With two days of preliminary rounds already in the bag, on Monday the World Championships in Moscow really hits its stride and delivers six finals in rapid succession during the evening session, as well as the first four events of the Heptathlon.
That combined events competition may provide even more intrigue and suspense than the Decathlon did over Saturday and Sunday, because unlike the Decathlon there are few if any clear favourites, and leads may shift frequently and dramatically.
What’s more, one of the stronger contenders is a Russian, and the local fans have demonstrated a willingness to make noise for the home team. Another one of the contenders, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, is married to Decathlon winner Ashton Eaton.
The women’s 100m will be the climactic event of the evening, but only after its semi-finals at the beginning of the evening. With few contenders pruned in the preliminaries, some real favourites may be expected to fall in the semi-finals.
Amantle Montsho, Christine Ohuruogu and Francena McCorory all won their semi-final heats of the women’s 400m, but they can’t all win the final. Montsho is the defending champion, Ohuruogu was the 2007 champion, and McCorory is simply fast.
The men’s 110m Hurdles will also have semi-finals and final on Monday, and the four main favourites are all from the US. Defending World champion Jason Richardson is in good form, and David Oliver is in even better shape. But Olympic champion and World record-holder Aries Merritt is still warming up from a late-season start and may find his rhythm at just the right time.
There are three field event finals on Monday, the women’s Shot Put, men’s Pole Vault, and the men’s Hammer Throw.
Olympic champion Valerie Adams is the prohibitive favourite in the Shot Put, the only woman to reliably achieve marks beyond 20m, and she dominated qualifying on Sunday.
Renaud Lavillenie might be considered a favourite in the men’s Pole Vault, but even Lavillenie takes his chances with such a demandingly technical event. Lavillenie took fewer attempts than anyone else in Saturday’s qualifying, but on Monday he will need more than a few vaults to win.
Krisztian Pars led qualifying and the year’s list in the men’s Hammer Throw, but he’s still only one of several medal contenders in that event.
Qualifying rounds and semi-finals will also be held in a few additional events, including both men’s and women’s 400m Hurdles, the men’s 3000m Steeplechase, and the men’s Discus.
Parker Morse for the IAAF