once indoors, accounted for Maria Mutola's ambition to match Pedroso by winning a fourth successive gold, as Ludmila Formanova inflicted a rare defeat on the Mozambique athlete.

Three British bridesmaids in 1997 went one better in 1999 as Jamie Baulch, Colin Jackson and Ashia Hansen all won golds to go with their Parisian silvers.

The stars of Maebashi were two returning winners, Gabriela Szabo and Haile Gebrselassie, who ran unprecendented doubles in the 1500m and 3000m.

2001 - Lisbon, Portugal

Daniel Caines grabs Britain first gold at Lisbon
Caines celebrates Great Britain's sole success in Portugal
Returning to Europe two years later and just five months after the Sydney Olympics, the three-day meet ended without a world record for the first time in its history.

But, with the extension of cash awards offered in individual competitions, there was no shortage of world-class athletes as 600 competitors from over 130 countries journeyed to Lisbon to take part.

Previously the cash awards were only offered to the first three placed athletes, but in Portugal, this was extended to the top six.

Cuban long jumper Ivan Pedroso won an unprecedented fifth title, and two of the world's premier middle-distance runners also gained victory - Hicham El Guerrouj in the men's 3000m and Maria Mutola in the women's 800m.

But there was disappointment for many of the Olympic champions from Sydney with Heike Drechsler in the long jump, Jonathan Edwards in the triple jump, Noah Ngeny in the 1500m, Stacy Dragila in the pole vault, and Gabriela Szabo in the 3000m all failing to win their events.

Britain's only gold came in the 400m through Daniel Caines, who ran a superb tactical race, while Mark Lewis-Francis burst onto the world stage with a bronze in the 60m.

2003 - Birmingham, UK

Marlon Devonish wins 200m gold
Devonish grabbed one of Britain's golds in Birmingham

Jonathan Edwards and Colin Jackson finished out of the medals, but the British team still had their most successful championships ever.

The squad took seven medals, including golds from Marlon Devonish in the 200m and from Ashia Hansen in the women's triple jump.

But Edwards missed out in the men's triple jump and Jackson ended his wonderful athletics career with a fifth place in the final of the 60m hurdles.

Elsewhere, Mozambique's Maria Mutola won her fifth world indoor 800m gold and Ethiopian distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie put in an impressive display to take the 3,000m title.

Finally, Svetlana Feofanova claimed gold for Russia and also set a new world indoor record, clearing 4.80m in the pole vault to complete a truly thrilling edition of the World Indoors.

Links to more World Indoors 2004 stories



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