London, United Kingdom | AFP | Day five highlights for the IAAF World Championships on Tuesday:
Men’s Pole Vault final
Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie has never won a world gold — he has a haul of four minor medals — and his form this season suggests he is in danger of going without again. However the 30-year-old returns to the stadium where he won Olympic gold in 2012 and twice in the Diamond League. He looked in better shape in qualifying whilst others struggled. “I love competing. I love fighting. And I think it is going to be very interesting,” he said.
Men’s 800 metres final
Robbed of a lot of its interest in the absence of the injured David Rudisha, it would seem set up for Botswana’s Nijel Amos to go one better than he did back in 2012 in the Olympic final when his Kenyan rival broke the world record. The 23-year-old Commonwealth Games champion’s chances would appear further strengthened by the surprise failure of the previously unbeaten Emmanuel Korir to make the final. However, danger lurks in the shape of Poland’s 2015 silver medalist Adam Kszczot who beat him in the semi-final. The 2013 world champion Mohamed Aman of Ethiopia could also be a contender as well as young Kenyan Kipyegon Bett.
Women’s Javelin final
China could be celebrating gold based on the qualifying round. Lyu Huihui may have saved her best form for when it counts as she set a new Asian record of 67.59 metres and even the 28-year-old 2015 silver medalist was surprised by her effort. Defending champion Kathrina Molitor of Germany — who missed out on the Olympics last year — also looked to be approaching medal winning form whilst Croatia’s Olympic title-holder Sara Kolak struggled to qualify.
Men’s 3000m Steeplechase final
American Evan Jager will bid to break Kenya’s monopoly on the event, runners from the east African powerhouse and Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen (in 2003 and 2005) having won every edition of the steeplechase. Kenya swept the podium in Beijing two years ago and their line-up is again strong. Olympic champion Conseslus Kipruto and four-time world champion Ezekiel Kemboi will be two of a formidable outfit alongside the Ethiopian trio of Getnet Wale, Tafese Seboka and Chala Beyo, and three-time Olympic medallist and twice world medallist Mahiedine Mekhissi of France.
Men’s 400m final
Wayde van Niekerk has his first shot of a medal in his quest for an ambitious 200/400m double, the first since American Michael Johnson achieved the feat in the 1995 Gothenburg worlds. The 25-year-old South African, Usain Bolt’s self-proclaimed successor as the next track star, is defending world and Olympic champion and world record holder, but he faces a loaded field that is sure to test him to the limit.