Alfons Juck, our man on the ground everywhere, believes that Ashton Eaton and Ivan Ukhov are in world record shape. Read all of Alfons' prognostications on the upcoming Worlds, just under 24 hours away!
EATON AND UKHOV FOR RECORDS?
SOPOT (POL): Traditional quick event by event previews. In Istanbul 2012 USA was the top nation with 10 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze medals and 171.5 points. Russia and Britain followed. World record possibilities in heptathlon (Eaton), high jump (Ukhov) and possibly men 4x400 m. We do not expect Dibaba trying for a record in championships. Duels of the champs Ryzhova vs McCorory in women 400 m, Whiting vs Storl in men shot put, Saladuha vs Koneva in women triple and Ahoure vs SAFP in women 60 m.
60 m: Experience (Chambers, Carter, Kimmons) vs. new blood (Bracy, Kilty). Or a room for surprise? World lead definitely a possibility.
400 m: Maslak improved European all-time bests at 300 m and 500 m, now is the time for a fast 400 m. First sub 45 in the history of this event? Lalonde Gordon is also unbeaten but comes from easy races in US. The US duo should not be underestimated, also Briton Levine and Caribbean forces (Santos, Brown).
800 m: Another Aman show. But pay attention to home duo (Kszczot, Lewandowski) and in-shape Olivier with Osagie.
1500 m: This looks very open. Moustaoui has the world lead and backing from title defender Iguider, Kenya (Birgen, Kiplagat) and Ethiopia (Wote, Gebremdhin) is there with two runners. Souleiman and Ozbilen also delivered some fast times. But in slow race, could be totally different.
3000 m: Gebrhiwot won his two main races, who could beat him? As usual indoors all possible and experience of Bernard Lagat could play a role and what could be the US team tactics with Rupp is another question.
60 m H: This looks good for historical first French win at this event. PML when no mistakes will be hard to beat. Behind him anything is possible. Dark horse young Cuban O´Farrill.
HJ: How high will fly Ukhov, will he finally get the record? Mutaz was not competing with big boys so far, might be also ready for something special.
PV: The star of the indoor season 2014 is unfortunately injured, so the room is open for a new champion. What is to consider? Home advantage (Wojciechowski), latest top result (Mohr), newcomer of the season (Cutts), youngster of the season (Thiago) or good experience from last global finals (Kudlicka). Did we forget Filippidis?
LJ: Menkov normally should be unbeatable. Behind him strong mixture of experience and new impact, but does not look could be enough (surprise from Visser?).
TJ: Is somebody thinking Cubans (Pichardo, Reve) will not rule this event?
SP: Revenge time for Whiting against Storl after Moscow last year. On the paper he has one meter advantage. Majewski is at home, but...
HEP: We need good notes to follow the points in each event by Ashton Eaton and his goal to attack own World record. Here it is: 6.79 60 is set clearly to be faster, huge 816 long jump tough to repeat, 14.56 shot should be better, 203 high jump lets do it, then on Saturday 7.68 hurdles is possible faster and top task 520 pole vault could be even more, the 1000 will be according to actual reality (2:32.77). In summary it is possible.
4x400 m: US, Britain, Jamaica, possibly Bahamas and home Poland. Good 45 average can bring the world record. But only US has 4 runners this season indoors sub 46.
60 m: Ahoure is unbeaten and fastest currently. But SAFP is the Women Athlete of the Year 2013 and definitely ready to rise to the occasion. What is the shape of VCB?
400 m: One of the top duels of the champs. McCorory vs Ryzhova. Who will be first after 200 m ? Are we forgetting Caribbean options ? Maybe we should not (Spencer, Miller).
800 m: First of all we would be happy for first sub 2 minutes of the year. Secondly it is very open. Thirdly anybody from 6 finalists who arrive there would be able to win. If both US in the finals that could play a role. Dark horse Akkaoui. And Cichocka is at home.
1500 m: With all respect. This looks clear for Aregawi. She can try for meet record 3:59.75. Fight open for the other two medals.
3000 m: Genzebe is the female athlete of the indoor season and should crown it with a gold. But how fast? 8:33.82 the meet record is definitely to be send to history.
60mH: Sally Pearson looks safe. Yes Nia Ali is also fast, but lost some races during the winter. And Tiffany Porter comes into the shape in right time along with again healthy Billaud.
HJ: Kuchina is unbeaten in only 3 competitions, Vlasic is full of motivation after Praha 2m, Beitia also ready and home factor for Licwinko. Gold only for World lead.
PV: Only 5 cm between the top nine entries in this years top marks. That speaks for very open competition. Rogowska could use really home factor (comes from the region), Suhr is Olympic winner, but as this is a straight final everybody can play a role. Also olympic medalist Silva with only one indoor meet this year.
LJ: Biryukova tops the list, but she competed only at home, Spanovic belongs to favorites too, but surprise could come from young Briton KJT. Not forgetting Eurochamp Lesueur and Proctor (if totally healthy).
TJ: Saladuha vs. Koneva for gold. And world lead should be also registered.
SP: Adams was able to return despite short time since her surgery and should be ready for her third World indoor gold. And world lead too. Are we forgetting Schwanitz too early?
PEN: Day-Monroe has the biggest score of the year, but Melnychenko is world champion from Moscow (PB´s this indoor hurdles and shot) and Theisen-Eaton (PB´s hurdles, long, shot) is also ready.
4x400 m: Another USA vs Russia duel ? This time US looks stronger as behind Ryzhova is a space in Russian team. Jamaica and Britain could surprise.
Bio: Larry Eder has had a 44 year involvement in the sport of athletics. Larry has experienced the sport as an athlete, coach, magazine publisher and now, journalist and blogger. His first article, on Don Bowden, America's first sub 4 minute miler, was published in RW in 1983. Larry has published several magazines on athletics, from American Track & Field to the U.S. version of Spikes magazine. He currently manages the content and marketing development of the RunningNetwork, The Shoe Addicts and RunBlogRun.
Of RunBlogRun, his daily pilgrimage with the sport, Larry says:
"I have to admit, I love traveling to far away meets, writing about the sport I love, and the athletes I respect, for my readers at runblogrun.com, the most of anything I have ever done, except, maybe running itself."