Anita Wlodarczyk in the hammer at the IAAF World Championships London 2017 (AFP / Getty Images) © Copyright
Preview London, UK

Five things to watch on day four – IAAF World Championships London 2017

1 Women’s hammer

There were two unusual things about this event in Rio last year: one, it was a morning final; two, it was a world record final. Anita Wlodarczyk made a sunny Rio morning even brighter with an 82.28m toss for gold. She has since upped that to 82.98m and has an 82.87m best this year.

It seems the gold medal is already hanging around the Polish athlete’s neck, but funny things do happen. From the confident way she handled the rainy conditions to qualify with her first throw, it seems unlikely anything will derail Wlodarczyk, even though her teammate Malwina Kopron actually led qualifying with a 74.91m effort.

Kopron will be right in the medal mix, as will China’s Zheng Wang, Hanna Malyshik of Belarus and Rio bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon of Great Britain.

2 Women’s 1500m

Another of the three strong women’s finals on day four, the women’s 1500m has a bit of everything.

Sifan Hassan has been the best in the world so far this year, but Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon has looked impressive in the rounds. Defending champion Genzebe Dibaba will no doubt have a hand in proceedings, too. Home hopes rest with the two Lauras – Laura Muir, so impressive indoors earlier this year, and Laura Weightman.

USA's 2011 world champion Jenny Simpson continues to perform at a high level, while Poland’s Angelika Cichocka is a big improver this season.

The added intrigue comes from Caster Semenya. The Olympic 800m champion was a 4:01.99 performer last year and is intent on a double here.

The past two global championship finals both saw a pedestrian early pace followed by a sustained drive for home over the last two laps. Dibaba won in Beijing; Kipyegon reversed the result in Rio. What will London bring?

3 Women’s triple jump

This looms as a head-to-head between Colombia’s Caterine Ibarguen and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas. There has been little between them this year: Rojas had her first-ever win over Ibarguen in the IAAF Rome Diamond League, 14.84m to 14.78m, Ibarguen reversed that with a 14.86m to 14.83m win in Monaco.

Looking for someone likely to upset this cosy duopoly is difficult. Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan, the Olympic bronze medallist, may again be the best bet. Kimberley Williams of Jamaica has claims as does Patricia Mamona of Portugal.

All signs, however, point towards another epic battle between the big two.

4 Men’s 110m hurdles

Olympic champion, and 2017’s fastest, Omar McLeod led the way into the final with a win in 13.10 in the first semi-final. The only man to go sub-13 so far this year, he is definitely the man to beat.

You’ve still got to put it together in the hurdles. Should the favourite falter, France’s Garfield Darrien was second fastest in the semis with 13.17 behind McLeod. Defending champion Sergey Shubenkov and Olympic silver medallist Orlando Ortega, third and fourth in the same heat, took the non-automatic places as the first semi produced the fastest four times of the round.

Aries Merritt, Olympic champion here in 2012, is back in another big-time final after finishing second in his semi behind Balasz Baji. Shane Brathwaite and Hansle Parchment make up the final eight.

5 Men’s 200m round one

Normally a first round of heats would not warrant a significant mention, but 400m favourites Wayde van Niekerk and Isaac Makwala will have an unconventional preparation for Tuesday night’s final. While their other six rivals put their feet up and rest, Van Niekerk and Makwala are down to contest the first round heats of the 200m. First three in each heat go through automatically to Wednesday’s semis, so it shouldn’t be too arduous as task. But it will be more work than their 400m rivals are doing before the big final.

Not forgetting... men’s triple jump qualifying takes place with the US duo, Christian Taylor and Will Claye, heading the contenders. The men’s 400m hurdles moves to the semi-final stage, as does the women’s flat 400m.

Len Johnson for the IAAF