Michael Johnson sets a world record of 43.18 secs over 400m in Seville 1999

Official Website

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/

Starting-lists & Results

http://daegu2011.iaaf.org/ResultsByDate.aspx

**************************************************************************************************

ENTRIES (Provisional Lists)

By country: http://www.iaaf.org/mm/Document/06/12/03/61203_PDF_English.pdf

By event:http://www.iaaf.org/mm/Document/06/12/02/61202_PDF_English.pdf

**************************************************************************************************

World Rankings

IAAF            http://www.iaaf.org/statistics/toplists/index.html

Tilastopaja http://www.tilastopaja.org/db/toplist.php?list=top&All=0&Ind=0&top=20&Season=2011

===========================================================================

Final Medal Table

http://www.supersport.com/athletics/medals.aspx

Medalists

http://www.supersport.com/athletics/content.aspx?Id=100411&cat=68

===========================================================================

Post championships particulars

The splits of the British girls in the women’s 4x400m final were Perri Shakes-Drayton 50.5, Nicola Sanders 50.4, Christine Ohuruogu 52.0 and Lee McConnell 50.4.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Last day lead-up

Phillips Idowu is competing in the men’s triple jump final today aiming to become the first Briton to successfully defend a world title in history and only the third following Jonathan Edwards and Colin Jackson to claim two global golds. As things look, following a smooth single-attempt showing of 17.17m in the qualifying round, he is going to step on the runway as a red hot favourite to do so and likely to sail beyond his PB of 17.81m when dominating the European final in Barcelona over a year ago.

Cuban Alexis Copello and American Christian Taylor appear as the two rivals he needs to keep an eye on while Olympic champion Nelson Evora (POR) has been talking far beyond the distances he registers in the pit so far this summer. Ukrainian Sheryf El-Sheryf hasn’t managed to better 17m since that startling 17.72m final-round leap at the European U23 Championships and can hardly be a factor in this one.

Mo Farah will be lining up also as favourite to improve on his silver medal in the 10000m early in the championships against mainly great Bernard Lagat (USA), who has been back in great form this season, in the men’s 5000m final. The Briton came on top in an enthralling encounter between the two in Monaco recently so has got a slight edge over the American going into the race, with Kenyans Isaiah Kiplagat Koech and Eliud Kipchoge as well as Ethiopian Imane Merga as dangerous opponents.

Britain‘s women 4x100m team go in lane four of a tough second of three semifinals looking for a top two finishing or a fastest loser spot out of two at worst. New European force in the sprints Ukraine, out in lane seven, Kelly-Ann Baptiste’s Trinidad & Tobago in lane two and Russia right outside in five are up against them in a tight race for the qualifying spots. Tiffany Porter is expected to lead off the team, Jeanette Kwakye to anchor at the end, Laura Turner to figure round the top bend and Anuika Onuora up the back straight as their most likely formation.

The men’s 4x100m team look as though having an easier work of the third semifinal running in lane five against mainly Canada in six and Italy out in lane eight. Birthday boy Mark Lewis-Francis has missed out so Christian Malcolm, Craig Pickering, Marlon Devonish and Harry Aikines-Ayreety emerge as a most likely formation in that order.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

DAY VIII lead-up

Tiffany Offili-Porter will be the sole individual British competitor out in action as she is contesting the third and last semifinal of the women’s 100m hurdles looking for a top two place that will ensure her of a place in the final later on the penultimate day of the World Championships in Deagu. She goes in lane six facing a rejuvenated Daniel Carruthers (USA), her main opposition in this heat, and off-colour defending champion Brigitte Foster-Hylton (JAM) and her fabulous form should carry her through convincingly all things equal.Lying fifth fastest in the world with 12.60 secs, a new UK record, she is definitely going in as a genuine medal contender for Britain.

