London 2012 Olympics: Men’s field events form guide

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

Phillips Idowu (Mark-Shearman)

High jump

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Having had the vast majority of his success come indoors, this year Ivan Ukhov seems to have finally timed his peak for the outdoor season. He leads the world with 2.39m and also has a 2.37m leap to his name. World champion Jesse Williams is only slightly down on his form from last year, while European champion Robbie Grabarz is close behind and has finished no lower than second in all of his competitions this year.

The Russian Championships saw incredible depth, as defending Olympic champion Andrey Silnov and 2010 European champion Aleksandr Shustov booked their places on the team.

Form guide

1 Ivan Ukhov (RUS)
2 Jesse Williams (USA)
3 Robbie Grabarz (GBR)
4 Andrey Silnov (RUS)
5 Aleksandr Shustov (RUS)
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Pole vault

Entries | Stats | Rankings
One of the few events where the world rankings mirror the form guide. Renaud Lavillenie is a great championship performer and looks set to take his first global outdoor title. Bjorn Otto is in the form of his life at the age of 34 and defeated Lavillenie at the London Diamond League.

Malte Mohr has set a 5.91m PB this year, while Brad Walker remains a threat five years after winning the world title. In his final competition before the Games, Steve Lewis set a British record of 5.82m and beat all the main Olympic contenders in the process.

Form guide

1 Renaud Lavillenie (FRA)
2 Bjorn Otto (GER)
3 Malte Mohr (GER)
4 Brad Walker (USA)
5 Steve Lewis (GBR)
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Long jump

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One of the most open of all the events this year. Mitchell Watt has not been at his best, but he might still be good enough to win, such is the current global standard. The Australian – who is an 8.54m man at best – has won four of his five competitions this year and has been consistent around the 8.20m level.

Greg Rutherford shares the world lead with Russian junior Sergey Morgunov at 8.35m, but the Briton’s last couple of competitions have not gone to plan. European champion Sebastian Bayer and world indoor triple jump champion Will Claye should also be in contention.

Form guide

1 Mitchell Watt (AUS)
2 Sebastian Bayer (GER)
3 Will Claye (USA)
4 Greg Rutherford (GBR)
5 Irving Saladino (PAN)
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Triple jump

Entries | Stats | Rankings
No one apart from the man himself knows exactly what form Phillips Idowu is in. But the latest reports appear optimistic that he will make it to the start line – in which case he will still be a threat. Whether he will be in good enough shape to beat the top two Americans, however, is another matter entirely.

Christian Taylor and Will Claye are the world champions outdoors and indoors respectively, making them the favourites. Lyukman Adams of Russia and Fabrizio Donato have this year jumped the kind of distances that medals could be won with.

Form guide

1 Christian Taylor (USA)
2 Will Claye (USA)
3 Phillips Idowu (GBR)
4 Lyukman Adams (RUS)
5 Fabrizio Donato (ITA)
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Shot

Entries | Stats | Rankings
All four of David Storl’s best throws have come at major championships. He surprised his older and more experienced rivals at last year’s World Championships, but a gold this year would be less of a shock. USA will be strong – led by Reese Hoffa and Christian Cantwell – but it’s very rare that all the Americans will perform at their best.

Defending champion Tomasz Majewski is always a threat, as is Dylan Armstrong who will be fired up after narrowly missing a medal in Beijing.

Form guide

1 David Storl (GER)
2 Reese Hoffa (USA)
3 Christian Cantwell (USA)
4 Tomasz Majewski (POL)
5 Dylan Armstrong (CAN)
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Discus

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Having been undefeated for two years, Robert Harting is one of the heavy favourites of the London 2012 Games. He has twice broken 70 metres this year and won the European title in Helsinki. If anyone is likely to challenge him, it could be two-time Olympic champion Virgilijus Alekna. The veteran has this year thrown 70.28m – a world age-40 best.

Behind these two, it’s quite open. Martin Wierig threw 68.33m just last week, but has been quite erratic. Lawrence Okoye is more consistent than last year but still has the odd wobble. Defending champion Gerd Kanter has bags of experience, while Ehsan Hadadi has been in solid form.

Form guide

1 Robert Harting (GER)
2 Virgilijus Alekna (LTU)
3 Gerd Kanter (EST)
4 Ehsan Hadadi (IRI)
5 Lawrence Okoye (GBR)
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Hammer

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Ivan Tikhon has competed just once this year, but his 82.81m was the longest throw in the world for four years. Hungary’s Krisztian Pars, however, is close behind with his 82.28m, backed up by a string of 80-metre throws. Since 2005 he has steadily climbed up the ranks with every major championships, culminating with European gold this year.

His one loss this season was to young Pole Pawel Fajdek, who has found consistency at the 80-metre mark. Defending champion Koji Murofushi has only competed once this year, but he had a similar build-up to last year’s World Championships before coming away with gold.

Form guide

1 Krisztián Pars (HUN)
2 Ivan Tikhon (BLR)
3 Pawel Fajdek (POL)
4 Koji Murofushi (JPN)
5 Kirill Ikonnikov (RUS)
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Javelin

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Another difficult-to-predict event with many of the big guns – notably two-time Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen – lacking form. Viteszlav Vesely is the closest to being a favourite, leading the world with 88.11m and winning the European title.

Many of the other world’s top throwers have lacked consistency, but Ukraine’s Oleksandr Pyatnytsya has been relatively solid. Guillermo Martinez could be the dark horse – he competes lightly on the circuit, but has made the podium at the past two World Championships.

Form guide

1 Viteszlav Vesely (CZE)
2 Oleksandr Pyatnytsya (UKR)
3 Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR)
4 Guillermo Martinez (CUB)
5 Tero Pitkamaki (FIN)
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Decathlon

Entries | Stats | Rankings
Ashton Eaton is the only track and field athlete to have broken a world record this year, and as such he is a huge favourite to win in London. His 9039 world record score gives him a lead of almost 500 points on the world rankings.

Two-time world champion Trey Hardee will once again be a medal contender, but he will be pushed all the way by European champion Pascal Behrenbruch of Germany. Leonel Suarez is always a danger, while Belgian record-holder Hans Van Alphen is in the form of his life.

Form guide

1 Ashton Eaton (USA)
2 Pascal Behrenbruch (GER)
3 Trey Hardee (USA)
4 Hans Van Alphen (BEL)
5 Leonel Suarez (CUB)

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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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