Dina Asher-Smith leads Britain’s medal hopes in the World Athletics Championships, which get underway in Doha on Friday.
More than 70 athletes are set to compete during the World Championships and heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson just two of those titles in action, together with runner Laura Muir.
Adam Gemili – who won a World Championship gold trophy in London 2017 after a sensational performance from the 4 x 100m relay race, is set to feature for Team GB.
Ahead of what promises to become the enthralling 10 times, we’ve picked.
It’s the first World Championships without Usain Bolt because 2005, but – at Warholm – we have an athlete with ability and nature to plug the gap. Karsten runs every time that the starter’s pistol sounds and faster each.
The former decathlete dedicated into the 400 hurdles in 2015, and has become World, European, and also Diamond League champion – that the latter courtesy of this second-fastest clocking of time in Zurich a month: 46.92.
Secondly with all the third-quickest time in history in that race was NCAA Champion Rai Benjamin. It’s unfathomable that the American dipped under 47 moments, and didn’t even come away with the win.
Throw home favorite Abderrahman Samba into the mix, and three of those four men to have broken that obstacle that is hallowed can be lining up at the final next week.
Warholm is your man for the event, and edging that scintillating Diamond League final – despite stuttering badly to the barrier – is a real boost before this showdown that is piled.
What’s sure is that it’s going to take something very particular to win the men’s 400m hurdles in Doha – perhaps a crack at Kevin Young’s 1992 world listing of 46.78.
Warholm burst on the scene along with his Munch-esque incredulity at his own world-beating performance in London at 2017 (search’Karsten Warholm the shout’, if you’ve overlooked the meme); all eyes will be on the Norwegian showman over the next few days, as he seems to craft a second classic.
Echevarria appears to have only cursory respect for gravity, along with talent coming from the ears. Until this season hehas cut a figure that was inconsistent and’s not always seemed in control of his prodigious abilities.
His 7.86m in London in the last World Championships was enough for just 15th place at the long jump, and there have been meetings when you felt he had been just as prone to filthy three times as he was to clear the pit entirely.
Clearing the sand completely might sound ridiculous, but the Cuban jumped a wind-assisted 8.92m in Havana back in March, and in just 21, there is plenty of room for improvement. In between an international title and him is dominating World and Commonwealth Champion Luvo Manyonga.
The South African hasn’t replicated his 2018 type yet this season – we’d grown used to the Olympic silver medallist soaring over 8.50m – but he still poses a real threat, and contains much more big-meet expertise compared to the Cuban challenger.
Having said that, this really is Echevarria’s capability that the result is out of the hands of Manyonga on. If the kid gets it right, he’ll leave Doha. It’s that simple.
Whisper it, however, a sprinter may achieve, and is gunning for, the treble in a World Championships.
In Berlin last summer, she has backed up on the stage in this season’s Diamond League and generated a gorgeous leg in the 4x100m and obliterated both national records.
Four sub-11 clockings within the blue-riband space on the circuit of the sport culminated in a impressive run at the closing in Brussels, where she beat Shelly-Ann and also clinched her inaugural Diamond League name.
The women’s sprints are saturated at present, along with the two Jamaicans (Fraser-Pryce and double Olympic Champion Elaine Thompson) are both quicker on newspaper over 100m, however Dina has beaten both of them this year, and also her composure, consistency, and competitive instincts make her odds-on favorite for this name.
More than 200m, just 1 woman looks to have the beating of Asher-Smith, and that’s the peerless Shaunae Miller-Uibo, that – due to scheduling – is not able to try a dual .
From the Bahamian’s lack, Dina looks perfectly-placed into dethrone Dafne Schippers, who’s looked decidedly off the pace so far this season. By the penultimate day of the Championships, Dina gets the chance to cement her superstardom standing in the relay.
Terrific Britain won silver in this event in London, also with Asher-Smith, Asha Philip, along with Daryll Neita from this quartet all in excellent shape – also Kristal Awuah, Ashleigh Nelson, and Sky Scholar Imani-Lara Lansiquot making up a strong sprint relay squad) – there’s a very real prospect of a third decoration.
Asher-Smith is quickly becoming the head of British Athletics – a teenager she has borne with the two articulacy and appeal – and Doha is the opportunity to make history. Not since Kathy Cook at 1983 has Britain had an individual medal at the 100m or 200m of the women, and there seems an opportunity in the two.
The women’s 800m is without any of those three Rio medallists – Caster Semenya, Francine Niyonsaba, also Margaret Wambui – all of whom have been affected by the IAAF’s adjustments to eligibility guidelines for athletes who have differences in sexual development.
In their absence, the USA’s Ajee Wilson is the favourite: quickest in the world this year, Diamond League winner, and undefeated over the space in 2019 in each race without Semenya.
The American record-holder may be favourite for gold, but there may be a place of the most athletes of Great Britain in the podium for one. Shelayna Oskan-Clarke is a confident and canny racer, dominating European Indoor Champion, along with a world medallist.
She finished in Beijing, and does not compete much about the Diamond League circuit, however operates astutely and sharply. Championship middle-distance races could be cagey affairs, and Oskan-Clarke is a safe pair of hands.
If she can browse the heats and semi-finals with no incident, do not hesitate to see this powerful runner.
Keep an eye out for compatriots Lynsey Sharp, who’s at a rich vein of form, also Championships debutant Alex Bell, who exhibited admirable composure to finish fifth at the Commonwealths last year, and recently won the 800m for Team Europe at The Match.
The champion doesn’t run, she glides. The Bahamian stands at 6ft 1in and is now one of the most effortless, athletic competitors around. When she teams up with the similarly balletic Steven Gardiner from the mixed 4×400 relay, it is going to be a decorative pleasure of a race, along with a terrifyingly fast one at that.
She’s a sub-49 second quarter-miler, ran a national set of 21.74 over 200 metres in the Diamond League final in Zurich last month, and is undefeated across the board because the beginning of the 2018 year old.
Having said that, it is not all been smooth sailing in Championships; her golden in Rio came after she controversially threw herself across the line to beat Allyson Felix; she strangely seized up in the final metres of the 400m at the 2017 Worlds, fading to fourth; and she looked well shy of her finest in the 200m in the exact same event, in which she finished third.
Since, however, she’s been unstoppable, and it’s a true shame that she is not able to try the 200-400m double. There have been six runs this year, and three of these were Miller-Uibo.
The only athlete that might challenge her is Salwa Eid Naser, the Bahraini record-holder and Diamond League Champion.
The pair haven’t yet met this year, and there will surely be fireworks when they do; we haven’t seen two women break the 49-second barrier in precisely the identical race as 1996, however, that may change in Doha.
Naser will run however Miller-Uibo will operate. She is the Champion select, and with so much to come. This ought to be her first, but no manner her global title.