Incidentally, gold medal favourite Sally Pearson (AUS) is the cover theme on the championships programme so will the jinx strike her and open the way to the Brit? Anyway, the Aussies have had a superb start to the day as Jarred Tallent won bronze in the men’s 50km race walking and hopefully that could spell some good fortune to offset the effect. Apart from six automatic places from three semifinals overall there will be two fastest losers going through.

The women’s 4×400 team will be expected to retain the same formation as in the semifinals (Christine OhuruoguNicola SandersLee McConnellPerri Shakes-Drayton) as they will be looking to knock the Jamaicans off their stride, who will be bringing in some fresher legs though, and get their hands on that coveted bronze, with a possibility of the two middle legs swapping places to greater efficiency. They should be capable of a time around 3:21 and that could keep them on the Jamaicans’ heels to strike late through Shakes-Drayton’s strength at the end. The US team should start favourites as they are expected to employ heavyweights Allyson Felix and Sanya Richards-Ross on top of their semifinal team against mainly the Russian side.

Britain go in lane three with Jamaica right next to them in four, Russia in five and the States out in six.

With regard to the men’s short relay tomorrow, Mark Lewis-Francis and James Ellington look to have missed out as the outfit is tapering off to Christian Malcolm, Craig Pickering, Marlon Devonish and Harry Aikines-Ayreety in probably that order for their final formation.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

DAY VII lead-up

Tiffany Offili-Porter, the new UK record holder, initiates her quest for her first major outdoor medal on account of Britain and goes as hot favourite to qualify from the third heat of the preliminary round of the women’s 100m hurdles, with the top four gaining automatic pass and four fastest losers available. She is fifth fastest in the world and heading the starting-list of her race in 12.60 secs and her main opposition should come from European U23 runner-up Lisa Urech (SUI), with a PB of 12.62 secs this term though the difference between them is far wider than meets the eye in this aspect.

World champion Phillips Idowu, for his part, engages the first phase of the defence of his title as he is tackling the A group of the triple jump qualifying round and his progress has got to be a formality with the standard set at 17.10m or a spot among the twelve best out of both groups combined. Christian Taylor, the man who beat him on his last outing leading up to Daegu, and Ukrainian comet Sheryf El-Sheryf are the most notable other names jumping in the same pit, having set PBs of 17.68 and 17.72m respectively this season.

The men’s 200m see British captain Christian Malcolm join the frame in the third heat of the first round with Usain Bolt (JAM) right on his outside, aiming to redeem himself after a shocking disqualification in the short dash on Sunday. Michael Mathieu (BAH) on the inside lane and Dutch now Churandy Martina in lane four have both run 20.38 secs, which is faster than Malcolm’s SB of 20.54 secs, but the Welshman has suggested much better form through a recent 10.17 secs over 100m and should force his way into the automatic top three, with three fastest losers through as well. Canadian Bryan Barnett should not be discounted on a level SB.

James Ellington has got a good chance of advancing as only Jamaican revelation Nickel Ashmeade (19.95) stands out of his range in the fifth heat. American Jeremy Dodson (20.33) on his inside, lane one, and Brasilian Sandro Viana (20.42) are his main rivals for a top three spot thereon.

New UK record holder Sophie Hitchon, the World U20 champion, is competing in the B group of the hammer qualification and will need to improve well on her mark (69.59) towards over 71m, the standard, or make the top twelve from both pools to qualify. But with ten girls in the line-up on her end holding better SBs or PBs, it becomes well apparent what a tall task that may turn. However, Hitchon has got an excellent championships record and she could hope of pulling off a big surprise here.

Finally, Britain’s 4×400 girls need a top two finish in the third and final heat, or a time among the two fastest losers at worst, to make the final. What might make a harder task of their goal is that they have drawn the inside lane, hardly any surprise as these championships have shown, so they have to make sure they get a good lead-off so as to get into the leading positions once they break out of lanes and stay out of trouble. It is highly likely that Britain may field a full-strength line-up in the race with Jamaica the only side to hold a faster time.

As concerns the programme cover theme jinx, it’s far from over and holds well as it appears since yesterday’s feature, Cuban Yargelis Savigne, withdrew injured and out of the medals in the women’s triple jump! And guess what! There are two athletes featuring today thereon, the American sprint heavyweights Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix – well, so to say in sense of a force rather than figure as concerns the latter – who are actually lining up in the same order in lanes three and four in the women’s 200m final towards the end of the evening. So two going down today or the whole final is about to fall apart?

Goldie Sayers is the first Briton to fall into the evening action as she will be looking for her first major medal and one place better in Beijing in the women’s javelin final. It’s going to be tough with the duo of Barbora Spotakova (CZE) and Christina Obergfoll (GER) pounding the high 60m region with aplomb where Maria Abakumova (RUS) is also well capable of mixing it up there on her day and South African Sunette Viljoen is looking very dangerous. The Brit will have to work her way patiently through the rounds and wait for her chance to strike at the proper moment, where her new trend of peaking in the last two rounds could turn handy. That said, she will most likely need to better her UK record to find herself among the medals.

Can Chris Tomlinson last through six rounds and turn competitive on a troublesome knee of his? That’s hard to say but an encouraging sign can be that he put in his best jump in the last round of qualification yesterday. On top of it all, the tussle for medals looks to shift further upwards now that defending champion Dwight Phillips looks good again and it feels like shaping up into a duel with Aussie Mitchell Watts for gold. By all appearances, the Brit may need to challenge his recent UK record of 8.35m to jump his way into the top three.

Jenny Meadows looks to have timed her peak into the season well and goes as favourite to go through the opening semifinal of the women’s 800m, where she meets again 1:56 performer Yuliya Rusanova (RUS) for a second day running. Halima Hachlaf (MAR) should be her main rival and Maggie Vessey (USA) can be a handful on her day but she is very unpredictable.

Young Emma Jackson is facing a mighty challenge in the face of Mariya Savinova (RUS), Alysia Johnson Montano (USA) and Janeth Kipkosgei Busienei (KEN) to make her way to the final and a fastest loser place, with two on offer out of the three heats, could be a more likely option if the occasion facilitates such a pursuit. On the contrary, Marilyn Okoro may stand a substantially better chance against an unconvincing Caster Semenya and Kenia Sinclair (JAM).

British captain Christian Malcolm needs to move up a gear or two on his first round outing to battle his way into a final place in the men’s 200m, going in the third and last semifinal against Walter Dix (USA) and Alonso Edward (PAN), while Helen Clitheroe is contesting her first global final as she lines up in the women’s 5000m.

Finally, the men’s 4x400m will be out to challenge for a medal although their efforts could be slightly affected by a tough inside lane draw, I think someone of the stature of Chris Clarke should be more suitable to the lead-off role hearing that he looks on fire in training as well. Will the team selectors get the make-up and order of the team right? USA and Jamaica go in the two centre lanes while bronze medal hopefuls Belgium are further afield in six.

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

DAY VI lead-up

After a day’s lull, interrupted briefly only by the women’s 20km race walking early in the morning, the action resumes where it left off with the second half of the World Championships in Daegu and the British team will be looking to pick up and start producing the goods at a solid rate.

Therefore, it should not be considered coincidental that the man that will lead an eagerly anticipated counter charge is no other than Mo Farah, who goes into the second heat of the men’s 5000m in quest of gold on the back of his silver medal over 10000m last Sunday. With five automatic qualifiers from each heat and as many fastest losers through, he has got to normally make his way through with ease regardless of the shape of arguably the easier of two races, with Image Merga (ETH) and former world champion Eliud Kipchoge the only other men to have gone under 13 mins this term in the field. On the contrary, the first section is more tightly packed featuring no less than four sub 13 runners plus two more men around 13:06.

Goldie Sayers enters the frame in the group A of the women’s javelin qualification and should make short work of the qualifying standard of 61m, having bettered it on five occasions this season, or at least gain a sound foothold in the top twelve among both groups.

