Beijing Preview, Short Event by Event Previews, the view from Central Europe, by Alfons Juck, EME News

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ub4.jpgMr. Bolt and his fans, adidas Grand Prix, June 2015, photo by Kevin Morris/PhotoShelter

Nine days and nights of the finest track and field on the planet is starting today. Here is Alfons Juck, one of the great people in our sport, his event by event thoughts on the August 22-30, celebration of our sport.

Enjoy!


Bolt vs Gatlin, Taylor vs Pichardo, Felix vs Miller
BEIJING (CHN): The 15th IAAF World Championships in athletics starting on Saturday, that is the biggest sporting event on the planet this year. Full stadium expects some fine clashes, superb performances, favorite wins, surprises, and unfortunately also some personal disappointments. Athletes will get prize money for top 8 positions, also World record bonus worth of 100 000 USD is available. Spanish 50 km walker Jesus Angel Garcia with his 12th appearance is the new record holder in this fact. Usain Bolt and Allyson Felix are having 8 golds and could be in the lead if getting more in overall medal standings. But Merlene Ottey will remain also after Beijing on top with number of medals which is 14. Four World leaders will not compete in their events, Eliud Kipchoge in marathon, Orlando Ortega at 110 m hurdles, Allyson Felix in the 200 m (but runs the 400 m) and Francena McCorory in the 400 m (runs the relay).


Short event by event preview

MEN

100 m: The start should decide about the possibility of title defender Bolt to deliver a top fight with World leader Gatlin. Big group of sub 10 runners follows, experienced (Powell, Gay, Collins) and young ones (Bromell, De Grasse).

200 m: They never met here since 2007, so another top clash Bolt-Gatlin expected. Nice company of other sub 20 runners vying for the remaining medal.

400 m: Is it James on top with Van Niekerk attacking him as in Paris, title defender Merritt is not leaving the fight of course, Gardiner is the youngster, Makwala leads the lists.

800 m: One would say Rudisha with Amos attacking, but what about year sensation Tuka? Aman is the title defender. First sub 1:43at Worlds possible.

1500 m: Can somebody beat Kiprop? Souleiman definitely plans something like that, Makhloufi and Silas Kiplagat should be mentioned too.

5000 m: Mo is also here ready to defend, young Kejelcha leads Ethiopian force, dark horse Ali Kaya? Kenya leader is I. Koech.

10 000 m: Farah on the way to defend, Kenya here is very strong with versatile champion G. Kipsang and Paul Tanui.

Marathon: Ugandan Kiprotich wants to defend the title, but what are his chances against strong groups from Kenya (Kimetto, W. Kipsang) and Ethiopia (Desisa, Tsegay).

Steeple: Jager vs Kenyan armada headed by the old fox Kemboi.

110mH: Very open. McLeod needs to be fully healthy to compete against experienced group headed by defender Oliver, is Parchment the man to surprise?

400mH: "Batman" Jackson lost only one race this year, so he is the man to watch. But solid group of low 48 runners will sure make it not easy for him.

HJ: Barshim was not that impressive, still leads the lists. Bondarenko comes from injury, Zhang Guowei is the home showman.

PV: One man show of AirLavillenie. But Holzdeppe surprised him in Moscow, can he do it again or will he leave it to Barber?

LJ: Li Jinzhe on the posters, but that is not enough for list leader Henderson, oly champ Rutherford, what is the status of defender Menkov.

TJ: One of the top duels of the event. Taylor vs Pichardo, should Jonathan Edwards as BBC man here be worried?

SP: Storl vs Kovacs this year 2:1. But the American leads the lists. Never before at Worlds two achieved 22+.

DT: Malachowski on paper, but this one looks to be open. Many others can attack him. The other Harting to fight for brother.

HT: Fajdek looks unbeatable. Fight for other medals. Meet record 83.63 could be the target.

JT: Overseas to attack (Yego, Walcott) the classical nations (Finland, Germany, Czech).

Dec: Eaton to attack Dvorak´s meet record (he is here as team head coach).

4x100 m: USA vs Jamaica. One of the top fights of the event. Where will be Bolt when getting the baton.

4x400 m: Trinidad has fourth man better than USA. Is that the key information?

20 km w: Suzuki for Japan with slight health issue, so door open for home success Wang Zhen.

50 km w: Is Toth good enough to get first ever gold medal for Slovakia.


WOMEN

100 m: Shelly-Ann should defend. Bowie coming from behind. Gardner also.

200 m: When Shelly-Ann not running, wide open, good chances for Schippers too. Thompson is the Jamaican name to watch.

400 m: Another top duel of the event Felix vs Miller.

800 m: Sum against the rest. Here definitely room for surprise.

1500 m: Genzebe on her own, possibly for meet record 3:58.52. Hassan for silver. Simpson for bronze. Is that correct?

5000 m: Ayana will make it tough for Genzebe. And meet record looks like for sure 14:38.59.

10 000 m: Cheruiyot from behind to go for gold as in 2011. Ethiopia is against.

Mar: More open like men, Ethiopia looks strongest. But Edna Kiplagat goes for third title in a row. Dark horse from Japan/China.

SC: Ghribi and her one race, Kenyan Nyambura, US Coburn, Ethiopian Ayalew, nice selection.

100mH: US Champs. Experience (Harper-Nelson) vs new generation (Nelvis).

400mH: Hejnova on her way to defend, what is the shape of Spencer who did not run recently. Little is newcomer on big stage.

HJ: Chicherova is the one to watch. Rest will fight for other medals.

PV: Silva plans to keep the momentum, then she is unbeatable. Greek surprise coming.

LJ: Looks good for Bartoletta, is Reese back to winning shape?

TJ: Who can beat Ibarguen, most probably nobody.

SP: Gong vs Schwanitz, big interest for the home public. China so far win 10 golds at worlds.

DT: Perkovic should be clear, Cuban duo is against.

HT: Here is the chance for World record, Anita Wlodarczyk and her goal.

JT: Another super open event. Spotakova has the experience, Viljoen leads the lists, Molitor latest shape, Rebryk dark horse.

Hep: Family wants to rule the combined events, Brianne versus Jessica (is her shape increased?).

4x100 m: Like men USA vs Jamaica. World lead possible.

4x400 m: US here in solo race, fight for minor medals.

20 km walk: Liu Hong the top home gold medal hope. Giorgi and Drahotova for other position.

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