A preview of the women’s field events at the IAAF World Championships
» Even before picking up a hamstring injury, Blanka Vlasic had been well short of her best form all year.
» Russia’s Anna Chicherova pulled out a surprise 2.07m at the Russian Championships and she now heads to Daegu as the equal third-best jumper of all-time.
» Euro Indoor champ Antonietta Di Martino missed the early summer with a foot injury, but returned earlier this month with a clearance of 2.00m.
» Others in the fray should be Russians Svetlana Shkolina and Yelena Slesarenko and Bulgaria’s Venelina Veneva-Mateyeva.
» Yelena Isinbayeva has returned but had a no-height in Lignano sandwiched between wins at 4.60m and 4.76m. But purely on her past record alone, she is still the favourite.
» USA’s Jenn Suhr is in good shape and heads the world rankings with 4.91m.
» Poland’s world champion Anna Rogowska should also be a contender despite suffering a hand injury when her pole snapped during a competition in Sopot at the end of June.
» Martina Strutz has this year set a PB of 4.78m with six other competitions above 4.70m.
» Another athlete rising just as sharply is Holly Bleasdale, the 19-year-old who has set a UK record of 4.70m this year.
» Brittney Reese this year produced the longest jump in the world since 2007 and the American has the big-time temperament to defend her world title. Also won in Monaco, Lausanne and Rome.
» Janay DeLoach beat Reese in Birmingham and Eugene and has the raw potential to shock.
» The other big favourite is Darya Klishina, who won European Indoors and the European under-23 title with a PB 7.05m.
» Russian champion and former 400m runner Olga Zaytseva, with 7.01m, is the only other woman over seven metres this season.
» Veranika Shutkova of Belarus jumped 6.95m in May but has been erratic since, while Olympic champion Maurren Maggi of Brazil has been in solid form with a best of 6.89m.
» Yargelis Savigne has won three of her five competitions this year.
» Ukraine’s Olga Saladukha beat Savigne in Stockholm and appears to be the main obstacle to the Cuban winning her third gold.
» World indoor champion Olga Rypakova’s 14.96m at the Kazakh Champs is her only jump over 14.50m this year.
» Caterina Ibarguen, who joined Savigne at the top of the world rankings with her 14.99m recently – albeit with the assistance of altitude – is much improved and was a close third in Stockholm.
» Greece’s Paraskevi Papahrístou, Cuba’s Mabel Gay and Italy’s Simona La Mantia could also be in the running.
» Valerie Adams is second in the world rankings to Nadezhda Ostapchuk’s world lead of 20.94m, but the New Zealander is a renowned championship performer.
» Adams has defeated Ostapchuk in their four clashes on the Diamond League circuit this year and hasn’t gone below 20 metres in any of her competitions.
» Gong Lijiao from China is not expected to finish any higher than third again but is a solid medal bet.
» US record-holder Jillian Camarena-Williams, US champion Michelle Carter and European under-23 champion Yevgeniya Kolodko of Russia are other contenders.
» Sandra Perkovic tested positive for a stimulant and her absence leaves this event without a stand-out contender.
» Reigning world champion Dani Samuels and Olympic champion Stephanie Brown-Trafton are both short of their best.
» Nadine Muller looks as good a candidate as any to win. Peaked too early last year, but has returned in good form in 2011 and improved her season’s best to 66.99m in her final competition before Daegu.
» Yarelis Barrios has claimed silver at the past three global championships and the Cuban is a title contender based on Diamond League form.
» A strong Chinese trio is led by Li Yanfeng, who holds the world lead at 67.98m.
» Betty Heidler should comfortably regain the world title she won in 2007. She has set a world record of 79.42m, backed up with two throws over 77 metres.
» The last athlete to beat Heidler was former world record-holder Tatyana Lysenko and the Russian is rounding into form with a season’s best of 75.70m.
» Defending champion Anita Wlodarczyk has been sidelined with a back injury. She is rounding in to form, but perhaps not enough to beat Heidler.
» Back from maternity leave, former two-time champion Yipsi Moreno will be in the fray, along with China’s Olympic bronze medallist Zhang Wenxiu.
» World record-holder Barbora Spotakova, now coached by Jan Zelezny, threw a world lead of 69.45m in Monaco.
» Christina Obergföll took a noteworthy win at the European Team Championships and has beaten Spotakova five times this year, but she sometimes fails to find her best throws in major finals.
» Mariya Abakumova won only bronze in Berlin despite achieving her second best-ever throw of 68.92m in qualifying. She was only fifth at the European Championships last year too.
» Goldie Sayers has returned from injury impressively and the Olympic fourth-placer finished ahead of both Spotakova and Abakumova at the European Team Championships.
» Jessica Ennis has enjoyed a largely uninterrupted build-up which brings her to Daegu in arguably the shape of her life.
» Ennis defeated all of her leading rivals in Götzis in May and has set PBs in four events this year – 23.11 (200m), 2:08.46 (800m), 12.79 (100m hurdles) and 14.61m (shot).
» Ennis has the ideal championship temperament and has set heptathlon PBs at every major championship she has ever contested.
» Tatyana Chernova was 200 points adrift of Ennis in Götzis, but set a PB of 6773 in Kladno to climb to second on the world rankings. Watch out for Chernova on day two as she holds lifetime bests of 6.82m in the long jump, 54.49m in the javelin and 2:06.50 in the 800m.
» Natalia Dobrynska scored just 6332 in Götzis, but always turns her form around for major champs. Just a few weeks ago she equalled her high jump PB and clocked 13.73 in the 100m hurdles – her fastest ever pre-champs time.
» Jennifer Oeser from Germany will also be in contention along with Karolina Tyminska from Poland and Euro indoor champ Antonietta Nana Djimou Ida from France.
» All of the above are bite-sized versions of the AW‘s World Championships preview. For the full version – including rankings, features, stats and predictions – get the latest copy of Athletics Weekly, out August 25.