……And just in case Beijing fails to live up to expectations and no WRs are broken there, here are some CRs that we can look forward to being broken at the championships.

Women’s 100m

Parading a star-studded line-up that has two-time defending champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, English Gardner, Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor, Tori Bowie and Murielle Ahoure in action, the women’s 100m is expected to be one of the major highlights in Beijing. Bookmakers are already predicting that the winner of this event has to do a 10.6s, going by the fantastic times the women have posted this year. Fraser-Pryce comes to the competition as the World No. 1 with a Season’s Best (SB) of 10.74s, which means there is a great possibility of erasing Marion Jones CR of 10.70s set in 1999 in Sevilla!

110 Hurdles

It is quite difficult to predict the direction in which the 110m Hurdles would swing, though the pre-championship favourite seems to be defending champion, David Oliver (No. 3 this year with 12.98s) who will be brimming with confidence after his victory at the Pan American Games. World leader Orlando Ortega (12.94s) will be missing in China, giving room for other contenders to aim for the CR of 12.91s set by Colin Jackson 22 years ago in Stuttgart. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

Men’s 800m

Many fans will be waiting with bated breath to see how the men’s 800m pans out, following subsequent defeats of WR holder, David Rudisha in the hands of protégé, Nijel Amos. The emergence of Bosnia’s Amel Tuka who claimed a shocking victory over Amos at the Monaco Diamond League, has changed the tempo of the race. Three men, Tuka (1:42.51), Amos (1:42.66) and Ayanleh Souleiman (1:42.97), have all set faster times than the CR of 1:43.06. Any of them, including Rudisha, will only need to replicate same at the World Championships to have the CR in their kitty.

Women’s 1500m

It would be a tall order to expect anyone to wreck further damage on Genzebe Dibaba’s WR of 3:50.07 set at the Herculis Meeting in Monaco last month. However, the CR of 3:58.52 set by Tatyana Tomashova in Paris (2003) is within grasp, considering that four women have gone faster in 2015. They are Dibaba (No. 1, 3:50.07), Sifan Hassan (No. 2, 3:56.05), Shannon Rowbury (No. 3, 3:56.29) and Jenny Simpson (No. 4, 3:57.30). It is interesting to note that all four marks were set at the Monaco Diamond League where Dibaba ran the WR, inspiring her opponents to finish with PBs as they tried to catch up with her.

Men’s 3000m Steeplechase

The East African domination in the Steeplechase is under threat this year even as Ezekiel Kemboi’s CR of 8:00.43 faces the risk of extinction from his compatriot and 2015 World Leader, Jairus Kipchoge Birech (7:58.83). Another person who will be aiming for both victory and the record is USA’s Evan Jager who is the world No. 2 this year (8:00.45), while Kemboi follows with 8:01.71. Jager was set for victory at the Paris Diamond League but lost out to Birech after tripping over the last hurdle: nevertheless he still ended with the American record and will seek to make amends at the Beijing World Championships.

Men’s Pole Vault

This has been a roller-coaster year for WR holder in the Pole vault, Renaud Lavillenie. However he comes to Beijing as the firm favourite for the world title which has eluded him for some years now, after winning Silver in Moscow, and carting away two Bronze medals in Daegu and Berlin respectively. He has already equaled Dmitri Markov’s CR of 6.05m this season, taking victory at the Eugene Diamond League ahead of USA’s Sam Kendricks and reigning World Champion, Raphael Holzdeppe. Lavillenie’s fiercest competitors will include Holzdeppe (5.94m), Canada’s Shawn Barber (5.93m) and Thiago Braz (5.92m).

Men’s Shot Put

USA’s Joe Kovacs has enjoyed an impressive season, which saw pick up a number of victories in the Diamond League including setting a Diamond League Record (DLR) and WL of 22.56m in Monaco, making it the best throw in the world since 2003. The mark also placed him as the No. 8 performer in history, and is 23cm more than the CR of Werner Günthör (22.23m) set 27 years ago in Rome. Kovacs will be expecting a challenge from defending champion, David Storl , who also took the world title in Daegu.

Men’s Hammer Throw

Pawel Fajdek has joined his team mate, Anita Wlodarczyk in maintaining Polish dominance in the men and women’s Hammer Throw. He leads Poland’s contingent to Beijing against the backdrop of frequent successes this year, the most recent being his victory in Szczecin, Poland where he set an NR of 83.93m, placing him as the 10th best performer of all-time. The mark was also the best distance for more than seven years. Fajdek holds nine of the 10 best performances in the world this year, and is set to shatter the 32-year old CR of 83.63m.


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