In the women’s 200m preliminary round, Anuika Onuora is racing in a hard fifth and last heat where she may need to run a PB to ensure of a fastest loser spot to go through. There may be four automatic places on offer but her heat is somewhat loaded with as many girls in the 22 secs region headed by double Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown, therefore a share in the four fastest times through feels more realistic.

Chris Tomlinson and Greg Rutherford are down in the long jump qualification and should obtain two final berths on their excellent form this season although the former looks to carry a slight complaint. The standard is set at 8.15m but a top twelve finishing among both pools combined can be enough as well.

Jenny Meadows should start as favourite in the first section of the women’s 800m first round against Maggie Vessey (USA), Yuliya Rusanova (RUS) and Barcelona runner-up Yvonne Hak (HOL), who hasn’t shown as strong this summer though. But with four going through by right there are enough places for all the good people there albeit all seven on the starting-list carry PBs under 2 mins.

Marilyn ‘Maz’ Okoro is facing a much tougher third heat involving former global champion Janeth Kepkosgei Busienei (KEN), Alysia Johnson-Montano (USA), Tetyana Petlyuk (UKR) and Ekaterina Kosteskaya (RUS) and may have to work her way through the hard route from the front, ensuring of a fast time that could see her at least as a fastest loser. The presence of Montano, however, may help matters a lot in this aspect as a natural front runner herself.

The least experienced member of the British trio, Emma Jackson, comes also up a tough line-up that contains defending champion Caster Semenya (RSA), Mariya Savinova (RUS), Alice Schmidt (USA) and Cherono Koech (KEN) but she is in very good form herself and her strong finish could serve her well to force her way into the first four.

Finally, the men’s 4x400m team square off with the USA, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago in the strongest of the two semifinals and may do well to field their first choice quarter to avoid any unpleasant situation. Martyn Rooney, who hasn’t made the individual final, comes available and could be in line for a place in tomorrow.

Yamile Aldama could turn the surprise package for even a medal in the women’s triple jump and spare the blushes, or misfortunes in the case of Kate Dennison, as she showed very smooth and on a lovely flowing plane in qualification, taking off way off the board in that 14.35m SB of hers. Remember, defending champion and favourite Yargelis Savigne is the cover theme today so many can happen!

As already mentioned, Hannah England could fancy her chances of pulling off an major upset in a growing open women’s 1500m, she’s come so fast and has improved massively tacticswise. She is lying sixth fastest in that field, headed by Mariam Jamal (BRN), but it’s very likely that it will go to a late burn-up so times won’t necessarily matter so much – though she is lying within a second or so of them all which isn’t much either!

‘Boss’ Dai Greene wraps up the night for the British team and hopefully by claiming Britain’s first gold of the championships, showing superb in the semifinals on Tuesday. He goes out in lane six with Bershawn ‘Batman’ Jackson right inside him in five and Olympic champion Angelo Taylor isolated on the inside and has got a great chance at his feet!

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

DAY V news

Mo Farah has declared himself fully fit and looks eager to return to the action on the track for the heats of the men’s 5000m tomorrow much to the delight of British fans around, having a equal second chance of striking golden glory in Daegu. He originally felt that his exertions over the 10000m final, where he won silver behind revelation Ibrahim Jeilan (ETH), had taken a deeper dent into his strenth and resources than expected so opted to leave it later to make up his mind over contesting the shortest distance but apparently has felt well and got the go-ahead from Alberto Salazar. After all, his burning desire for that global title was rather always going to override whatever concerns.

By contrast, great Kenenisa Bekele has withdrawn as he was evidently well short of efficient fitness to do himself any sort of justice and Bernard Lagat (USA) turns probably Mo’s most dangerous rival given his vast class and experience but also his return to his very best form this season. But having beaten him recently in Monaco, the Brit won’t feel any fear when he steps up to the plate.

