|French pole vault super star Renaud Lavillenie.
Few athletes have dominated their event quite like Renaud Lavillenie this winter and he will start clear favourite to become the first man in European Athletics Indoor Championships history to claim a hat-trick of titles.
The French vaulter, who landed both the World Indoor and Olympic titles to his glittering CV in 2012, has a perfect eight out of eight record this indoor season. He boasts the world leading mark of 5.94m and to further demonstrate his superiority he also holds five out of the seven best vaults in the world this year.
His main opposition should come from Bjorn Otto, the man who holds the other two of the top seven marks in the world this year. The German champion had to settle for silver behind Lavillenie at both the World Indoors and Olympic Games last summer. However, with a pair of impressive 5.90m vaults behind him this winter the 35-year-old veteran should not be discounted.
His countrymen Raphael Holzdeppe (5.82m), the 2012 Olympic and European bronze medallist and Malte Mohr (5.80m), the 2011 European Indoor bronze medallist are also entered and could come into the medal equation. Konstadinos Filippidis, the fourth placer at the 2012 World Indoor Championships, who set a Greek record 5.83m in Linz in January is another with medal potential. Olympic fifth placer Steve Lewis (5.62m) of Great Britain and Czech national record holder Jan Kudlicka (5.77m) are also potential contenders.