It has been nearly one year since the London Olympic Games and two years since the IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Even though several superstar athletes will not be competing due to a variety of reasons, we anticipate that the competition will be great for the athletes, the fans in the stadium as well as the fans watching on television.
New stars have surfaced since the Daegu World Championships and London Olympics and they will have the world’s attention.
The event will begin this Saturday, August 10 in Moscow.
The Russians have always been competitive in the World Championships and it is anticipated that it will be the same at home.
Moscow has waited long for these championships.
This is the first time since the 1980 Olympic Games that they will be able to show their talent at home on such a huge stage.
And lest we forget, the Moscow Games were boycotted by the USA. Many nations joined the boycott.
Moscow will put its best foot forward to impress the visitors.
Based upon the volume of information we decided to have two columns. We will speak about the competition and the athletes who should be in the spotlight.
As always, some of the athletes will surpass their best, some will match their best or come close, while others will disappoint.
That is just the way it is.
This first column looks at the Track and Road Events. The next will cover the Field Events.
Women- 100m and 200m
Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce leads in both 100m and 200m.
She has a best of 10.77sec run in the heat of the London Anniversary Games several weeks ago and 22.13sec run at the Jamaican Nationals In June.
The Jamaican won the 100m in Beijing, Berlin, and London.
She finished Second in the 200m in London and has run that race often this season.
In the 100m she is challenged by Nigerian triple threat Blessing Okagbare who has a best of 10.79sec, an African record in the London Anniversary Games.
Trinidad & Tobago’s Kelly Ann-Baptiste has run 10.83sec this season.
The USA’s English Gardner is one of those new stars. She has a best of 10.85sec this season.
The defending champion Camelita Jeter has not run much lately and has
A best this season of 10.93sec.
In the 200m Fraser-Pryce is challenged by the Ivory Coast’s Murielle Ahoure, who has clocked a personal best and National record of 22.24sec.
She is the only athlete participating from this West Africa nation.
The IAAF Rising Star of 2012, Anthonique Strachan has the fifth best Performance of the season at 22.32sec.
Defending champion Allyson Felix of the USA, the London champion has run 22.36sec.
In the long sprint Botswana’s Amantle Montsho has the five top times This season her best is 49.33sec, world leader and Personal Best.
Her top challengers are Russians Antonia Krivoshapka and Kseniya Ryzhova with times of 49.57sec and 49.80sec respectively.
Russia usually has good 400m runners. Jamaican Stephanie McPherson has a seasonal best of 49.92sec.
Men’s - 100m and 200m
For the men, Usain Bolt leads the pack in both 100m and 200m.
London 100m Bronze medalist Justin Gatlin should be in the medals in the 100m and Jamaican Warren Weir should move up to the Silver medal in the 200m in the absence of Yohan Blake.
Men’s - 400m
In the 400m King Kirani James of Grenada, the London and Daegu champion has dominated the event with a 43.96sec performance.
His challenger LaShawn Merritt has run 44.02sec, his season’s best. At this point it seems that James and Merritt will be one and two.
In the Men’s 800m London Gold medalist, world record holder and defending champion David Rudisha of Kenya is injured and the USA’s Duane Solomon has the quickest time this season of 1:43.27. Ethiopa’s Mohamed Aman has clocked 1:43.33.
London’s Silver medalist Nijel Amos of Botswana has clocked 1:44.72 this season. Last year he ran 1:41.73 for the Silver.
Kenya’s Jeremiah Mutai has a best of 1:43.90 this season and is expected to be a factor.
Russian Yuri Borzakovskiy, the Athens champion, named after Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin, plans to make a statement for his hometown fans.
In the 1500m Kenya’s Asbel Kipruto has the leading time of the year at 3:27.72. Kipruto is the Beijing and Daegu champion in this event. Kipruto has several challengers but it is felt that he is on his game now. This race will certainly be exciting.
For the women’s 800m Morocco’s Malika Akkauri has run 1:57.64. The USA’s Alysia Montano has a 1:57.71 and Kenya’s Janeth Jepkosgei 1:58.71. From the CAC region Jamaica’s Natoya Goule has clocked 1:59.93. This should be a fast race.
Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi has the world’s leading time in the 1500m this season with 3:56.60. Jenny Simpson of the USA has run 4:00.48. Kenyans Faith Kipyebon has run 3:56.98 and Nancy Langat 4:01.41.
Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase
The steeplechase historically has been a Kenyan affair. This season Ezekiel Kemboi has the world’s leading performance at 7:59.05. France’s Mahledin Mekhissi has a 8:01.09 clocking and Kenyan Cornelius Kipruto, who most feel will be the victor, has clocked 8:01.16.