Daegu, KoreaThere will be something for everybody on Day Seven of the IAAF World Championships Daegu 2011, when six titles will be decided and Usain Bolt makes his eagerly-awaited return to the track.
Felix vs Jeter vs Campbell-Brown
How’s this for a line-up? Carmelita Jeter, the freshly-minted 100m champion. Allyson Felix, the three-time defending champion who took silver in the 400m a few days ago; and Veronica Campbell-Brown, the two-time Olympic champion who took 100m silver here. The trio looks invincible for the podium and virtually inseparable for the win. There’s a lot riding on this one in the lead-in to the 2012 Olympics, and it promises to be fast.
Cheruiyot riding high
Vivian Cheruiyot returns to action not only to defend her title from two years ago but to become only the second woman to win the 5000/10,000m double in the same Championships. The world leader at 14:20.87 and unbeaten this year over any distance on the track, the target will be on the 27-year-old’s back. Behind her, compatriot Linet Masai, who took third in the 10,000m in Day One, will be pushing for another medal, while Meseret Defar, the 2007 champion, will be looking to bounce back from disappointment in the 10,000m, where stomach problems forced her to drop out.
Can Cantwell defend?
David Storl made a strong statement with his 21.50m heave in qualifying yesterday, but the 21-year-old will still need to do more than that if he’s likely to challenge for a medal in this fiercely competitive event. The world leader and marginal favourite remains Canada’s Dylan Armstrong, who knows what it’s like to compete against the like of reigning World champion Christian Cantwell, 2007 World champion Reese Hoffa, and Olympic champion Pawel Majewski of Poland. Like so many other events in Daegu this week, this is also very much a toss up.
Can Obergfoll finally strike gold?
In the women’s Javelin, World record holder and Olympic champion Barbora Spotakova is looking to regain the title she won in 2007, but the fight here, too, will be fierce. She's the world leader at 69.45m, but the most consistent coming in has been Germany's Christina Obergfoll who is still chasing elusive gold. Sunette Viljoen recently improved her African record, and Russian Maria Abakumova has thrown just shy of 68 metres this summer. The edge is Obergfoll's side, but expect a thrilling battle.
Watt vs Phillips in the Long Jump
For jumps fans, the men’s Long Jump takes centre stage, with the new generation taking on the old.
Australian Mitchell Watt has been the breakout long jumper thus far in 2011, with four of the farthest leaps of the year and 10 wins in 12 competitions. With an 8.54m best, he’s clearly not the same untested rookie who took bronze two years ago.
By comparison, Dwight Phillips has had a relatively quiet season, but showed in yesterday’s qualifying round, with an 8.32m effort, that he’s taking his title defence – along with his run for a fourth title – very seriously.
The men’s 4x400m crown will also be decided, with the US quartet – whichever foursome ultimately runs – looking difficult to stop en route to their fourth straight title. Jamaica and South Africa, based upon the opening round, look strong for the minor medals.
Bolt returns in 200m
Athletics fans love their statistics, superlatives and records. Here’s one that doesn’t need to be looked up that will certainly be set this morning: the most closely watched opening round of a men’s 200m at a global Championships. Usain Bolt returns to the starting blocks after his false start disqualification in Sunday’s 100m final sent shockwaves throughout the sporting world. A repeat of that isn’t likely. A repeat of his 2009 victory in the event, is. The heats are scheduled for 11:10 local time, with the semi-finals at 19:55.
Competition also continues in the women’s 800m with the always notoriously brutal semi-final round. Qualifying also gets underway in the men’s Triple Jump, and the women’s 100m Hurdles, 4x400m Relay, and Hammer Throw.
Bob Ramsak for the IAAF