World Athletics Championships 2007- Preview VI

25 08 2007

With competition beginning, we may need to speed up some of these previews! Otherwise I could look silly predicting something that already happened, and getting it wrong.. So today, we’ll cover throws and Multi events. Links to parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Throws

Men

DJoachim Olsen - burstin’efending Shot Put champion Adam Nelson (21.47 SB) will have a battle on his hands, primarily with his American team-mate Reese Hoffa, the reigning World Indoor champion, who threw a career best and world-leading 22.43m in London. Olympic bronze medallist Joachim Olsen (Denmark) continues to improve, most recently he improved his national record to 21.61.

Gerd Kanter (Estonia) is the world leader (72.02 from early May), but few can deny that the overwhelming Discus Throw favourite in Osaka will be Lithuanian Virgilijus Alekna. The two-time World and Olympic champion currently boasts the longest winning streak in the sport at 37 finals. He’s thrown beyond 70m four times this season, including a 71.56 season’s best.

Koji Murofushi - stop. Hammertime!With nine men throwing beyond 80m this season, the Hammer Throw will be among the more fiercely contested events at the Worlds. Of those, three – Vadim Devyatovskiy (82.94) and Ivan Tikhon (82.58) of Belarus and Slovenian national record holder Primoz Kozmus (82.30) have reached beyond 82m. Watch out for local hero Koji Murofushi, whilst below his best of previous years (79.24 sb), a big home-town boost could see him propelled back up into the medals and give the locals something more to smile about.

The Javelin Throw will be awesome as well, with the spotlight on a formidable foursome: world leader Breaux Greer (91.29) of the USA, Finn Tero Pitkämäki (91.23), Latvia’s Olympic silver medallist Vadim Vasilevskis (90.73) and Norway’s Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen (89.49). None have ever captured a World title, as that was an honour usually reserved for Jan Zelezny, the WR holder and only man to throw beyond 94 metres (WR 98.48).

Women

Just two women have thrown beyond 20m in the Shot Put in this years field, with reigning World champion Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus surpassing the barrier twice: 20.34 and 20.27 a short time ago. German Petra Lammert hit a career best 20.04 in May, but has been less consistent since.

Suzy PowellFranka Dietzsch (Germany) has a strong case to emerge as favourite to capture a third World title in the Discus Throw. She’s won all but three of her 15 competitions this season, and leads the world with a 68.06 effort. Americans Suzy Powell (67.67) and Becky Breisch (67.37) have thrown beyond 67m and Czech Vera Cechlova (66.18), the bronze medallist two years ago, has won six of her seven competitions, so it will not be all one way traffic for Dietzsch.

16 women have thrown beyond 72m this season in the hammer, fabulous depth that leaves the women’s title up for grabs. Russian Gulfiya Khanafeyeva leads the list with a 77.36 best, though Poland’s 2000 Olympic champion Kamila Skolimowska (76.83) and Cuba’s two-time former champion Yipsi Moreno (76.36) aren’t that far behind. German Betty Heidler (75.77 season’s best) has been among the more consistent.

Germany’s Christina Obergfoll, whose world leading effort at the European Cup improved her own European and National record to 70.20, is certainly the favourite on paper to improve from her runner-up spot in Helsinki in the Javelin Throw. She is undefeated in nine competitions thus far this season. Her average winning throw – 67.11 – is farther than anyone else has thrown once this season. Czech Barbora Spotakova (66.08) and Christina Obergfoll’s compatriot Steffi Nerius (65.78), are next on the season’s list and will be hoping Oberfoll’s form takes a dip to give them a chance at gold.

Multi-Events

Men

The men’s chase for ‘World’s Best Athlete’ honours isn’t easy to predict, indeed defending champion Bryan Clay of the USA will have his hands full hanging on to the title. Clay has completed one Decathlon this year, an 8493 effort to finish third in Gotzis. He didn’t finish at the US championships, a title won by a resurgent Tom Pappas, the 2003 World champion, who tallied 8352. Pappas is obviously no stranger to high pressure competitions. Leading the world list is World record holder Roman Sebrle (the only man to eclipse 9000 points), with 8697 in June, just a few weeks after finishing second in Gotzis. After a pair of back-to-back silver medal performances, the 32-year-old Czech may be hungriest of the lead pack, desperate not to be remembered as a championships choker. Relative newcomer Andre Krauchanka of Belarus, just 21, was the surprise winner in Gotzis tallying an 8617 pb, and is certainly a threat. He followed up with an easy win at the European U-23 championships, with 8492. Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan has the year’s third best tally, an 8553 performance behind Sebrle’s world leader in Kladno. As the reigning Olympic bronze medallist, the 26-year-old will certainly be factor.

Women

Carolina KruftAt only 24, Carolina Kluft (Sweden) has been the face of the Heptathlon since arriving on the international scene five years ago, and has been virtually without peer ever since. In Osaka, she’ll be putting a staggering 17-competition win streak on the line, currently the longest consecutive string of victories by a woman in the sport. The fiercely competitive Swede hasn’t lost a competition since taking the European junior title on 22 July 2001. There isn’t a title available that she hasn’t won, but she will nonetheless be chasing another superlative. In Helsinki two years ago she became the first woman to defend her title, and in Osaka she’ll try to become the first to ever capture a third. She’s made just one multi-event outing this season, a 6681 tally to take her fifth consecutive win in Gotzis in late May, but she’s kept busy. Most recently, she contested four events at the Swedish championships and in each was well ahead of her Pre-WC tune-up of four years ago. The challengers are led by Lyudmila Blonska, the 29-year-old Ukrainian who has twice raised her personal best this season, first to 6626 at Gotzis and again just a short time ago at the Ukraine Cup where she tallied a national record 6733. She captured the World indoor Pentathlon title last year but there was one major name missing in the Russian capital: that of course, of Kluft. Russian Tatyana Chernova put together an even better score with her 6768 point victory at June’s IAAF Multi Events Challenge competition in Arles. That performance was wind-assisted in some events, but was a major improvement for the 19-year-old, whose previous best was the 6227 performance she put together to take the World Junior title in Beijing last year. Others in podium contention include Britons Kelly Sotherton and Jessica Ennis, Germans Jennifer Oeser and Lilli Schwarzkopf, and Lithuania’s Olympic silver medallist Austra Skujyte.

Our final installment will be the road walks and relays.

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25 08 2007
Skirts & Sports » Blog Archive » News

[…] World Athletics Championships 2007- Preview VI By iscdaws Germany’s Christina Obergfoll, whose world leading effort at the European Cup improved her own European and National record to 70.20, is certainly the favourite on paper to improve from her runner-up spot in Helsinki in the Javelin … With Malice… – http://with-malice.com […]

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