The second part of this post (men’s predictions here) looks at the likely contenders in the women’s track events at the World Championships. So in order of importance distance, here they are.
Winner: Carmelita Jeter
Outside Chance: Veronica Campbell-Brown
This is Jeter’s year. She has been superb over 100 and 200 metres but she is going to win this one. Campbell-Brown will win if Jeter has an off day.
Winner: Veronica Campbell-Brown
Outside Chance: Allyson Felix
Under normal circumstances I would pick Felix, but it looks as though the schedule for this year’s championships will make things very difficult for her. It will be a fantastic feat if she can emerge victorious in all of her events after competing 7 times in 8 days, but she has not performed well on occasions where she has attempted the double this year. The sensible money is on Veronica Campbell-Brown to win this one.
Winner: Allyson Felix
Outside Chance: Amantle Montsho
Allyson Felix will win the quarter-mile. She should be fresh for this event, which takes place at the the start of the championships. Amantle Montsho has been on good form this year and will be her main rival for gold, as well as the two Russian athletes who have also gone under 50 seconds this year.
Winner: Kenia Sinclair
Outside Chance: Caster Semenya
Kenia Sinclair has not been beaten this year at 800m or 1500m. Convincing enough? Five women have run faster times, four of which were posted in the same race at the Russian Championships. One of those women is Maria Savinova, who looks the most likely to beat Sinclair. Obviously you cannot ingore Caster Semenya, the reigning champion. On a good day she will beat everyone; on a bad day she won’t get through her heat. It remains to be seen whether Semenya can recapture her form of two years ago.
Winner: Maryam Jamal
Outside Chance: Gelete Burka
Another athlete whose performances vary from world-class to mediocre is Maryam Jamal. However, she found her form at the right time in the last two world championships and should do the same this time. Gelete Burka is only ranked 17th in the world this year so is probably a surprising inclusion on this list. After being pushed off the track in the 2009 final, she will be desperate to gain the gold medal that she will feel belongs to her.
Winner: Vivian Cheruiyot
Outside Chance: Meseret Defar
Neither Vivian Cheruiyot nor Meseret Defar has been beaten this year but only one can win in Daegu. I pick Cheruiyot to win, as she is the defending champion and has just run a super-fast 14:20 in Stockholm. It is hard to see beyond those two, but 10,000m champion Linet Masai may threaten the two favourites.
Winner: Vivian Cheruiyot
Outside Chance: Sally Kipyego
With Tirunesh Dibaba absent, this is Cheruiyot’s to lose. She will want to push to pace from the gun to avoid a final-lap burn up against Linet Masai, who finished strongly to win two years ago. Sally Kipyego and Shalane Flanagan have posted sub-31 times this year and will rightly consider themselves contenders.
Winner: Edna Kiplagat
Outside Chance: Bezunesh Bekele
Edna Kiplagat has run three major marathons to date, winning in LA and New York and setting a 2:20 personal best in London earlier this year. She is the one to watch, whilst the main competition will come from Ethiopia.
Winner: Sofia Assefa
Outside Chance: Birtukan Adamu
What? No Kenyan winner? Having predicted a Kenyan winner for all the distances so far, why have I not picked the world leader Milcah Chemos? Well, Sofia Assefa has been in good form in 2011, only failing to break 9:30 once (at altitude in March) and looked strong winning in Birmingham last month too. It is probably foolish to say this but she might cause an upset. Her young compatriot Adamu set a world junior record this year.
Winner: Sally Pearson
Outside Chance: Tiffany Ofili-Porter
Sally Pearson is having a great season. At the Birmingham Grand Prix she set a national record and world-leading time of 12:48 and is the one to beat. Americans Dannielle Carruthers and Kellie Wells are her main rivals and Tiffany Ofili-Porter, formerly an American herself, could sneak a medal if she continues her current good form.
Winner: Kaliese Spencer
Outside Chance: Perri Shakes-Drayton
Kaliese Spencer has been the most consistent hurlder this year and leads the Diamond League points race. Zuzana Hejnova is second and has posted some impressive times this year, particularly for someone competing in so many events. Perri Shakes-Drayton has good closing speed and recently won both the 400 and 400 hurdles at the British Trials.
I’ll be pleased if half of these are correct.
Disclaimer: the author of this blog is not responsible for the money that will inevitably be lost if you put bets on all of these athletes to win. In fact, you are probably better off betting against all of my suggestions.