The Bird's Nest Stadium, venue of the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Five expected highlights on day 2 – IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015

Day two of the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 steps up a notch with medals to be determined in five events, headlined by the men’s 100m final. We take a look at some of the highlights and what to expect.

1. Men’s 100m

It’s on! The speculation of the most talked-about men’s 100m final in a generation will finally come to an end as the incomparable Usain Bolt puts his status as king of the sprinting world on the line once more. 

An early season joint problem has revealed one or two cracks in his hitherto impenetrable armour and he has also had a limited competitive season. However, he showed flashes of a return to form in London, looked good in his first-round heat, and he when says he is “ready to go,” who are we to argue?

Usain Bolt in the 100m heats at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)Usain Bolt in the 100m heats at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

Leading his challengers is world leader Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion and 2005 World 100m champion, who was the fastest qualifier from the first-round heats.

Chuck in the likes of USA’s 2007 world 100m champion Tyson Gay, 'Mr Sub-10' Asafa Powell of Jamaica and emerging young talents – Canada's Andre De Grasse, USA’s Trayvon Bromell  and Jimmy Vicaut of France – and we are set for a lip-smacking clash not be missed.

Semi-finals take place at 7:10pm local time with the final showdown at 9:15pm.

2. Heptathlon

Great Britain boast the one-two overnight after the first day of the heptathlon but there will be plenty of drama to come as the combined-eventers compete in the long jump and javelin in the morning session with the 800m to follow in the evening to define the medal order.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson during the heptathlon high jump at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)Katarina Johnson-Thompson during the heptathlon high jump at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

Just 13 months after giving birth to her son, Olympic champion and 2009 world champion Jessica Ennis-Hill leads the field after the first four events on a combined score of 4005.

Her nearest pursuer is her compatriot Katarina Johnson-Thompson – an outstanding long jumper – who is within range on 3925.

Don’t rule out Canada’s 2013 world silver medallist Brianne Thiesen-Eaton making a run at gold from fourth (3865) or third-placed Nadine Visser of the Netherlands (3865) featuring in what could prove a thrilling climax. 

3. Men’s shot put

On paper, today’s men’s shot – qualification at 10:05am and final at 7:30pm local time – appears to be a battle between the two men who have thrown beyond 22 metres this year. Leading the way is US champion Joe Kovacs, who has been in supreme form this season and hurled the shot out to a world-leading 22.56m in Monaco – the longest throw in the world for a dozen years and a mark which elevated him to eighth on the world all-time list.

The 26-year-old will face a huge test of his competitive mettle from Germany's David Storl, who is seeking to match the accomplishments of Swiss great Werner Gunthor as a hat-trick winner of this title. Storl himself has been in great form. He posted a personal best of 22.20m in Lausanne, defeating Kovacs on that occasion.  

4. Men’s hammer

Pawel Fajdek first emerged as a champion thrower when he struck gold at the 2013 World Championships and the powerful Pole will be heavily fancied to retain his crown in Beijing.

Earlier this month he hurled the hammer out to 83.93m – the longest throw in the world for seven years – and after heading the qualifiers into Sunday night’s final (at 6:30pm), gold would appear to be in his grasp.

Pawel Fajdek in the hammer qualification at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)Pawel Fajdek in the hammer qualification at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

Hungary’s Olympic and European champion Krizstian Pars, who qualified a distant ninth, does not look in the sort of form which could add the one major title missing from his collection. It could be that Russian’s Sergej Litvinov, the European bronze medallist and third best qualifier, will be Fajdek’s chief rival.

5. Men’s 20km race walk

The first medal to be decided on day two is shaping up to be a fascinating clash between hosts China and Japan as Asia seeks its first ever gold medal in the 20km race walk at the IAAF World Championships.

Yusuke Suzuki of Japan is a many people’s favourite after he smashed the world record with a stellar performance at the Asian Championships back in March with a 1:16:36 clocking.

His team-mate Eiki Takahashi, the Japanese champion, is the only man to beat Suzuki this year and will also be a threat while leading the home challenge is Olympic champion and 2013 world silver medallist Chen Ding.

Bolstering the Chinese threat is Wang Zhen, who is undefeated since May 2014. The gun will fire for the first race walk of the 2015 World Championships at 8:30am local time.

Best of the rest

Besides the quintet of gold medals on offer on day two, there are several opening-round heats and semi-finals to look forward to on the track.

World 1500m record-holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia – the fastest qualifier from the day one heats – will be in semi-final action (8:45pm) in the metric mile.

Olympic champion David Rudisha and world leader Amel Tuka will be among the big names to feature in one of three semi-finals of the men’s 800m from 8:15pm.

David Rudisha in the 800m heats at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images)David Rudisha in the 800m heats at the IAAF World Championships, Beijing 2015 (Getty Images) © Copyright

The world’s fastest women will line up in the first-round heats of the women’s 100m at noon as Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica chases an unprecedented third world title in the event.

Both men’s and women’s 400m hurdlers will also hit the track; men’s semi-finals at 6:40pm and women’s first round at 10:25am. The past two holders of the men’s world 400m title – Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt – will be the star turns in the opening round of their speciality from 11:10am. 

Steve Landells for the IAAF