Following the women’s preview, let’s have a look at what could be in store in the men’s events with the 60m and 400m taking prominent place due to the quality and the strength in depth of the fields.
60m (6.60/10.20 100m)
The renewed clash between Dwain Chambers and Simeon Williamson has effectively been delayed a week, the latter falling into a false-start in Moscow, but has lost none of its appeal or eager anticipation and should be expected as fierce as ever, with no quarters given or taken.
There is more than just an automatic place at stake in this showdown as it is reputation and pride also put on the line by the two sprint heavyweights who will fight it out for the right to the sprint throne of Britain.
Chambers wins the global indoor title in Doha two years ago
A battle that would have been even more tense and tighter had Richard Kilty, who roared to an easy-looking UK-leading 6.61 (PB) last weekend, added his own weight to what could be the showpiece of the championships.
Chambers showed a little tight and heavy-legged but his strength and composure still carried him through to a fast 6.64 secs for runner-up at the Russian Winter in Moscow but he should be expected to move up a gear and very likely into the 6.5s, emerging as a slight favourite to snatch an affair that should go all the way to the line.
Nevertheless, he is building up more with an eye on the summer rather than defending his world title in Istanbul and that would leave him a little vulnerable, athough his main rival is also employing the indoor season as a stepping stone and a platform to the Olympics.
That said, Williamson’s competitive return surpassed expectations, maybe even his very own, in a fastest ever opener of 6.64 secs at the SEAAs and following up even smoother in a 6.65 secs heat in Moscow so he looks back to his best and poised to challenge Chambers into that territory.
Harry Aikines-Ayreety hasn’t shown much yet but he is a force to be reckoned with although explosive starter Andrew Robertson, having improved substantially to a brace of 6.65s (PB) and very consistent, might turn to have an edge to shadow third, or even dare fancy splitting the top two favourites come to that.
An unknown quantity could be Mark Lewis-Francis, maybe risking a little, as he is rather surprisingly lining up after picking up a slight hamstring injury last weekend while young Greg Cackett could be fancied to upset a few names and make his own mark on the domestic scene.
Christian Malcolm is also involved, apparently looking for a gauge of his winter build-up, and along with U20 Adam Gemili and a revamped Leevan Yearwood could edge inside 6.7 secs.
200m (non-major championships event)
Up-and-coming prospect Danny Talbot is brimming with pace and looks poised to roar way inside 21 secs on the strength of the manner he dispenced with the field in Glasgow in 21.17 on the slow turf of Kelvin Hall, coming up as a firm favourite to collect the spoils.
Conrad Williams will be out for some serious speedwork and could drop towards the low 21 secs if his recent PB of 6.80 secs over the shorter dash is anything to go by. As for bronze, best shot looks Linford Christie‘s U23 charge Dannish Walker-Khan (21.51).
European Indoor bronze medallist Richard Buck shrugged off a scrappy opener at Kelvin Hall to storm back to the top of the UK lists by way of a 46.95 secs in Birmingham last weekend, always thriving in indoor environments, and offers a slender but reliable favourite in what should be a battle royal that could go any way between four or five men.
Nevertheless, Nigel Levine looked sharp and issued a serious warning in landing a total PB of 21.31 secs over 200m at the same meet so poses a serious threat, likely to engage in his trademark aggressive runs from the front. He hasn’t competed over the distance this season but holds a PB of 46.17 secs from last winter.
Hurdler Thomas Phillips struck favourable impressions in a swift winning total PB of 47.08 secs in Seattle recently, even on an oversize track, to suggest a dark horse while the presence of European silver medallist and regular sub 45 man outdoors Michael Bingham adds flair and spice to the affair, off to a 47.61 secs opener last weekend too.
If he has got back on terms with the tight curves of indoor tracks again, he’s going to form a tough proposition to deal with and won’t be easy to beat.
Luke Lennon-Ford hasn’t quite shone so far with a SB of 47.93 secs but the European U23 bronze medallist’s chances shouldn’t be dismissed at any rate while David Riley and James Smallwood will be interesting figures off the back of PBs in 47.53 and 47.67 secs respectively last week.
Young Welshman Joe Thomas has been in searing form and turning a revelation on the international stage this season, boasting four wins in as many races, so he should walk away with victory sight unseen – as simple as that!
He holds easily the three fastest times in the British Isles and commands a fiercesome turn of pace that none in the line-up can live with. The issue would be whether he is going to treat the race as a time trial or simply confirm his new-found status in a tactical affair.
Scot Guy Learmonth, into the U23 class now, is effectively in better shape than his SB of 1:49.52 suggests and looks the likeliest to occupy the runner-up spot behind him with former UK indoor champion Ed Aston quite possibly making up the medals.
1500m (3:42.00i or 3:59.00i/3:34.50 or 3:52.00 mile)
Despite a non-finish after being caught up in Mo Farah‘s fall in Boston, James Brewer is firmly back on track and racing well again, he is a shrewd tactician and a strong finisher that will take a good deal to beat no matter what shape the final might take.