Has the ‘cover curse’ been finally put to bed after three first days of spelling devastation over the gold medal prospects of Usain Bolt, Steve Hooper and Yelena Isinbayeva? That remains to be seen. Olga Kaniskina (RUS) became the first cover feature to brush aside the ominous shadow and claim a convincing third world title in the women’s 20km race walking early today, although she could have been penalised for evident lifting at a crucial stage of the race. Yet, clout told and was her pursuer, Anisya Kirdyakina, that received a second booking that ruled out her challenge for gold instead.

Britain’s Jo Jackson, looking for a top ten finish, came 23rd in 1h35:32 but was affected by both the conditions and an ongoing knee problem in her efforts. Hopefully, she is going to shrug off that complaint and round off her season on a high inside the 1h30 territory. Most competitors missed around three to four minutes of their SBs due to the prevailing conditions.

England battles her way through to the women’s 1500m final

Could Hannah England emerge as a serious medal contender in the women’s 1500m? Nothing can be ruled out, especially now that the affair opens wide following massive casualties in the scrappy slow early-late burn-up races through the rounds, with the final not expected to be much different. Helen Osdando Obiri, a 4:07.59 performer, is the only Kenyan to have survived the rounds, with Olympic champion Nancy Lagat crashing out in the same manner as Lisa Dobriskey, while it’s going to be extremely hard to find another global final that didn’t contain a single Russian runner!

England, for her part, has turned up a totally different athlete and so much stronger in every department this season and could fancy her chances of making that podium, far more tactically aware, more versatile and with a lethal kick down the home straight that could stand her in good stead in every potential shape the race might take. Rankingswise, she is sixth fastest among the finalists but that may not really weigh much in the race.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

DAY IV evening session lead-up

Unfortunately, not many Brits on show tonight and the probable sight of Jessica Ennis settling for silver after a disastrous display in the javelin, the penultimate event of the heptathlon, will hardly lift spirits as the curve of British performances keeps wobblying well into the fourth day of the championships. The athletes need to pull their socks up and buck the trend quickly before it swells into an avalanche that cannot be contained.

Eilidh Child is faced with a tough task in the first of the three semifinals of the women’s 400m hurdles as she goes on the outside lane, a feature sneaking on the fringes of suspicious with British athletes, against gold medal favourite Kaliese Spencer (JAM) in lane three and Vania Stambolova (BUL) in five inside her with two going through to the final by right and two fastest losers up for grabs. The Scot is also sixth fastest among the field which makes her work even harder.

Perri Shakes-Drayton needs to pick off either Lashinda Demus (USA), the third semifinal’s top performer, or Zuzana Henjova (CZE) to ensure of a secure passage to the final as she is lying fourth fastest in the field in 54.62 secs, something that is well within the range of the Brit who has beaten the Czech recently. She has drawn a good lane in three for a change.

Dai Greene will be the hot favourite to head the second semifinal home while young Jack Green and Nathan Woodward fall in at the deep end of the men’s 400m hurdles against some massive names, looking to make their own mark on the senior big stage. Like the women, the two first get automatic places for the final and there will be two fastest losers through as well.

Barbara Parker has achieved what she has come for, coming the first Briton to make the final ever, and everything else will be a bonus for her in a highly competitive and anticipated searing hot paced women’s steeplechase final while Hannah England goes in the second semifinal of the women’s 1500m with an eye to earning a berth in the final and making up for early departing Lisa Dobriskey.

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Day IV – August 30

https://athleticsstargate.wordpress.com/iaaf-world-championships-daegu-korea-august-27-september-4/day-iv-august-30/

—————————————————————————————————————————————–

Day III – August 29

https://athleticsstargate.wordpress.com/iaaf-world-championships-daegu-korea-august-27-september-4/day-iii-august-29/

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

Day II – August 28

https://athleticsstargate.wordpress.com/iaaf-world-championships-daegu-korea-august-27-september-4/day-ii-august-28/

————————————————————————————————————————————-

Day I – August 27

https://athleticsstargate.wordpress.com/iaaf-world-championships-daegu-korea-august-27-september-4/day-i-august-27/

*************************************************************************************************

*************************************************************************************************

LEADING UP TO DAEGU

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

The back spasms that threatened to end world top-ranked Jenn Suhr‘s bid for the world title so cruely have backed off and she remains still in the frame for a share of glory. Hopefully, she hasn’t missed training enough to affect her chances of silverware in Korea.

