The History of the INIT INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe

INIT INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 27. January 2023

The INIT INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe 2023 could not have had a better ending. Because the last act at the opening of the World Indoor Tour Gold was the highlight of the 39th edition of the Karlsruhe meeting in front of 3,000 spectators in a completely sold-out athletics arena in Messehalle 3. It was the highlight of the evening and it belonged to the British Dina Asher-Smith. “I came to Karlsruhe to run fast and somehow I hoped it would end up being a British record,” she said after her race in the 60 metres. In the end, that was exactly what happened for the sprint queen from Great Britain. With a blazing time of 7.04 seconds, she not only set a British record, but also equalled Irina Privalova's 27-year-old meeting record, thus making Karlsruhe history.


INIT INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 28. January 2022

In front of an enthusiastic crowd of 1,000 spectators, the athletes at the INIT INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe showed world-class athletics in a series of events yesterday evening at the Karlsruhe Exhibition Centre. With numerous best performances as well as an enormous worldwide spectator response, the INIT INDOOR MEETING was a complete success both in terms of sport and media at the start of the indoor athletics season and the World Indoor Tour Gold. The highlight of the evening was set by world record holder Armand Duplantis from Sweden in the men’s pole vault with a mighty leap over 6.02 metres – no one has ever jumped that high in Karlsruhe before. There will be one new milestone, though: With immediate effect, the traditional indoor athletics meeting, which took place for the 38th time in 2022, will have a new title sponsor as INIT INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe. The Karlsruhe-based company INIT, which is the world market leader for telematics solutions in public transport, is now the new title sponsor of the Karlsruhe meeting.


INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 29. January 2021

For the first time ever - due to the COVID-19 pandemic - the INDOOR MEETING takes place without visitors and in front of empty seats in the Karlsruhe Europahalle. However, even in difficult times like these, Karlsruhe presents a world-class Meeting for viewers to follow on their television at home, thus kicking off the World Athletics Indoor Tour. The Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie triumphs in the pole vault competition with a new Meeting record (5.95 metres) and expresses his gratitude after the match, saying, ”Usually, we receive a great atmosphere here in Karlsruhe, and that was a little different today. But the atmosphere here in Karlsruhe is truly always very special. Each and every one of us athletes wants to deliver top performances, as a gift to the organisers.” In addition to Renaud Lavillenie, Auriol Dongmo from Portugal also sets a new Meeting record. She wins the women's shot put fixture by throwing 19.65 metres, resulting in a world record for the year and national record on top of the Meeting record.


INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 31. January 2020

It is a young athlete who has just turned 18 who captivates the approximately 5,000 visitors at the 36th edition of the INDOOR MEETING, namely Yaroslava Mahuchikh from Ukraine. She presents herself in top form and jumps over 2.02 metres in the women's pole vault, thereby leaping to a new U20 world record. Looking at the overall results of the World Athletics Indoor Tour, it becomes very clear that her success in Karlsruhe on this day is not a mere stroke of good luck. There, she wins the women's pole vault competition. Martin Wacker, Meeting Director and General Manager of the organising Karlsruhe Marketing and Event GmbH, is equally enthralled by the athletes' performances: ”Once again, we have witnessed a fantastic INDOOR MEETING in Karlsruhe. Top-class sports in Karlsruhe, with international appeal. The images from Karlsruhe were televised live for two hours in more than 100 countries. That is truly location marketing at its finest.” Furthermore the INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe becomes part of the International Athletics “Hall of Fame”. With this award, the INDOOR MEETING has been honoured for its outstanding contributions to the worldwide development of athletics.


INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 2 February 2019

For the visitors in the once again completely sold-out athletics arena in Hall 3 of the Messe Karlsruhe, this Meeting is an experience with three world records for the year, three national records, as well as a Meeting record. The 2.35 metres jumped over by Japanese pole vaulter Naoto Tobe are a personal best, national record and equal to the 1994 Meeting record. The athletics fans are able to witness even more national records in the women's triple jump and pole vault, where Patricia Mamona from Portugal (14.34 metres in the triple jump) and Alysha Newman from Canada (4.71 metres in the pole vault) both improve upon their national records.


INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 3 February 2018

With a time of 3:57.45 minutes and a mere two seconds too many, Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba misses the mark of topping the world record she set up in the Karlsruhe Europahalle in 2014. However, her race is not the only Meeting highlight. No less spectacular is the final race by the Chinese Su Bingtian. He runs over the men's 60 metres in a rapid 6.47 seconds and sets a new Asian record. Precisely this Asian record by Su Bingtian is responsible for the distribution of moving images on the Chinese billion market skyrocketing. Numerous news programmes pursue his record run – knowing full well that a future superstar has made a phenomenal mark at the INDOOR MEETING in Karlsruhe. A similar phenomenon can be observed in the North African region: Genzebe Dibaba dominates on all channels. For more than 100 million Ethiopians, her race with the second-fastest time ever reached is omnipresent in the domestic media.


INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 4 February 2017

4,500 elated viewers closely track the 2017 Meeting in the completely sold-out athletics arena in Karlsruhe. The results of more than 120 athletes from roughly 40 countries confirm that Karlsruhe has witnessed world-class athletics once again. In a dream finale, the 100-metre hurdles world record holder Kendra Harrison wins the women's 60-metre hurdles in 7.76 seconds, thereby just one hundredth of a second behind her world annual record. Coming in a close second and third are European champion Cindy Roleder (7.90 seconds) and Australian sprinting star Sally Pearson (7.91 seconds). In the end, Laura Muir from the UK sets a new European indoor record and Meeting record (8:26.41 minutes) for the 3000 metres at once.


INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 6 February 2016

A great honour for the INDOOR MEETING. Along with the Meetings in Boston (USA), Stockholm (Sweden) and Glasgow (UK), the Karlsruhe Meeting becomes a founding member of the IAAF World Indoor Tour. Everything is prepared: a top arena, a superb athletics track, a completely sold-out venue with 4,600 visitors – the only thing missing is the athletes' top performances. And these are not long in coming. Most notably, pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie makes his mark at the INDOOR MEETING with a new Meeting record of 5.91 metres. No less impressive are the sprinting stars Dafne Schippers and Mike Rodgers, who triumph in the 60-metre race.


INDOOR MEETING Karlsruhe on 2 February 2015

In 2015, the Meeting's organisers, above all the new Meeting Director Martin Wacker which took over the position of Klaus Hoffmann, are faced with an enormous challenge. As a result of fire protection measures, events with crowds of spectators are henceforth prohibited in the Europahalle. A mobile athletics track is quickly purchased and installed in the Dm-Arena of the Messe Karlsruhe together with stands, transforming the venue into a modern athletics arena. And the results of the premiere year are impressive. Especially Renaud Lavillenie, Mr. Pole Vault, shows the heights he is capable of once again. At the premiere in the new arena, the Frenchman leaps 5.86 metres and thus equalises his own Meeting record from 2013. While he doesn't reach the subsequently marked 6.01 metres, the atmosphere in the sold-out athletics arena in the Dm-Arena Karlsruhe is bombastic nevertheless.


„INDOOR MEETING – World Class in Karlsruhe” on 1 February 2014

Many still vividly remember the 2014 Meeting until today. The Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba crowns it all with her world-record run in the women's 1500-metre race. The scoreboard in the Europahalle displays a time of 3:55.17 minutes. The arena erupts into cheers. At that moment, no one could have foreseen that this would be the last Meeting in the Karlsruhe Europahalle for a long time.


„INDOOR MEETING – World Class in Karlsruhe” on 2 February 2013

The ”INDOOR MEETING – World Class in Karlsruhe“ lives up to its name. Both Olympic champion Meseret Defar in the 3000-metre race and pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie secure a Meeting record in their respective discipline. The final match, being the women's 60-metre race, fills the arena with an atmosphere of suspense that can hardly be topped. Here, the photograph of the finish shows Ivet Lalova, the European champion over 100 metres in Helsinki from Bulgaria, with a razor-thin lead in front of her predecessor Verena Sailer. The timer stops at 7.19 seconds for both competitors.


IHM on 12 February 2012

With a superb time of 7:29.94 minutes, both Augustine Kiprono Choge and Edwin Soi bolt across the finish line together and deliver the ultimate highlight. At first, the 4,500 spectators are perplexed. After a gripping race on the cult track, both athletes deliver the exact same time and therefore a dual world annual record. Until a photograph of the finish provides some clarity and shows Choge just a millimetre ahead. In the 1500-metre race, too, a world record for the year is delivered by the Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba. With a time of 4:00.13 minutes, she simultaneously beats the Meeting record set by Kutre Dulecha in 2004. The second Meeting record of the day is achieved by Mariem Alaoui Selsouli from Morocco, who runs the 3000 metres in 8:36.87 minutes.


