This is the first piece by Stuart Weir on the upcoming World Indoor Champs in Glasgow, Scotland. Watch for daily interviews coming Tuesday on, thanks to British Athletics and the wonderful writing skills on Stuart Weir. We will be covering Glasgow Live and remote! 

Glasgow calls

The World Indoor Athletics Championships take place in Glasgow this coming weekend. Glasgow is the third biggest city in the UK (after London and Birmingham), with a population of 635,000.  More importantly, Glasgow is in Scotland. UK Athletics is the governing body for the sport in the UK, but there are also sub-federations with devolved powers – English Athletics, Scottish Athletics, Welsh Athletics, and Athletics Northern Ireland. While there is a combined British team at the Olympics, European, and World Championships, the four nations have separate teams in the Commonwealth Games. That four current GB star athletes  – Josh Kerr, Laura Muir, Jemma Reekie, and Jake Wightman – are Scots adds to the hype for a global championship being held in Scotland.

Laura Muir takes 3000m at the 2019 European Indoors, photo by Getty Images for European Athletics

Laura Muir said last week that she had never competed in a World Indoors in an Olympic year, but the lure of an event not just in Scotland but in the city where she had lived for the past 8 years was too strong to resist. Josh Kerr talked about his desire to compete in global champs less than an hour from where he grew up, despite his coach’s initial concern that indoors could be a distraction in the Olympic year.

Blessing Okagbare winning the 100m Commonwealth Games 2014, photo by Martin Bateman

Glasgow has a long athletics tradition.  It hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2014 “London” Diamond League while the London Stadium was undergoing adaptations to life after the Olympics.  It has hosted elite indoor events for years.  I remember going in 2012 to an indoor Grand Prix at the old Kelvin Hall.  The 2014 Commonwealth Games saw the building of the Emirates Arena, which has hosted indoor athletics since.  Incidentally, the Emirates Arena includes the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, which commemorates Britain’s (OK, Scotland’s) greatest-ever Olympic cyclist.  Hoy attempted to enter  Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during the Commonwealth Games but had forgotten his identity credentials and was refused entry! Being Sir Chris Hoy was not enough to get him into the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome!

In addition to the regular indoor grand Prix, Glasgow hosted the 2019 European Indoors, a magnificent championship. Everything suggests that the 2024 World Indoor Athletics Championships will be a magnificent event.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 15: Ronnie Baker of the USA wins the men’s 60m during the Muller Indoor Grand Prix World Athletics Tour event at Emirates Arena on February 15, 2020, in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Stephen Pond – British Athletics/British Athletics via Getty Images)