The IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 continues with four more finals on Thursday evening. Let’s look at some possible highlights.
1. Women’s hammer throw
It is hard to avoid world record expectations, when Anita Wlodarczyk enters the sector for her most important competition of the year.
The Polish thrower is in an incredible form this season. On 1 August, Wlodarczyk became the first woman to break the 80-metre barrier, tossing the hammer out to 81.08m to break her world record.
If not the world record, then another one, the championships record of 78.80m set by Tatyana Beloborodova (formerly Lysenko) in Moscow two years ago, is definitely under threat.
2. Men’s triple jump
This event has been one of the hottest events on the circuit this summer with Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo and USA’s Christian Taylor pushing each other to ever-longer jumps and record levels.
Pichardo started the ‘war’, jumping 18.06m, the third best mark of all times, at the opening IAAF Diamond League meeting of the year in May. A couple of weeks later, on home soil, the Cuban added two more centimetres to this distance.
In July, it was Taylor’s turn to excel. The London 2012 Olympic Games champion went out to 18.06m, beating Pichardo in a head-to-head battle in Lausanne.
The world record is tantalizingly close and, incidentally, it was set at the IAAF World Championships. Great Britain’s Jonathan Edwards jumped 18.29m to win the gold in the Swedish city of Gothenburg 20 years ago, in 1995.
3. Men’s 200m
The second episode of the battle between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin is on the agenda.
After the 100m, the score is 1-0 in the Jamaican’s favor. Both athletes looked very strong in preliminary rounds, so get ready for another close finish.
Also, watch out for 20-year-old Zharnel Hughes. The Briton is actually Usain Bolt’s training partner and Bolt is one of just two athletes that has managed to beat Hughes this season so far. Another one, South Africa’s Anaso Jobodwana, will be in the race, as well.
4. Women’s 400m
Allyson Felix’s 49.89 in the semi-final looked as easy as in gets in this event. Besides being the fastest in the final on paper, Felix is also the most experienced one with six world championship appearances behind her.
The Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller, a former world youth and junior champion over this distance, is ready to challenge Felix after breaking 50 seconds for the first time in her career earlier this season. The 21-year-old sprinter ran 49.92 to beat a world class field in Lausanne in July.
Jamaica has an impressive tally of four athletes in this final, with Christine Day and Stephenie McPherson being the most likely podium contenders.
5. Men’s 110m hurdles
Of course, it’s just semi-finals, but in sprint hurdles, where the tiniest mistake can make the difference between the gold medal and complete failure, preliminary rounds can produce biggest surprises and sometimes disasters.
All favourites, including the defending champion David Oliver, the two-time European champion Sergey Shubenkov and the world record holder Aries Merritt, have progressed to this stage but can they continue their medal quest in Beijing?
Best of the rest
Genzebe Dibaba didn’t seem to expend too much energy in a tactical race that took her to the 1500m title, and now it’s time for the Ethiopian to embark on her 5000m campaign, and perhaps a unique world championships double, with the heats in this event held during the morning session.
Asbel Kiprop went close to the 1500m world record this summer. Let’s see if he is going to show us some speed, as sometimes happens with the Kenyans in the heats of the men’s middle-distance events, or to opt for a tactical race in the preliminary round.
Other preliminaries in the morning session of the day six are the heats of the women’s 100m hurdles, as well as qualifiers in the women’ s high jump and long jump, as well as men’s discus throw.
Elena Dyachkova for the IAAF