London, United Kingdom | AFP | Day four highlights for the IAAF World Championships on Monday:
Men’s 110m hurdles final
Aries Merritt could provide the fairytale that the championships need after Justin Gatlin denied Usain Bolt his golden farewell in the 100m. The 31-year-old American safely negotiated the two rounds on Sunday and is one outstanding performance away from repeating his Olympic winning feat on the same track in 2012 and just two years after a kidney transplant. Slightly alarming for him was he felt his hamstring prior to the semi-final. His biggest threat will be Jamaica’s Olympic champion Omar McLeod who looked to be in ominously good shape and is determined to break Merritt’s world record in the final.
Women’s triple jump final
This should be an engrossing duel between the undisputed queen for the past few years, Colombia’s 33-year-old Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen and the pretender to her throne Yulimar Rojas, who could bring some much-needed cheer to Venezuela. However, if Rojas the Olympic silver medallist thinks she can seize the world crown from the Colombian then she has another thing coming for Ibarguen is keen to win her third successive world title. “There are no doubts,” said Ibarguen. “I am aiming for a third world championships victory in London. Winning in Rio was great but I am still hungry for more.”
Women’s 1500m final
The moment of truth for Caster Semenya, South Africa’s defending double Olympic 800m champion and two-time world gold medallist aiming for an audacious middle-distance double. Although her career has been mired by arguments over her elevated levels of naturally occurring testerone, Semenya is happy to focus on her performances on the track.
Men’s 200m heats
Usain Bolt will not defend his 200m crown, one he has held since setting a world record 19.19 seconds in Berlin in 2009. That has left the field open for a new gold medallist after Bolt’s run of four. It could well come down to a battle between South Africa’s world and Olympic 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk and Botswanan rival Isaac Makwala, both seeking a first 200/400m world double since Michael Johnson in Gothenburg in 1995.
Women’s 400m semi-finals
American athletics great Allyson Felix will bid to take another step towards a 10th world gold when she bids to safely negotiate her way into the 400m final. The 31-year-old said: “I feel good, peaking at the right time.” But standing in her way will be Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the Bahamian who denied her Olympic gold last year and looked in sublime form as she posted a faster time in her heat of 50.97sec.