According to both Katharine Merry and Ato Boldon, conditions are very windy down in the arena of Daegu stadium and will slow down times if it stays that way. Let’s hope that the wind subsides by the time the World Championships begin in a little over than 15 hours now.

***Watch this fabulous video, courtesy of AVIVA Athletics, on the preparations of the British athletes at the holding camp in Ulsan, accompanied with many quotes of some of the top prospects across the board. Most, though, have moved over to Daegu as the World Championships are about to commence shortly.

World hammer record holder Betty Heidler has been forced to leave the German training camp for Daegu in Korea four days earlier than initially intended as training facilities were found substantially short of the required standards in terms of her event. Among others, the hammer throwing ground was uneven and half the cage colapsed through the winds blowing across the throwing range.

Following the withdrawal of Asafa Powell, the four fastest sprinters over 100m in the world this term will be missing from Daegu on various grounds, namely Tyson Gay, Steve Mullings and Mike Rogers and, of course, Powell himself. I don’t think this has ever come about in any major championships before.

The starting-lists of the first day of the World Championships are out so you can check them out on the link above (Starting-lists & Results).

***Former world record holder Asafa Powell has formed a late heavy casualty in the sprints due to injury that leaves now the way open wider for Usain Bolt to retain his global title, but hopes to come back fit in time for the short relay late next week. The Jamaican picked up the injury just before the AVIVA London Grand Prix, forced to scratch, but was hoping he could shake it off timely enough to take his place on the starting line of the 100m in Daegu. What feels quite absurd, however, is that his withdrawal comes a mere day after he stated that he was going to be the man to beat over the dash and that definitely raises questions over the whole matter…

According to an American message board, global number one this season Jenn Suhr was still in the States until Tuesday undergoing intensive medical treatment over unknown grounds. However, a later post reveals that she finally flew over to Korea the following day. Hopefully, everything is well with the very talented but also very unlucky American vaulter.

There is also a British scratch from the championships as Scott Andrew Lemoncello has withdrawn from the marathon through injury, down for the Team race.

Phillips Idowu reiterates that he is not going to let his ongoing row with British head coach Charles van Commennee get in the way of the defence of his world crown in the triple jump. On a different note, he has had the names of D’Karma and Prince, his two children, carved on his spikes to bring him good luck in his latest major campaign for glory.

***The British team are leaving their holding camp in Ulsan, having polished up their preparations, and moving in groups over to Daegu as they are about to enter the action at the World Championships, starting on Saturday morning. Spirits and morale look high in the British camp and captain Christian Malcolm is said to have delivered a cracking motivational speech before the squad’s departure to their final destination.

Astonishingly enough for this time of the year, former Olympic champion Justin Gatlin has arrived in Daegu suffering from… frostbite, speculated to have been possibly picked up while going into a cryogenic chamger with wet socks. Thankfully, he seems to be on the end of it now feeling ready to go out and burn the track as he himself says.

Jamaica’s shot put record holder Dorian Scott has pulled out of the national team to compete in Korea due to work commitments.

Jehue Gordon‘s issue over a failure to be entered to the World Championships by his own federation looks to have been resolved and he will be lining up normally in the 400m hurdles in Daegu.

Yaroslav Rybakov (RUS) has eventually opted to pull out of the defence of his title for a second and final time having decided to give himself a second chance in the interim. A crucial late workout yesterday clearly evidenced that there was no way his leg could sustain such a demanding effort and it was time he had wrapped his season up for good.

