The IAAF World Indoor Championships began this morning in Istanbul, Turkey, with first-round action in the men's and women's 800 meters, the women's 3000 meters and the men's 1500 meters.
Of special interest to New York fans, Americans Tevan Everett and Michael Rutt—members of the New York-New Jersey Track Club—both qualified for tomorrow's semi-final of the men's 800. Rutt was second in his heat to qualify automatically, while Everett made it through on time. In the women's 800, American Erica Moore went through, while Phoebe Wright was eliminated.
In the women's 3000, Ethiopian Meseret Defar won her heat as she seeks to win her fifth consecutive indoor title at the distance. Americans Jackie Areson and Sara Hall, winner of the 2011 NYRR Dash to the Finish Line 5K, both qualified for Sunday's final.
And in the men's 1500, Matthew Centrowitz finished fourth in his heat to qualify on time for tomorrow's final. Centrowitz, the 2011 World Championships bronze medalist at 1500 meters, won the Wanamaker Mile last month at the Millrose Games. Galen Rupp, stepping down in distance, did not qualify.
The championships continue this afternoon with the first round of the women's 1500 and men's 3000. The latter features a host of names familiar to New York City race fans, including Australia's Craig Mottram, Great Britain's Mo Farah and American Bernard Lagat. Action continues tomorrow and Sunday.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg