What to watch out for at Athletics World Championships: Jamaican clean sweep in women’s 100m, Chopra-Peters duel, a 400m hurdles classic and Duplantis’ bid for maiden worlds gold

Written by Nihal Koshie
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Updated: July 14, 2022 10:58:44 pm

(Left to right), Neeraj Chopra of India in action at Tokyo Olympics, Sweden's Armand Duplantis before the men's pole vault Diamond League event in Stockholm 2021, and Erriyon Knighton of the US during the Men's 200m semifinal at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo: Reuters)

Will Griffith-Joyner’s record fall?
(Women’s 100 metres)

Nearly a year ago, Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah clocked 10.54 seconds at the Hayward Field in Eugene, the venue of the World Championships. For the first time in years Florence Griffith-Joyner’s world record of 10.49 has looked under threat. Griffith-Joyner’s mark dates back to 1988 and with two other Jamaicans – Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson – in great form it could be a clean sweep for the sprinting powerhouse. Fraser-Pryce, 35, is still going strong and has a 10.60 from last year, the third fastest time ever.
WHEN: July 18 (final), 8.20am

Peters stands in Chopra’s way
(Men’s javelin)

If there is one athlete who could grab the gold from an in-form Neeraj Chopra, it is defending champion Anderson Peters of Grenada. Peters tops this year’s list with 93.07 metres. Though he has had an up and down season, he has put it down to a back injury. At the Diamond League in Stockholm, Peters went into the lead and stayed there with 90.31 metres in the fourth round to push Chopra to second place. Johannes Vetter, the 2019 bronze medallist and a 90-metre specialist, will miss the competition because of a shoulder injury. Finland’s Oliver Helander, who won gold at the Paavo Nurmi Games, will be a dark horse.
WHEN: July 24 (final), 7.05am

With ☝️ day to go, the stage is set! #WCHOregon22 #WorldAthleticsChamps

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— World Athletics Championships Oregon22 (@WCHoregon22) July 14, 2022

Warholm’s dominance under threat?
(Men’s 400 metre hurdles)

It was one of the greatest showdowns at the Olympics as Norwegian Karsten Warholm and USA’s Rai Benjamin set the track on fire with unbelievable times, both inside the previous world record. It also started a debate on whether advances in shoe technology were aiding athletes too much. However, the two stars of Tokyo have had setbacks – Warholm suffered a hamstring injury and Benjamin had a bout of Covid. Both will be aware of the threat of Brazil’s Alison dos Santos, the fastest man this year. Warholm, unbeaten for four years (except when injury struck), however, will remain the favourite.
WHEN: July 20 (final), 8.20am

Battle of the throwing giants
(Men’s shot put)

This event is likely to be a showdown between two United States throwers, Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs. Crouser is a two-time Olympic champion but he is yet to win a World Championship gold. Crouser looks set to fulfil his dream. Crouser has not lost this season and has a world-leading throw of 23.12 metres. Kovacs will be aiming for his third gold medal in a row at the Worlds and is second on the top list for 2022. New Zealand’s Tom Walsh, the two-time Olympic bronze medallist will also be a contender, with 22.31m being his best this season.
WHEN: July 18 (final), 6.57am

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Can Duplantis go higher?
(Men’s pole vault)

So dominant has Sweden’s Mondo Duplantis been that it is easy to forget that he hasn’t won a World Championship gold. Sam Kendricks of the United States took gold at Doha in 2019 and Duplantis finished second. Now Kendricks is out with a knee injury and Duplantis is by far the most dominant pole-vaulter. The world indoor champion also holds the world record of 6.20 metres. Last month, he proved he was in prime form with 6.16 metres, an outdoor record. Chris Nilsen, the Olympic silver medal winner and the only other man to jump 6 metres this year, is his only real challenger.
WHEN: July 25 (final), 5.55am

Knighton, the new Bolt?
(Men’s 200 metres)

One of the most exciting talents is USA’s Erriyon Knighton, who has broken Usain Bolt’s junior records and is set for a showdown with Noah Lyles, the defending World Champion. Knighton became the fourth-fastest man ever when he clocked 19.49 seconds in April. Only Michael Johnson (19.32), Yohan Blake (19.26) and Usain Bolt (19.19) have gone faster than him. However, Lyles can produce blistering runs when it matters in big competitions. He beat Knighton at the USA trails and also gestured by pointing at him. He later clarified that he was hitting out at critics and not his main challenger. How will Knighton respond?
WHEN: July 22 (final), 8.20am

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