A look ahead to the decathlon, heptathlon and relay events at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

Decathlon

Damian Warner is back in multi-event action following an ankle injury and will be the one to beat as he goes into the competition with an 8512 point personal best achieved when claiming bronze at last year’s World Championships in Moscow.

Top of the Commonwealth rankings this season is South Africa’s Willem Coertzen with 8199 points set at altitude in April.

England’s Ashley Bryant and John Lane are ranked second and third with 8141 and 7848 points respectively.

Joining them on the England team is 2010 bronze medallist Martin Brockman who has a season’s best of 7496 points but a personal best of 7712 points set when winning that medal in Delhi.

Ben Gregory, David Guest and Curtis Matthews are the Welsh athletes in action, led by Gregory with a 7517-point PB set this season.

Facts and figures

» Predictions: 1 Damian Warner (CAN), 2 Willem Coertzen (RSA); 3 Ashley Bryant (ENG). Predicted mark: 8145
» Reigning champion: Jamie Adjetey-Nelson (CAN) 8070

Heptathlon

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, who leads the world rankings with her 6682 point personal best set when winning the prestigious Hypo Meeting in Gotzis in June and had been one of England’s biggest gold medal contenders, has been forced to withdraw with a foot injury.

In her absence, world silver medallist Brianne Theisen-Eaton is the athlete to beat, the 25-year-old having set a Canadian record of 6641 points in finishing behind Johnson-Thompson in Gotzis.

The next three athletes in the season’s Commonwealth rankings are all from either Canada or England. Canada’s Jessica Zelinka with 6128 points sits third, while her compatriot Angela Whyte is ranked fifth but is entered for the 100m hurdles and 4x100m relay in Glasgow. Between the two Canadians is England’s 17-year-old Morgan Lake but she chose to travel with the GB team to Eugene
to challenge for the world junior title.

Jessica Taylor goes to Glasgow as a part of the England team with a personal best of 5813 points set in May.

Facts and figures

» Predictions: 1 Brianne Theisen-Eaton (CAN); 2 Jess Zelinka (CAN); 3 Jessica Taylor (ENG). Predicted mark: 6520
» Reigning champion: Louise Hazel (ENG) 6156

Men’s 4x100m

With the current rankings and form not a reliable indicator of the eventual outcome, the top teams should still come from the mighty Jamaicans, England and Trinidad & Tobago with a whole bunch of well-drilled countries chomping at the bit ready to snatch a medal.

Jamaica currently top the rankings with a swift 37.71 seconds and their slick foursome will be added to with the one and only, Usain Bolt on the last leg. The England team looks strong and if they can get the baton around smoothly then they will be there or thereabouts as will Trinidad & Tobago who will also be looking to improve on their season’s best of 38.04.

Controversially, two of England’s fastest athletes, Chijundu Ujah and James Dasaolu have not been selected.

Facts and figures

» Predictions: 1 Jamaica; 2 England; 3 Trinidad & Tobago. Predicted mark: 38.04
» Reigning champion: England 38.74

Women’s 4x100m

The rankings show Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago at the top with 42.28 and 42.57 seconds respectively. Great Britain have clocked 42.75 seconds with an all-English team will be looking to improve on that to push for a podium place.

Nigeria finished one place ahead of GB in the Bahamas and they will also pose a big threat as will Canada and the Bahamas.

The England squad includes the likes of Louise Bloor, Hayley Jones, Bianca Williams, Asha Philip and Sophie Papps and will need a well-drilled routine to ensure a medal is theirs.

All of this is conjecture of course, all teams have to bring the baton home in the heats and then repeat that in the final!

Facts and figures

» Predictions: 1 Jamaica; 2 England; 3 Trinidad & Tobago. Predicted mark: 42.24
» Reigning champion: England 44.19

Men’s 4x400m

Out in front in the rankings are the Bahamas, the Olympic champions (2min 57.59sec). Trinidad & Tobago who have clocked a national record of 2:58.34 will not be far away either.

The England squad is a strong one and their season’s best of 3:00.32 was done while Nigel Levine ran almost all of his leg with one spike after getting clipped from behind. Martyn Rooney is a different runner with a baton in his hand and the squad will be looking to him for something special. With the addition of Matthew Hudson-Smith, who clocked a superb 44.97 at the Glasgow Grand Prix this month, the squad will be confident.

Look out too for Jamaica and Nigeria.

Facts and figures

» Predictions: 1 Bahamas; 2 England; 3 Trinidad & Tobago. Predicted mark: 2:58.34
» Reigning champion: Australia 3:03.30

Women’s 4x400m

Top of the rankings are Jamaica with 3min 23.26sec with Nigeria (3:23.41).

The England team will have to raise their game considerably and the squad of Margaret Adeoye, Shana Cox, Emily Diamond, Kelley Massey, Victoria Ohuruogu and Christine Ohuruogu is nonetheless a strong unit and they should be in the medals.

Ohuruogu senior is only going in the relay this time and should be fresh and ready to run a big last leg should it be needed.

The Scotland squad of Eilidh Child, Zoey Clarke, Kirsten McAslan, Gemma Nicol, Diane Ramsay and Lynsey Sharp will be looking to make the final and then feed of the raucous home crowd to excel themselves.

Facts and figures

» Predictions: 1 Jamaica; 2 Nigeria; 3 England. Predicted mark: 3:23.34
» Reigning champion: India 3:27.77

» For more in-depth previews together with rankings, a timetable and further stats see the July 24 issue of AW