1. The marathons
London 2017 moves to the streets with the men’s and women’s marathons. The world’s best marathoners will take on a multi-lap course along the Victoria Embankment and around some of the city landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral. London marathon form has usually been a great guide to the year’s major championships and Kenya’s Daniel Wanjiru impressively held off Kenenisa Bekele in April. He stands a great chance here.
Tamirat Tola head Ethiopia’s challenge while the prodigious performer Yuki Kawauchi – with two marathons and a 50-miler in the past two months as preparation – leads the Japanese team.
The amazing Edna Kiplagat, 38 in November, will be chasing a third world title to add to her wins in Daegu 2011 and Moscow 2013. Defending champion Mare Dibaba is the focal point of the Ethiopia challenge and Japanese newcomer Yuka Ando – one marathon, 2:21:36 in Nagoya – could also be in the finish.
But, hey, it’s the marathon – the one race where anything can truly happen. Let it take you to the streets of London.
2. The hurdles
Day three has a distinct hurdles flavour about it with men’s 110m and 400m hurdles getting under way and also the heats of the 3000m steeplechase in which Evan Jager has a great chance of ending Kenyan domination of the event.
Olympic champion Omar McLeod is the only man under 13 seconds this year, but it has not been all plain sailing. If he is off his form even slightly, defending world champion Sergey Shubenkov, Ronald Levy and others will be ready to take advantage. There are heats and semis on the program.
The one-lap hurdles is eyeing potential generational change, with world U20 2016 bronze medallist Kyron McMaster heading the list at 47.80. Right behind him is one of the veterans of the event, Kerron Clement, last year’s Olympic champion and a two-time world champion.
In the steeplechase, Jager leads the world with his 8:01.62 victory in Monaco. Can he go all the way and become the first non-Kenyan born winner since Patriz Ilg (GER) and Francesco Panetta (ITA) won the first two editions in 1983 and 1987 (Kenyan-born Saif Saaeed Shaheen won two world titles for Qatar). We’ll have to wait for Tuesday night’s final for the answer to that question.
We asked a London 2017 sprint hurdle to comment: “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never going to keep me down,” the barrier replied with spirit. Any remaining ambitions: “I want to grow up to be a steeple hurdle. Nobody pushes those guys around,” came the reply.
3. Women’s pole vault
Some surprises in qualifying with Jenn Suhr and Silke Spiegelburg missing out, but all the Olympic medallists- champion Ekaterini Stefanidi, silver medallist Sandi Morris and bronze medallist Eliza McCartney came through. Yarisley Silva will also be in the fight for the medal here in an event which usually produces drama and surprises.
4. Women’s 100m
Semi-finals and final in what looms as a very competitive event. Olympic champion Elaine Thompson is entitled to favouritism, but then there is little to choose from Dafne Schippers, Torie Bowie, Marie-Josie Talou and Gina Luckenkemper, fastest in the first-round with 10.95.
5. Women’s heptathlon: the finale
The final three events of the heptathlon – the long jump and javelin in the morning and the gruelling 800m to close it out in the evening. Olympic champion Nafissatou Thiam, Carolin Schafer and Yorgelis Rodriguez all remain in medal contention after day one.
Not forgetting . . . the men’s 800m moves to the semis, always cut-throat with only the first two in each of the three races guaranteed to advance to the final. There are also semis in the 400m. The women’s flat 400m gets under way and there is javelin qualifying.
Len Johnson for the IAAF