Moreover, he has got already the qualifying time in the bag thanks to a 3:57.92 clocking over the mile at the US Open in New York, where he could have even won but for the experience of Andy Baddeley in the dying stages, so he is going to have that concern off his shoulders either and be fully focussed on his task.
Lewis Moses is enjoying the form of his life as reflected in a total PB of 3:41.33 in Vienna recently and could pose questions but maybe a tougher challenge could come from the ‘American’ duo of pacy Scot Kris Gauson and David Bishop, on a sharp upward trend and PBs of 3:59.95 and 4:00.10 in the mile lately. Slightly inconsistent Steve Mitchell could turn a factor into the equation on his day.
3000m (7:52.00i/7:44.00 or 13:19.00 5000m)
There is a quite even field and he who gets his tactics right will go a long way towards claiming top honours, so will it be strength or speed that is going to come on top in this contest?
James Wilkinson has been enjoying a sound winter either on the country, a European U23 silver medallist, or the road, fresh from a best of 13:55 over 5k in Armagh two days ago, and will like to make it a tough race to suit his steeplechase strength rather than leave matters to a late burn-up. On the evidence of his displays, he looks on the way to big improvements over the barriers in summer.
On the other hand, Stephen Davies looks to carry plenty of speed in his legs as his 3:42.39 over 1500m suggests and a slower pace could set him up nicely, while rising distance prospect Jonny Hay could as well be suited either way as he combines both elements well, demostrating a devastating finish past some top names for second in Edinburgh recently.
Jonny Mellor, who also fared well in Armagh, Olympic hopeful Luke Gunn and precocious teenager Zac Seddon are a few other names to watch out for.
60m hurdles (7.65/13.55 110mh)
With Daegu bronze medallist Andy Turner missing the event, the young generation picks up the mantle to pull together a good show over the sticks and they have shown more than equal to the task through the run-up to the UK Trials.
Burgeoning Andy Pozzi has stormed to a massive PB and qualifier of 7.62 secs, amazingly consistent in times in the 7.6 region, to shape a firm favourite to clinch his first British senior title although training partner Lawrence Clarke is lying quite close with also a PB of 7.68 secs and could entertain ambitions of his own, very consistent himself.
Then there is Gianni Frankis who has also made good strides forward to a big PB of 7.70 secs, as well as 6.85 secs over the flat 60m, and may have a say in the procedures while a surprise could arise from the mid 7.7 region where the likes of Julian Adeniran (7.75, PB) and Nick Gayle (7.77, PB) have settled.
Daegu finalist William Sharman and European U20 champion Jack Meredith will be also absent but the event has got more than enough in the tank to work fireworks in the arena of Sheffield.
Pole Vault (5.72)
Steve Lewis has been consistent and put in solid displays on the European pole vault circuit so far but is still missing that elusive qualifying standard and time is running short on him. It is very important that he gets that out of the way before pressure starts heaping up in a tense last week up to the deadline.
That said, he will also have to look over his shoulder as U23 Andrew Sutcliffe is closing in on him dangerously from behind and will fancy his chances of an upset on the buzz of a big PB of 5.54m recently, the youngster having already gone one up into the bargain.
Luke Cutts and Max Eaves haven’t ranged anywhere near their bests so the likes of Joe Ive (5.30), Gregor McLean (5.25) and Nick Crutchley could come in with a shout at the bronze.
High Jump (2.29)
Robbie Grabarz and Samson Oni promise to run away with the senses of spectators on new highs as they have displayed superb form on the circuit to gain a firm foothold in the top tier of the event.
Grabarz soars magnificently over a PB of 2.34 at Woopertal
Grabarz, 24 years of age, soared over a huge PB of 2.34m as he saw off Aleksey Dmitrik (RUS) at Woopertal while Oni equalled his lifetime best of 2.31m for third in a high quality contest in Hustopece, either doubling as an Olympic A qualifier in the process.
Therefore, they have both effectively booked their tickets for Istanbul, Martyn Bernard and Tom Parsons sitting out the indoor term, and can fully concentrate their efforts or raising the bar further with that burden off their shoulders.
This can turn a cracker in the full sense of the word!
Triple Jump (17.00)
With none of the big guns around on various grounds, namely Phillips Idowu, Nathan Douglas and Larry Achike, is it going to be up to someone from well behind to jump at it and snatch a welcome UK indoor gong. U23 Kola Adedoyin , who represented Britain at the new-look European Cup, and representing Jamaica now Nick Thomas come up as the closest bidders to do so, but jumps even over 16m could come at a premium.
Shot Put (20.00)
Scott Rider and Ryan Spencer-Jones appear set to fight it out for the top as a mere cm separates them this term, with SBs of 17.88 and 17.87m respectively, where U23 Zane Duquemin ought to round out the medals on a flurry of indoor bests last weekend.
Carl Myerscough has snatched the qualifying standard with a UK-heading 20.03m first time out this season over in the States but has not made the trip across the Pond.