***Some amazing stories coming out today! According to sprint legend Ato Boldon, his home country of Trinidad & Tobago have failed to enter Jehue Gordon on their team for the World Championships in Daegu, put down as a case of oversight! There are ongoing discussions and hopes that the matter could be eventually settled but that constitutes an astonishing blunder, even more so in our time, and could have the plans and hopes of the World U20 champion washed out without a chance…

IAAF have told Nigeria that US-born and -nurtured duo of sprinter Gloria Asumnu and 400m Blessing Mayungbe are not eligible to represent the country before June 2013 and thereby have to be withdrawn from the initial Nigerian squad turned in for the World Championships. As a consequence, they will be both missing the Olympics in London next summer as well.

Chris Solinsky, the man who shot to stardom with a sub 27 mins US record over 10000m last year, has pulled out of the men’s 5000m due to a strained hamstring that effectively puts paid to a rocky current season of his. Andy Bumbalough is coming in in his stead the other way round on the American team.

Blanca Vlasic has made up her mind on defending her world crown in the high jump despite a revealed tendon damage in a MRI scan following a late knee injury, saying that she will either win or fall on her sword. The confirmation of her entry is very welcome news as she was always going to be among the main attractions and spotlight capturers on the big stage of Daegu. Hopefully, she won’t inflict any further damage on her knee with that elusive Olympic gold at stake next summer.

Morocco have put down a 19-strong team that, like most African teams, consists mostly of middle and long distance runners although Yahya Berabbah could steal some headlines on his recent sharp form in the long jump to buck the traditional trend. Amine Laalu could turn the country’s major hope for a gold medal on the back of a string of impressive performances over 1500m in the run-up.

Ethiopia have pared off their provisional squad to its final line-up for Daegu where it is hardly any surprise that it comprises entirely middle and long distance runners, headed by great Kenenisa Bekele who has made up his mind on defending his crown over 10000m. Apart from the multi-decorated distance legend, Meseret Defar, Sileshi Sihine, Meselech Melkamu and Gebregziabher Gebremariam will be among other top names featuring prominently in the Ethiopian handed-in list.

The Nordic king of the javelin Andre Thorkildsen will spearhead the fortunes as the main medal hope of a 13-strong Norwegian team heading into the World Championships, hoping to add to his glittering silverware down the years.

Greece and Belaruse are two latest teams to have handed in the make-up of their teams for the World Championships, with the latter resting their medal hopes heavily on the throws and in particular the shot put duo of Andrei Mikhnevich and Nadezdha Ostapchuk. Where the Belarusians have put together a 23-strong squad, Greece will be lining up a mere dozen of athletes that contains just a couple of track athletes. Rising pole vault star Nikol Kyriakopoulou, having set a recent national record of 4.71m, and European U23 champion Voula Papachristou will be the main hopes of a top five-six finish, or a surprise medal.

USADA have said that Mike Rodgers have voluntarily withdrawn from the US team although the results of his B sample are yet to come out. The American sprinter is said not to wish to distract the rest of the sprinters from their efforts in the dash battle that commences this weekend in Daegu.

***Evergreen Kim Collins, the 2003 world dash champion, will be flying the flag once more for the small team of St Kitts & Nevis in Korea.

Former Olympic and World champion Christian Olsson, endeavouring to take his game back to the heights of old, and European high jump silver medalist Emma Tregaro (nee Green) will be heading a relatively small Swedish squad to Daegu that will be short of sensational teenager Angelica Bengtsson in the pole vault nevertheless, sidelined with a hand injury.

Moses Kipsiro, double Commonwealth champion, will be highlighting of a 13-strong Uganda team comprised entirely of middle and long distance runners. (see Teams below)

Yusuf Saad Kamel, the defending 1500m World champion from Berlin and son to great former double 800m global champion Billy Konchellah (KEN), is also a major doubt to line up in Daegu and is embroiled in a race against time to make the 1500m starting-line fully fit and competitive, through already named among a 14-strong team from Bahrain (see Teams below). What was quite striking in his 2009 triumphant campaign was that he scraped through the first round as a fastest loser and only just!

Reigning world champion Mbulaeni Mulautzi has pulled out of the defence of his title over the men’s 800m in Daegu, meaning there is going to be a new holder of the title, due to a persisting hamstring injury that also affects his lower back.