BW-Bank-Meeting on 13 February 2011

With a soaring jump of 4.76 metres, Silke Spiegelburg provides the icing on the cake at the Meeting. At this height, the silver medallist of the European Championship in Barcelona tops the German record in front of 4,500 visitors by one centimetre. In addition to the German record, the performances by Kim Collins (60 metres), Kellie Wells (60-metre hurdles) and Mercy Njoroge (3000 metres) provide three world records for the year to be entered into the books.


BW-Bank-Meeting on 31 January 2010

Ariane Friedrich manages to repeat her triumph from the previous year. In front of a crowd of 4,400 elated spectators in the Europahalle, she overleaps 2.00 metres before quitting the competition because of back pain. An additional highlight is provided by Laverne Jones Ferrette from the Virgin Islands: With 7.09 seconds over 60 metres in her first race of the day, she improves upon her own, two-week-old national record by five hundredths of a second. Shortly thereafter, she reaches a time of 7.11 seconds in the final match and emerges as the clear winner.


BW-Bank-Meeting on 15 February 2009

The highlight of the jubilee Meeting: The duel between the two high jumpers Blanka Vlasic and Ariane Friedrich. They deliver a thrilling competition and provide the athletics fans in the Europahalle with a superb final match for the 25th anniversary. Under the eyes of the former world record holder Heike Henken, Friedrich wins against the world champion with a jumping height of 2.05 metres, resulting in a new world record for the year and Meeting record. Vlasic also overleaps the 2.05 metres but requires an additional attempt and therefore comes in second place behind Friedrich. Also it´s the first meeting of the new Sports Director, Alain Blondel.


BW-Bank-Meeting on 10 February 2008

A worthy farewell to founding father and Meeting Director Siegfried König in the form of a world record. Finishing the 60-metre hurdles in 7.68 seconds, Susanna Kallur breaks Ludmilla Engquist's long-standing record from 1990. The atmosphere in the Europahalle is incredible. König, stepping down after 24 years as Meeting Director, passes the baton on to his successor, Alain Blondel.


BW-Bank-Meeting on 11 February 2007

In 2007, the 100,000th visitor is welcomed by the organisers, led by the Meeting Director Siegfried König. Storms of enthusiasm among the 4,500 visitors are evoked by the Olympic champion and world record holder for the 110-metre hurdles, Liu Xiang. In 7.42 seconds, the Chinese sprinter achieves the anticipated Asian record in the Europahalle. Numerous journalists and four TV broadcasters follow the Chinese superstar and make sure that approximately 400 million Chinese viewers are able to watch Liu Xiang's performance.


BW-Bank-Meeting on 29 January 2006

The Indoor Meeting launches in 2006 with a new name. Anna Rogowska from Poland achieves a new Meeting record in the pole vault competition with a height of 4.70 metres. Another superb performance on "Karlsruhe's 3000-metre cult track": The Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge sets the world annual record with 7:33.07 minutes.


LBBW-Meeting on 13 February 2005

21. LBBW Meeting on 13 February 2005 Once again, the Meeting ranks as number 1 in the world. The European record for 60 metres (6.45 seconds), achieved by the Frenchman Ronald Pognon, is one of the top performances of the 21st Meeting. Also worth mentioning are the indoor records set by Mehdi Baala in the 1000-metre race (2:17.01 minutes), Daniel Kipchirchir Komen in the 3000-metre race (3:33.08 minutes) and Tobias Unger, who finishes the 200-meter race in 20.61 seconds.


LBBW-Meeting on 15 February 2004

According to the IAAF ranking, this Meeting is the world's best. A plethora of world-class performances provides a dazzling atmosphere among the spectators in the once again sold-out arena. Jason Gardener equalises his 60-metre European record (6.46 seconds). The multiple-time world champion, world record holder and Olympic champion Haile Gebreselassie is able to stand out with his 3000-metre triumph (7:29.34 minutes) – the sixth-fastest 3000 metres to be run indoors. Kutre Dulecha sets an African record in the 1500-metre race, while Blanca Vlasic wins the high jump with 1.99 metres.


LBBW-Meeting on 28 February 2003

Despite the Meeting reaching world class and ranking fourth in the IAAF scoring table, the interest among spectators seems to be dwindling. The highlight is once again Haile Gebreselassie, running the 3000-metre race with 7:27.29 minutes, the fifth-fastest time to be reached in an indoor race ever. The triple jump athlete Yamile Aldama jumps a world-class distance of 14.88 metres – Meeting record. Another Meeting record is set by Robert Chirchir, at just 19 years old, with 3:34.85 minutes for 1500 metres. The hurdles sprinter Colin Jackson is charged with a second false start, which, according to the new rules, would have meant disqualification. However, since it is his last race, he is permitted to run and subsequently removed from the list of results. He nevertheless visibly enjoys the audience's ovations.


