Daegu, KoreaThe final day of action at the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011 begins bright and early with the tactical endurance of the men’s Marathon and concludes with the lightning quick flurries of raw speed in the 4x100m Relays. And in between will be a little bit for everybody.
Kirui gunning for defence
Action kicks off with the men's Marathon at 9 a.m. local time, where Abel Kirui will be defending his title and leading a strong Kenyan quintet. Since setting to Championship record in Berlin two years ago with 2:056:54, he's improved to 2:05:04 and after an off-year in 2010 is reportedly back to his finest shape ever.
Ethiopia will come well-armed, led by Gebre Gebremariam, who won in New York last November and finished third in the very fast Boston race last April. Morocco can't be over-looked either, with experienced Abderrahim Goumri and Adberahime Bouramdane leading the squad.
Farah-Merga rematch in the 5000m
The focus on the men’s 5000m will be the partial rematch of the men’s 10,000m final, where Briton Mo Farah, this year’s fastest, edged Ethiopian Imane Merga to take the silver. The odds are pretty good that one or both will end Sunday with a second medal.
U.S. record holder Bernard Lagat will play a key role as well, looking to regain the title he won in 2007. He followed up with silver in 2009, underscoring his big meet credentials. And he’ll be much more fresh than his primary opponents.
Semenya ready to defend?
With the last two World champions and this year's world leader on the line, the women's 800m promises plenty of drama of its own. After an inconsistent start to her campaign, Berlin 2009 winner Caster Semenya from South Africa seems to be coming into shape at the perfect time, judging from her 1:58.07 run in the semis. World leader Mariya Savinova, who cruised to last year's European title, looked strong through the rounds as well. Kenyan Janeth Jepkosgei, the 2007 winner, and Jamaican Kenia Sinclair will have to be in PB shape to challenge.
Heidler primed to regain title
Kicking off action on the infield will be a rematch between the top-two finishers in the Hammer Throw two years ago: Poland’s reigning champion Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland, and Germany Betty Heidler. The Pole broke the World record in the Berlin final, with Heidler finishing second. But the German has been the top thrower the past two seasons, and wrestled the World record from Wlodarczyk earlier this season with a mammoth 79.42m throw. Heidler won in 2007 and if she repeats will be just the second two-time winner.
Triple Jump – Idowu to become first to take back-to-back TJ titles?
The men's Triple Jump looks quite evenly matched, with Phillips Idowu needing to produce the goods to defend. The Briton has a 17.59 season's best, a mark three others have surpassed - Cuban Alexis Copello, American rising star Christian Taylor, and Ukrainian newcomer Sheryf El-Sheryf. Taylor and El-Sheryf have yet to back up their big marks, giving Copello the edge, although 2007 winner Nelson Evora, on the mend from injury, arrives with a victory at the World University Games. A stat not in the Briton's favour: no one has every won back-to-back titles.
Jamaica vs USA in both 4x100m Relays -
The Championships conclude with the women’s and men’s 4x100m Relays where the US-Jamaica rivalry continues. On paper, the Island nation’s team looks far superior in the men’s side of things, where Usain Bolt will be looking for a follow-up to last night’s sizzling 200m victory.
The women’s side looks much closer, pitting 100m champion and 200m runner-up Carmelita Jeter and her teammates against Veronica Campbell-Brown, the 200m champion, and 100m bronze winner.
The women's semis are at 18:30 with the final at 20:35; the men's semis are at 19:00, and the final at 21:00, the concluding event of the Championships.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF