MOSCOW, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Reigning world indoor champion Ivan Ukhov will headline both stops of the eighth edition of the Moravia high jump Tour series in late January, world athletics governing body IAAF said on its official website.
Ukhov, who also leaped to two successive European indoor titles in 2009 and 2011, will be the focus of attention at both Czech competitions - in Hustopece on 28 January and in Trinec two days later. As the meet record holder at both, they are venues the 25-year-old Russian knows well. He scaled 2.38m in Hustopece this past indoor season - also the world lead - and 2.34m in Trinec in 2010.
"I'm happy to return again to the Moravia series," said Ukhov, who was unbeaten indoors in 2011 and will make his 2012 debut at this series. "Especially Hustopece which is one of my favorite indoor halls. Hopefully the bar wouldn't be so strict for my World record attempts like last season. And for Trinec I would hope to improve my event record."
Last season with record holder Javier Sotomayor in attendance, Ukhov seriously attacked the World indoor record in Hustopece with solid tries at 2.44m.
Among Ukhov's rivals will be be home star Jaroslav Baba, the 2011 European indoor silver medallist, who will compete at both competitions. Trevor Barry from The Bahamas, who struck bronze at the world championships in Daegu, is also confirmed for both meets. Russian Nikita Anishchenkov, this year's top junior at 2.30m and the European junior champion, will also be competing.
The first leading name announced on the women's side is U.S. record holder Chaunte Howard Lowe who will continue her comeback from maternity leave.
Lowe, 27, upped the U.S. record to 2.06m in June 2010 before taking a break to have her second daughter, Aurora, who was born this past April.
With just minimum training, Lowe competed at last summer's U.S. championships where she topped 1.78m. She's now back to full training and planning a full indoor season. In 2010 Lowe took the bronze medal at the World Indoor Championships in Daegu.