On a lower scale, new European U23 champion Till Woeschler will be also missing what would have been his first senior global senior event in the javelin on a late elbow injury.

Seven more countries, including Bulgaria, Belgium and Portugal, have put out their squads today (See below in Teams). Belgium, as expected, will be led by the Borlee twins over 400m and the men’s long relay.

***Defending world champion Blanca Vlasic emerges as a major doubt for the World Championships a little over than a week before the action gets underway as she has sustained a late knee injury in training. As things look, she is about to make up her mind by the end of the week.

Olympic and World multi-champion Kenenisa Bekele will be defending his crown in Daegu late this month as his agent revealed yesterday to set up a mouth-watering relentless battle for glory against Mo Farah. The greatest distance runner as he may be, the mighty Ethiopian is going to be a huge unknown quantity even until deep into the 10000m final when the gears start slipping past and tension and pressure mounts high. Strange though it may sound, his presence and speculated racing plan may help Farah’s cause a great deal. But definitely great to see him back!

According to Ato Boldon, Mike Rodgers will remain on the US team for the World Championships in Daegu probably hinting that his B test turned negative.

Germany have named a 75-strong squad to dispatch to the World Championships in Daegu that will rely heavily in the throws, led by the likes of hammer world record holder Betty Heidler, world discus champion Robert Harting, European silver medalist Christina Obergfoll in the javelin but also season revelation Martina Struntz. (see Teams below)

The first wave of British athletes that have arrived in Korea look particularly pleased with conditions at the holding camp in Ulsan, such as food and hygiene among others. That is a very positive starting-point at the last stage of their preparations before the big show commences late next week.

***Kenyan Wilson Kiprop, the World Half-marathon and African 10000m champion, has added to the worrying increasing group of pull-outs through injury 0f Daegu. Paul Kipngetich Tanui comes in his place the other way round.

Christina Vukicevic (Norway), the European indoor bronze medalist in the sprint hurdles, has announced on tweeter that her season is over due to injury so will be missing the World Championships in the process.

Former World U20 record holder Darrell Brown has missed out on selection for the Trinidad & Togabo side that are going to compete in Daegu after he finished sixth in 10.13 secs in the final of the 100m in the country’s national championships over the weekend. Incidentally, he was silver medalist in Paris in 10.08 secs back in 2003 in blanket finish that saw the top four come within a single hundredth of a second headed by Kim Collins (SKN), having set that global U20 record of 10.04 secs through the rounds.

American World indoor 400m champion Debbie Dunn is out of Daegu due to a late stress fracture that puts paid to her season.

***France have completed the make-up of their team with the late addiction of long-jumper Salim Sdiri to dispatch a 46-strong side to Daegu headed by the likes of Renaud Lavillenie and Yohan Diniz, their two main gold medal hopes, but missing solely injured Teddy Tamgho, while Dayron Robles and Yargelis Savigne will be leading a 31-athlete Cuban squad.(see Teams below)

Aleksey Zagorniy (RUS), the world top-ranked hammer thrower, has been a latest casualty from the Worlds as he was forced to withdraw with a back problem.

Yaroslav Rybakov, the reigning high jump world champion, has made a turn on his decision to pull out of the defence of his title last Tuesday and said that he may still turn up in Daegu depending on how his foot injury develops over the remaining time.

One man set to be missing though, and maybe never to be seen on the track again, is season dash revelation Steve Mullings (JAM) who looks destined to receive a lifetime ban from athletics as he has tested positive for the masking agent furosemide, having already served a two-year ban over doping offences in the past.

Sergeu Bubka, the undisputed King of the skies, wins a record sixth global crown in Athens 1997


**********************************************************************************************

———————————————————————————————————————————–

World Championships Prediction Contest

http://www.atletiektoto.nl/

———————————————————————————————————————————–

Mary Decker blows away the Russian challenge in an epic 3000m final in Helsinki 1983