A preview of the women’s field and multi events at the IAAF World Championships taking place in Moscow from August 10-18
World No.1 Brigetta Barrett has suffered just two defeats in ten starts and the American will have high hopes for Moscow where she will face the likes of Russia’s Olympic and world champion Anna Chicherova.
The only other woman to have bettered the two metre mark this year, Blanka Vlasic, will be missing through injury, leaving a few contenders for the medals, including Italy’s world junior champion Alessia Trost.
Cuba’s Yarisley Silva has the upper hand in her close rivalry with US Olympic champion Jenn Suhr, with Silva leading the American 3-1 on head-to -heads this season.
World outdoor record-holder Yelena Isinbayeva has missed much of the last few years due to lack of motivation, however she will be sure to want to put on a good show in front of a home crowd.
Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare could be the marginal favourite to take gold in the long jump in Moscow where she will also contest the 100m and 200m.
Her only defeat this year has been at the hands of Olympic and world champion Brittney Reese, though the American world leader has struggled to register reasonable jumps in the latter half of the season. Britain’s Shara Proctor has had her best-ever season and also seems to be a strong medal contender.
Caterine Ibarguen has put together seven straight wins since her most recent defeat almost a year ago to the day in the Olympic final.
The Colombian’s closest rival could be defending champion Olha Saladuha of Ukraine, while Ekaterina Koneva leads a strong trio from the home nation, also comprising Irina Gumenyuk and Anna Pyatykh.
Reigning three-time champion Valerie Adams hasn’t lost to anyone other than the now-banned Nadzeya Ostapchuk since 2006 and since broaching the 20m-barrier for the first time seven years ago, Adams has racked up 68 competitions where she’s surpassed this mark.
Adams is sure to continue her dominance in Moscow, though other medal contenders are Germany’s European indoor champion Christina Schwanitz and Russian champion Yevgeniya Kolodko.
Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic is unbeaten in more than a year and it would be a shock if she doesn’t add the world title to her Olympic gold medal and two European titles.
Yarelis Barrios from Cuba should also make the podium, while Lithuania’s Zinaida Sendriuté or Dani Samuels from Australia could also sneak a spot.
German thrower Betty Heidler hasn’t come close to her world record form yet but the 2007 world champion is unbeaten this season and has accumulated 1-0 and 4-0 head-to-head records over Russia’s Tatyana Lysenko and Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk respectively this summer, with the podium spots looking set to go to these three athletes.
Britain’s Sophie Hitchon has a good major championships temperament but improving global standards mean the former world junior champion will need to operate close to her UK record form of 72.97m to ensure a berth in the final.
Germany’s Christina Obergföll might be the in-form thrower but reigning champion Maria Abakumova will be a formidable obstacle on home-soil.
Obergföll comes into the championships with a 5-0 head-to-head record over the Russian, while Linda Stahl could be a second German to make the podium in Moscow as she handed Obergföll her only defeat of the season at their domestic championships.
No event in Moscow has a casualty list as long as this one, with six of the top-seven finishers from the Olympics absent.
With a mix of up-and-coming athletes along with the more experienced in the field, anyone from Britain’s European under-23 champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson and the multi-talented Dafne Schippers of the Netherlands to US athlete Sharon Day and Canada’s Brianne Theisen, wife of decathlete Ashton Eaton, could be medal contenders.
» The above are bite-sized extracts from AW‘s full World Championships guide in the August 8 issue. This includes 28-pages of in-depth event-by-event previews with rankings, stats and predictions. You can download the digital edition here.