World Athletics Championships 2007- Preview VII and Final!!

26 08 2007

Ok, this one will be short. Some would not have included walks as, well, they can be quite dull. But as anyone who has ever attempted to join the rubber-hipped road walkers will know, they certainly ain’t easy!

Race Walks

WomenOlimpiada Ivanova
Two years ago in Helsinki, Russian Olimpiada Ivanova netted a bonus $100,000 US after her 1:25:41 World record, and now 37, will be back to defend her title. She has yet to race this year, but was second in the World Cup a year ago. The primary force of late has been Ryta Turava, the 26-year-old sensation from Belarus, who currently carries a nine race unbeaten streak over the 20Km distance. This year she’s captured four IAAF Race Walk challenge races along with the European Cup. On paper, her closest rival this season is Norwegian Kjersti Platzer, who finished second to Turava in Sesto San Giovanni in 1:27:41, 31 seconds adrift of Turava’s world leading mark.


Francisco Javier FernandezRussia will arrive armed with a solid 1-2 chance in the 20Km Race Walk. Valeriy Borchin (1:18:56) and Ilya Markov (1:18:56), respectively the third and fourth fastest in the world this year. Aiming to break the Russian stranglehold are Spaniard Francisco Javier Fernandez (1:18:50 SB), the reigning silver medallist, and rising Chinese star Li Gaobo (1:19:03) as well as French walker Yohan Diniz (1:18.58 sb). World Leader Vladimir Kanaykin (1:17.36 SB) will compete in the 50km only.

In the 50Km (yes, that’s right, these poor guys have to walk for 50km looking like that..), defending champion Sergey Kirdyapkin returns to defend his title. The 27-year-old has raced just the once this year over 35K, but will be supported by fellow Russians Denis Nizhegorodov, the year’s second fastest (3:40:53) and Validmir Kanaykin (3:40.57), No. 3 on this season’s world list. The world leader coming in is Italy’s Alex Schwazer, the reigning bronze medallist who clocked 3:36:04 in Rosignano Solvay.


I haven’t bothered to divide this up because there is little point. In the mens 4x100m, USA will have to drop a batten or trip over not to win, after that anyone can medal, but we’ll probably see the usual suspects in Jamaica and the defending champions from the UK lead the chasing pack. In the mens 4x400m, they would need to drop the batten, be struck by lightning and suffer horrendous food poisoning to be denied gold. Daylight is 2nd (again probably Jamaica and the UK to fight it out). In the womens events they may be a bit closer, but again should see the USA winning both medals, although the French and Russians loom as a danger in the 4×100 and 4×400 respectively.

And so there we have it, my analysis of the 10th World Championships in Athletics. I hope you enjoy the next 9 days of athletic action from Osaka, and hopefully we get to see some truly stunning performances.




One response

27 08 2007

As a side note, after watching the 2nd half of the mens 20k walk yesterday, I feel utterly ashamed that I forgot about Jefferson Perez from Ecuador when writing this segment, who went on to win the gold for the 3rd time… Sorry Jeff!

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