1. Women’s 400m
Aaah, sport: just when you think you’ve got it sussed, it surprises you all over again. The women’s 400m looked a race match between Rio Olympic gold and silver medallists Shaunae Miller-Uibo and Allyson Felix before a new face introduced herself at this level.
Salwa Eid Naser, a 19-year-old Bahraini, ran down Felix in the semi-finals to reduce her PB from the 50.57 she had run in the heats to 50.08. She arrived here with a career-fastest of 50.88.
Felix was only 0.04 behind and had switched off, but it was still an announcement of a new talent.
Miller-Uibo also shut down in her semi, winning easily in 50.36, while Phyllis Francis, another sub-50 performer this year, won the third semi comfortably in 50.37. The other finalists are the Jamaican trio Shericka Jackson, Novlene Williams-Mills and Stephenie Ann McPherson, and Kabange Mupopo of Zambia, a semi-finalist in Beijing 2015 and the Rio Olympics.
You’d still expect it to be Miller-Uibo and Felix for the top two, but stand by for further surprises.
2. Men’s 400m hurdles
It’s a very international final with seven different countries represented, but it could be won by a very traditional face. Kerron Clement, with the Rio Olympic gold and two world championships, several minor medals and numerous finals appearances to his name, was fastest in the semis and will be favoured to add to his many laurels.
Karsten Warholm was right on Clements’ heels then and will challenge him strongly again, Indeed, the four fastest times of the round came in that semi, Juander Santos and Kemar Mowatt chasing the first two home to gain the non-automatic spots.
Abderrahman Samba, with a best of 48.31 this year, potentially could provide a threat. In a very even field, the medals could wind up anywhere. But expect one to go Clements’ way.
3. Women’s shot put
Michelle Carter does not worry much about getting things done late. In both the World indoor championships and the Rio Olympic Games last year, she produced her winning throws in the final round. Only third in the USA champs this year to London teammates Raven Saunders and Daniella Bunch, expect more from her here. Her best of 20.63m came in snatching the Olympic gold medal from Valerie Adams on her last throw.
The American trio, China’s perennial contender Lijiao Gong, Hungary’s Anita Marton and Jamaica’s Danniel Thomas-Dodd look likely to fight out the medals.
4. Men’s 5000m round 1
The Mo Show returns for its final track appearance at a World championships. Farah is in the first of two heats, looking to make the final for a shot at a fourth straight world 5000 title and a third straight world championship 5000/10,000 double.
Muktar Edris and Selemon Barega head the world list this year with 12:55 performances in Lausanne. Joshua Cheptegei, who finished third in that race, is the only other sub-13 performer in a low-key 2017 for the event.
Albert Rop, Andrew Butchart, Mo Ahmed – and many others – have got claims. But if they want gold, they all have to get past Mo Farah.
That won’t happen in the heats, of course, but it will be interesting to see if any tactics are used to ensure Mo has a hard race.
5. Women’s 3000m steeplechase
Three heats in this event, with only three from each guaranteed a spot in the final, plus the next six fastest. It should make for fierce racing.
Ruth Jebet ruled the roost last year with an Olympic gold and a world record. But the pendulum has swung back Kenya’s way, with Celliphine Chespol leading the way with a world U20 record 8:58.78 at the Prefontaine IDL meeting.
Emma Coburn has been the most consistent non-east African contenders in the event in recent years. Stand by for some entertaining racing en route to Friday night’s final.
Not forgetting . . . Wayde Van Niekerk in the semi finals of the 200m, men’s hammer throw and women’s long jump qualifying.
Len Johnson for the IAAF