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IAAF world championship preview

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Farah
8 August 2013

The GB & NI team travel to Moscow with high hopes this week, following on from the success of London 2012 and more recently the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games. The Russian capital hosts the IAAF World Championships for the first time, with the 2013 edition marking the championships 30th Anniversary.

At the last Championships in Daegu two years ago, Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) won gold over 5,000m and silver in the 10,000m, whilst Dai Greene (Malcolm Arnold) won GB & NI’s other gold medal in the 400m hurdles. Both will look to retain their titles when they line up next week.

Farah won a thrilling 5,000m in Daegu but was outsprinted by Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia in the 10,000m a few days earlier and will want to make amends by adding double World Championship gold to the two Olympic gold medals he won in London last summer. Should Farah successfully defend his 5,000m crown in Moscow, he will become the first Briton ever to win back to back world titles.

2008 Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Lloyd Cowan) won World Championship gold in Osaka in 2007 and after a terrific 50.00 victory in London two weeks ago will be looking to regain that title. The 29 year old London 2012 silver medallist will also captain the GB & NI team and there is no doubt about her form as that 50.00 clocking at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games is her fastest time ever outside a major championships.

Greene, who has also won European and Commonwealth titles, won't relinquish his world title, which came courtesy of a 48.26 clocking in South Korea two years ago without a fight. With an injury troubled build up, Greene will face a stern challenge from the likes of Javier Culson of Puerto Rico and the American trio of Michael Tinsley, Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson, as well as fellow Welshman Rhys Williams (Adrian Thomas), who has set a new personal best of 48.84 this season.

Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) is another athlete in a rich vein of form, having set a new 400m hurdles personal best of 53.67 in finishing second at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games. The 24 year old also won gold over both 400m and 4x400m at the European Indoor Championships earlier this year, and has her sights firmly set on a medal in Moscow. She heads into the championships ranked second in the world this year.

For many, the highlight of the summer so far was James Dasaolu’s (Steve Fudge) 9.91 clocking at the Sainsbury’s British Championships, the second fastest time ever by a British athlete and his first time under that magical ten second barrier. Despite not running in London two weeks ago, Dasaolu heads to Moscow as the fourth fastest man on paper, and will be looking to put in strong performances in both the 100m and the 4x100m relay.

London 2012 gold medallist Greg Rutherford was a late addition to the GB & NI team for the IAAF World Championships after a hamstring injury disrupted his preparations, however now recovered he will look to reproduce the form that saw him triumph in the British capital last summer.

At the Sainsbury's British Championships last month, Shara Proctor (Rana Reider) fouled a jump way in excess of seven metres, and should she get it right on the day, she will certainly be in contention. The same goes for Tiffany Porter (Reider) in the 100mH.  The British record holder was fourth in Daegu two years ago, but has performed consistently well all season, most recently finishing second in London a fortnight ago.

Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) picked up silver in the 1500m two years ago and will compete in the same event alongside Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) at the 2013 edition. GB & NI’s other medal in Daegu came from the currently sidelined Andy Turner (Cowan) in the 110m hurdles, and in his absence William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewizc) will be looking to continue where he left off in London two weeks ago, with a second place finish and a new personal best.

Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) hasn't quite reproduced his 2012 form this season but remains in the hunt for a medal in arguably the most competitive event on the timetable. Ukrainian Bohdan Bondarenko has been in sublime form in 2013, attempting a new world record two weeks ago, and so will be the man to beat.

There will also be an opportunity for British medals in the relay events, with men's 4x100m and women's 4x400m relay squads leading the way. Both the men's and women's 4x400m quartets won gold at the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg in March, whilst  the GB & NI women’s 4x100m team ran their fastest time in 12 years at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games. 

Full coverage of the event will be live on the BBC from 6am on Saturday morning.

If you're on the move you can keep up to date with all the action via the British Athletics twitter account (@BritAthletics)