LBBW-Meeting on 25 January 2002

For the first time in many years, the Meeting is not sold out. There are, however, a few triumphs in the middle-distance races. Juri Borzakowsky wins the 1000 metres with 2:18.78 minutes, while Alberto Garcia finishes the 3000 metres in 7:38.57 minutes. Colin Jackson also manages to rank in the winners list for the 60-metre hurdles, nine years after his first success at the Meeting. Tim Lobinger leaps over 5.70 metres. American sprinter Kelli White achieves a double victory with 7.14 seconds for the 60-metre race and 23.22 seconds for the 200-metre race.


LBBW-Meeting on 27 January 2001

With a new name and sponsor, the Indoor Meeting establishes itself as among the ten best in the world. Once again, several athletes rise to top form, such as the Russian pole vaulter Svetlana Feofanova, who reaches a new European record height with 4.58 metres. Juri Borzakowky sets the still relevant Meeting record with 1:44.15 minutes for the 800 metres. German athletes equally hold their ground with six victories. Falk Balzner (7.54 seconds) narrowly wins the hurdle sprint, Irina Mikitenko reaches a time of 4:07.45 minutes for the 1500 metres, Heike Meißner runs 800 metres in 2:00.75 minutes and crowd favourite Heike Drechsler – wearing a KSC jersey for the first time – wins the long jump with a distance of 6.69 metres.


IHM on 29 January 2000

While the sprinter Merlene Ottey was originally announced as a participant, she foregoes her run as a result of doping suspicions. Erica Johannson from Sweden surprises her competitors, among them Heike Drechsler, with a jumping distance of 6.79 metres on the long jump pit specifically designed for the arena. This Meeting, ranking as the most expensive so far, places second in the IAAF ranking.

IHM on 24 January 1999

Selling out several days in advance, the Meeting draws crowds that, once again, feverishly await Haile Gebreselassie's attempt at a world record. However, he misses the planned 3000-metre world record. His time of 7:26.80 minutes, though, still ranks as the third-best running time in the arena. Nicole Rieger-Humbert and Tim Lobinger triumph in the pole vault competition.


IHM on 25 January 1998

This year, Haile Gebreselassie delivers upon his promise. In an outstanding 7:26.14 minutes, the Ethiopian runs the world record for the 3000 metres and transforms the packed Europahalle into a madhouse. In the women's pole vault competition, two pole vaulters shine by reaching European record heights: Anschela Balachonowa from Ukraine and Eszter Szemeredy from Hungary. Among the men, Michael Stolle equals Sergey Bubka's Meeting record of 5.80 metres. All in all, the athletics Meeting has reached the top of the world's ranks. In 1998, it ranks among the Top Five of the IAAF for the first time ever.


IHM on 14 February 1997

Sold out once again! The "Ethiopian running wonder" Haile Gebreselassie had advertised with a world record for the 3000 metres. With 7:31.27 minutes, he just falls short of reaching the world record – but still sets the Meeting record and the world annual record. Tim Lobinger makes it into the pole vault winners list for the first time ever with 5.70 metres.

IHM on 11 February 1996

World-class performances make for an exciting atmosphere in the arena. Hurdler Allen Johnson equalises the world record for the year in the 60-metre hurdles. And this is not the only outstanding sprint time: Indoor world champion Bruny Surin runs the 60 metres in 6.50 seconds, Irina Priwalowa finishes the 60 metres in 7.04 seconds and Juliet Cuthbert runs the 200 metres in 22.71 seconds. Dieter Baumann fails to set a record this time, but wins his race with 7:46.29 minutes and wows the crowd nevertheless.

IHM on 12 February 1995

More than 5,000 fans cheer on the Swabian Dieter Baumann as he sets a new European record for the 3000 metres (7:37.51 minutes). With a jump of 4.13 metres, Sun Caiyun places in the world record list for women's pole vault, which had become effective on 1 January. Allen Johnson, Olympic and world champion, sprints the 60-metre hurdles and sets the world annual record. In a captivating race, Nico Motchebon wins the 800-metre race with 1:46.59 minutes.


