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The Ones To Watch in Doha 2019

With the Doha World Athletics Championships about to begin, it’s time to look at the ones to watch.

Dina Asher-Smith (100m, 200m, 4x100m)

Now, I am biased when it comes to Dina because she’s one of my favourite athletes and Britain’s best gold medal chance. However, she is the outright favourite for the 200m because she has been so consistent. Although Shaunae Miller-Uibo has the fastest time in the world this year of 21.74, she has chosen to only compete in the 400m. I think Dina will be the clear winner and could even come close to her British record of 21.89.

The 100m will be much tighter. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Jamaican double 100m Olympic Champion, will be Dina’s main rival. With her 2 year old son, Zyon, serving as her new motivation, Shelly-Ann has come back stronger than ever. Dina has come second behind her multiple times this season. However, Shelly-Ann may have peaked too soon because Dina beat her in the Diamond League Final, their final race before the World Champs. Whatever happens, the women’s 100m will be a great race and could easily be better than the men’s 100m.

Karsten Warholm (400m Hurdles)

On a rainy night in London two years ago, the young Norweigan won his first world title. He looked so shocked, after beating the Olympic champion, Kerron Clement, that everyone watching immediately warmed to him. Now, he wants to defend his title and he may well break the world record along the way. Karsten has improved his PB 3 times already this year. The most recent of these made him the second fastest 400m hurdler of all time as he ran 46.92 seconds. In that race, another man also went under 47 seconds and moved to third on the all-time list.  Rai Benjamin will push Karsten all the way and I think that will make it more likely that the world record will be broken.

Karsten after his shock win 2 years ago. Credit: IAAF

Sifan Hassan (1500m or 5000m)

This year, the Dutchwoman has become the world record holder over the mile AND the unofficial world record holder over 3000m (because the athletes ahead of her in the rankings are thought to have doped). She has been entered in the 1500m, 5000m and the 10,000m but she cannot compete in all of those because they clash. The rumour is that she will compete in only the 5000m and from her imperious showing in the 5000m at the Diamond League final, she could do very well. The field in the 5000m could be a lot tougher than the 1500m field, but I think she could win gold in either event. It would be nice to see a European athlete on top of the podium in a distance event, it could even be a European 1-2 with Konstanze Klosterhalfen in the 5000m.

Sifan with her new mile WR in Monaco. Credit: Athletics Weekly

Danielle Williams (100m Hurdles)

Former world champion, Danielle has had an up and down season.  She false started in Jamaican Championships and the Jamaican Athletics federation said that because of this, she couldn’t be selected for the world championships. Then she came to London for the Anniversary Games and ran a new National record and a world lead.  Eventually the Jamaican Federation changed their tune and selected her for their World Championship team. You would expect the World Record holder, Keni Harrison, to provide a good challenge, but she is not a championship performer and could perhaps see her record broken by Danielle Williams.

Will Claye (Triple Jump)

The phrase “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride” comes to mind when I think of Will Claye. He has been the bridesmaid to Christian Taylor’s bride three times in major championships. This could be his chance to win his first major outdoor title. He has jumped a world-leading 18.14m this year, which moved him up to third on the all-time list. It will be one of the best field events and the lead could change hands multiple times.

Close friends and rivals since college. (Will is on the right) Credit: The Spokesman

Coverage of the World Championships will be across the BBC in the UK and on NBC Sports in the USA

Featured image via Wikipedia

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