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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 10:33 GMT
Brightening up indoors
By Mike Burnett

With many of the top athletes missing and all eyes on the Olympics this summer, the World Indoor Championships in March has its work cut out grabbing headlines.

But organisers in Budapest need not fear - we have come up with a few ideas to add a little drama (and danger) to the athletics showpiece.

1. Introduce the javelin

Jan Zelezny in action in 2001
'You, madam, in the 16th row - could you hold this a second?'
Healthy and safety officials might be up in arms, but it brings a whole new meaning to seeing the Championships live.

For once, the cheap seats at the back would be the best in the house as punters avoid javelins flying left, right and centre.

More mayhem could ensue as fans in the crowd attempt to throw javelins back to the competitors.

2. Turn the lights out

A light switch
Don't waste energy - turn that light off
What better way to make the most of indoors than by turning the lights out?

Pole vaulter Svetlana Feofanova makes her run-up, plants her pole in anticipation - then suddenly the arena is plunged into darkness, there's a loud crash, lights turn on again - cue round of applause.

Or imagine track events without lights. Runners set off in the dark with a candle and damp match. Closest to the finish line after five minutes is the winner.

3. Host at the Millennium Stadium

Millennium Stadium
Indoors or outdoors, you be the judge!
There's no denying the Millennium Stadium is a top sports venue, so why doesn't the World Indoors get in on the act?

With that retractable roof, the whole event can be both indoors and outdoors!

For example, Maria Mutola sets a new world indoor record in the 800m, the roof opens, and suddenly it's an outdoor record too - magic.

4. Hit the 100m barrier

Justin Gatlin wins the 60m title last year
Not so much a pain barrier as a 'people, seats and wall' barrier
A 100m sprint track might be too long for an indoor arena but why not stick it in anyway?

It certainly makes for a more gripping finale.

The competitors have to not only win the race, but also negotiate four rows of spectators and grind to a halt before they hit the emergency exit.

5. Bring in the designers

Graham Wynne and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen from Changing Rooms
Who needs the World Indoors when you can have the World Interiors?
There's only one true way to make the Indoors more eye-catching, bring in the professionals.

No, not athletes, interior designers. Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and the Changing Rooms team have just three days to transform the Budapest Sportarena before the organisers come back.

Out goes the state-of-the-art running track, and in comes laminate flooring, a wall mural and an MDF coffee table.

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