IHM on 1 March 1994

The best Meeting to date! One athletic highlight after the other. World sprint champion Linford Christie delivers one of these. Initially flown in during the previous night as a replacement for the injured Colin Jackson, he rests in the hotel until midday and then delivers the European record for the 60 metres with 6.48 seconds. Bruny Surin follows hot on Christie's heels with 6.50 seconds. Olympic champion Paul Ereng wins the 800-metre race in a spurt against the German world-class runner Nico Motchebon. Heike Drechsler jumps a world-class distance of 7.06 metres. Nicole Rieger and Sun Caiyun (from China) provide the crowd with pure excitement as they both jump over the world record height of 4.08 metres in the pole vault. However, the Chinese pole vaulter's accomplishment is withdrawn afterwards due to the consumption of prohibited substances.


IHM on 6 March 1993

Hurdles sprinters, Colin Jackson and Mark McKoy, push each other to run world-class times in the 60-metre hurdles, just missing the world indoor record by three and five hundredths of a second (7.44 and 7.46 seconds), respectively. Placing just second in the hurdles, McKoy then clinches victory on the flat track with a brilliant time of 6.49 seconds.


IHM on 31 January 1992

With her 2.04-metre jump, Heike Henkel delivers the highlight of the day, as well as the German record. It should not be left unmentioned that Henkel jumped over 2.07 metres barely two weeks later at the German Championships in the Europahalle, setting a new world record that would not be surpassed until 2006. Women's pole vault has its premiere in this year. In the course of this, Nicole Rieger directly sets a world record with 3.80 metres.

IHM on 24 February 1991

Arena sold out – and packed! Tickets are sold out several days in advance. Ben Johnson entices the masses. It is his first run since his doping suspension following the Olympic Games in 1988. However, in this run, the electronic timekeeping malfunctions and Johnson "only" comes in second place for the 60 metres, drawing with Cuban Joel Isassi with a hand-timed result of 6.3 seconds. Correspondingly, the phenomenal 60-metre hurdles times of Igor Kasanov, with 7.44 seconds and thus only eight hundredths of a second behind the world record, and McKoy (7.47 seconds) are tagged with a small question mark. Sergej Bubka has to accept a pole vault of 5.80 metres, which ultimately allows him to win.


IHM on 11 February 1990

The show goes on – and there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. The number of spectators is more than doubled compared to the previous year. One of the reasons for this: For the first time, athletes of the former GDR participate in the Europahalle. The event organisers go through many a sleepless night up until the Meeting takes place. Larry Myricks rejoices in his fourth long jump win (8.06 metres), just narrowly ahead of the European record holder, Robert Emmijan (8.05 metres). Florian Schwarthoff receives much applause for his German hurdles record (7.59 seconds).


IHM on 24 February 1989

A first small crisis. A mere 2,000 spectators watch as the Brazilian sprinter, Robson da Silva, just bolts past Steve Lewis, the 400-metre Olympic champion, and raises the 300-metre world record to 32.19 seconds. Merlene Ottey wins the 200 metres with the world record of the year. The event organisers, on the other hand, are faced with the question of quitting or carrying on with the Meeting?


HM on 7 February 1988

Meeting sold out for the first time! The reason for 5,000 spectators attending is the Canadian world sprint champion, Ben Johnson. However, due to an injury, he unfortunately is not able to run and thus limits his participation to signing autographs. Myricks improves by 25 centimetres compared to the previous year and reaches a total of 8.38 metres – which still remains the Meeting record today. Nellie Cooman from the Netherlands misses the 60-metre indoor world record by a miniscule 0.07 seconds.


IHM on 28 January 1987

Although athletes travel from 22 nations to participate, there is little interest among the spectators. The US stars, Myricks (long jump), Stewart (60-metre hurdles) and the 400-metre runner, Walter McCoy, provide an exciting atmosphere nevertheless.

IHM on 31 January 1986

World record! With his 300 metres, Erwin Skamrahl sets the first international exclamation mark for the International Indoor Athletics Meeting (IHM). In addition, German record times are set by Ulrike Denk for her 60-metre hurdles and by Jussi Udelhofen over 600 metres.


IHM on 3 February 1985

After 20 years of abstinence, athletics returns to Karlsruhe. The last sports meeting had taken place in the Wildparkstadion in 1965. Thereby, the number one Olympic discipline celebrated its premiere in the Karlsruhe Europahalle. The Meeting's co-founder and long-standing director, Siegfried König, describes the motivation for his dedication: ”I've profited so much from athletics. So, I wanted to give something back to athletics.” The International Indoor Athletics Meeting (IHM) celebrates its premiere in the brand-new Europahalle in front of 2,600 spectators. For this, athletes from twelve nations travel to the fan-shaped city, among them the long jump star Larry Myricks. What's more, a new German record is set by Alfons Schwarz for the 5000 metres.

Photo Credits: Andreas Arndt, Hannecke, GES, ALGEFO

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