London 2012 Olympics: Men’s endurance events form guide

Summary of the top five contenders in all of the men’s endurance events at the London 2012 Olympics

Mo Farah (Mark Shearman)

800m

Entries | Stats | Rankings
World record-holder David Rudisha is head and shoulders above his rivals and is the biggest favourite of any track event in London. Teenager Nijel Amos is the new find of the season, clocking 1:43.11 and winning the world junior title.

Fellow young Africans Timothy Kitum and Mohamed Aman – the men who ended Rudisha’s winning streak last year – will also be in contention, but Poland’s Adam Kszczot will also be a danger.

Form guide

1 David Rudisha (KEN)
2 Nijel Amos (BOT)
3 Mohamed Aman (ETH)
4 Adam Kszczot (POL)
5 Timothy Kitum (KEN)
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1500m

Entries | Stats | Rankings
World and Olympic champion is the man to beat after going to fifth on the world all-time list with 3:28.88. He will be joined on the Kenyan team by two fellow sub-3:30 men, Silas Kiplagat and Nixon Chepseba, who have both been consistent on the circuit this year.

If anyone is capable of preventing a Kenyan sweep of the medals, it’s Nick Willis who recently broke his own New Zealand record with 3:30.35. But also young out for Ayanleh Souleiman of Djibout, who this year has run 3:30.31 – the second-fastest time in history by a teenager.

Form guide

1 Asbel Kiprop (KEN)
2 Silas Kiplagat (KEN)
3 Nick Willis (KEN)
4 Nixon Chepseba (KEN)
5 Ayanleh Souleiman (DJI)
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5000m

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Perhaps the most competitive of all the men’s distance events, expect this one to come down to the wire. Mo Farah is the world champion, but he wasn’t present at the Paris Diamond League which witnessed the greatest depth 5000m race of all-time. Dejen Gebremeskel came out on top there, and if he can win a race like that – where six men went sub-12:50 and eleven sub-13 – he is clearly a huge threat.

His young team-mate Hagos Gebrhiwet has come to the fore this year, while Isiah Koech has continued his progress. And never rule out veteran Bernard Lagat, who won world silver last year.

Form guide

1 Dejen Gebremeskel (ETH)
2 Mo Farah (GBR)
3 Hagos Gebrhiwet (ETH)
4 Isiah Koech (KEN)
5 Bernard Lagat (USA)
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10,000m

Entries | Stats | Rankings
World 5000m champion Mo Farah is prioritising this event in London as it comes up first on the schedule and he is keen to make amends after taking silver in Daegu last year. Kenenisa Bekele is back to defend his title, but isn’t the dominant athlete he once was. Brother Tariku Bekele is the next-best Ethiopian.

Kenya, as ever, will have a strong presence. Top two in their trial race were world leader Wilson Kiprop and 2009 world bronze medallist Moses Masai.

Form guide

1 Mo Farah (GBR)
2 Kenenisa Bekele (ETH)
3 Wilson Kiprop (KEN)
4 Tariku Bekele (ETH)
5 Moses Masai (KEN)
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Marathon

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Such is the depth of Kenyan marathon running, they could afford to leave world record-holder Patrick Makau at home. Wilson Kipsang has already won in London earlier this year and is tipped to do so again. Team-mate Abel Kirui has won back-to-back world titles and will be keen to win a third global gold.

Emmanuel Mutai completes the team, while the Ethiopian team includes world leader Ayele Abshero and Getu Feleke.

Form guide

1 Wilson Kipsang (KEN)
2 Abel Kirui (KEN)
3 Ayele Abshero (ETH)
4 Emmanuel Mutai (KEN)
5 Getu Feleke (ETH)
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3000m steeplechase

Entries | Stats | Rankings
In the absence of the world’s top steeplechaser Paul Kipsiele Koech – who struggles to run at altitude and missed out at the national trials – Kenya will be represented by defending champion Brimin Kipruto, two-time world champion Ezekiel Kemboi and former world youth champion Abel Mutai.

A Kenyan sweep is a strong possibility, but Ethiopia’s Roba Gari and recent US record-breaker Evan Jager will be strong opponents.

Form guide

1 Brimin Kipruto (KEN)
2 Abel Mutai (KEN)
3 Ezekiel Kemboi (KEN)
4 Raba Gari (ETH)
5 Evan Jager (USA)
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20km walk

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Valeriy Borchin has won the past three global titles, but showed his vulnerability at this year’s World Cup where he finished a distant tenth. Wang Zhen was the winner there and is the fastest of the entrants – could he become China’s first Olympic race walking champion?

Borchin’s team-mates Andrey Krivov and Vladimir Kanaykin made the podium at the World Cup, while Erick Barrondo will be attempting to win Guatemala’s first Olympic medal in any sport.

Form guide

1 Wang Zhen (CHN)
2 Valeriy Borchin (RUS)
3 Andrey Krivov (RUS)
4 Vladimir Kanaykin (RUS)
5 Erick Barrondo (GUA)
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50km walk

Entries | Stats | Rankings
After failing to finish at his past two championship appearances, two-time world champion Sergey Kirdyapkin is back in form and leads the world rankings with his 3:38:08 victory at the World Cup. There he just about managed to hold off team-mate Igor Yerokhin, who joins him on the team for London.

Other contenders include Australia’s Jared Tallent and defending champion Alex Schwazer of Italy, who is focusing on the longer event despite having the world-leading time for 20km.

Form guide

1 Sergey Kirdyapkin (RUS)
2 Igor Yerokhin (RUS)
3 Alex Schwazer (ITA)
4 Jared Tallent (AUS)
5 Yohann Diniz (FRA)
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» All of the above are bite-sized versions of AW‘s Olympic Games preview. For the full version – including rankings, features, stats and predictions – get the latest copy of Athletics Weekly, out now.

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