Perhaps no event of the World Championships is as anticipated this year as the men’s 100m final, but Sunday’s competition will also include finals in the women’s 10,000m, men’s 20km Race Walk, women’s Discus and women’s Long Jump, not to mention the second, concluding day of the Decathlon.
The question for Sunday evening is simple: can Usain Bolt regain the World title he lost in 2011? It is certainly within his power; Bolt has run faster in 2013 than anyone else here in Moscow. But if 2011 demonstrated anything, it is that merely being fast is not always enough; an athlete must make no mistakes through the rounds and get away cleanly in the final. Bolt knows better than anyone that nothing is certain, and that’s what makes it interesting.
The Decathlon will show whether Ashton Eaton can recover from his bobble in day one (probably), whether Gunnar Nixon can go from World junior medallist in 2012 to World medallist in 2013 (unlikely) and who else can hold themselves together for a surprise breakthrough.
In the long races we will see the return of Tirunesh Dibaba in the 10,000m. After some years in eclipse, Dibaba demonstrated in 2012 that she was an older, wiser, and more versatile athlete, and Sunday evening she, too, will attempt to take back that which was once hers, the World title in the longest women’s track race.
The Race Walk, long a province of the hosts, were more of a Chinese territory in London, and the men’s 20km event will likely be the first round of a growing rivalry between the big neighbours.
The women’s Discus final is expected to be a one-woman show by Sandra Perkovic, has has been the case at all of her IAAF Diamond League appearances this year. But she will be pushed by the other five women who had automatic qualifying marks in Saturday morning’s preliminaries, led by Zinaida Sendriute and including Yarelys Barrios, Tan Jian, Nadine Muller, and Melina Robert-Michon.
Defending champion Brittney Reese barely squeaked into the Long Jump final and will need to get back to peak form to turn back the likes of triple threat Blessing Okagbare.
Along with these finals, Sunday will see preliminary rounds in the men’s 400m and women’s 1500m and 100m, semi-finals in the men’s 800m and women’s 400m which started on Saturday, and women’s Shot Put and women’s Pole Vault. That last, of course, will include Russia’s favourite daughter of these championships, Yelena Isinbayeva.
Parker Morse for the IAAF