By Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis, Special to TrackAlerts.com
There is an old adage that records are meant to be broken. It is truly a way of life in sports and when it occurs, it is one of the most thrilling things for fans to witness. Track & Field has provided its share of eye popping and draw dropping moments over the years. On several occasions athletes have pushed their bodies to the limit against never-say-die competitors which have resulted in World and championship record performances.
The IAAF World Championship organizers and sponsors have recognized the need to reward athletes for their super human feats. All athletes across various disciplines at the 15th edition of the World Championship in Beijing, China have 100,000 reasons to cash in on this opportunity. Although the carrot is dangling within arm’s reach for some events, it may still prove elusive.
Here are a few events and their records (championship or world) that the viewing public should watch in earnest in Beijing.
The women’s 1500m up until recently was one of those records that was considered to stand the test of time. It was seen as both suspicious and unbreakable until Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba did the impossible on July 17, 2015 at the Monaco Diamond League. Dibaba produced an astonishing burst of speed in the last 400m (59.8) to stop the clock at 3:50.07 to erase the imaginary record of 3:50.46 by China’s Yunxia Qu that stood from Dibaba was 2 ½ years old. Dibaba made a few adjustments to her training regime this season. First deciding to train in Barcelona, Spain instead of Addis Ababa where the season is usually wet and muddy starting every June. She has also focused more on endurance work because as she puts it she already has natural speed.
Dibaba has never won an outdoor medal at the Olympics or World Championship, however, all that could change in Beijing with all eyes not on her margin of victory but the clock inside the stadium. If Dibaba fails to break her own world record, she is still expected to lower the championship record of 3:58.52. The world would rather see the former than the latter being done.
Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop in recent times has turned the men’s 1500m into a one horse race. The lanky Kenyan is on course for a hat-trick of wins at the IAAF World Championship dating back from 2011. The end result is not in doubt; fans are more interested in the winning time. Kiprop stimulated the track & field world at the Monaco Diamond League just as Genzebe Dibaba did at the same meet in the same event. Kiprop’s winning time (3:26.69) was the first sub 3:27.00 since 2002 and the fifth fastest all-time. The world record is 3:26.00 held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco. Only two men, El Guerrouj and Bernard Lagat have gone faster than Kiprop but he will not see them in this event and knows that the race is between him and the clock. Kiprop will be ensuring to get the win first; however, breaking the world record in the process will make him a 100,000 times happier.
The women’s 100m at the World Championship is another event that will attract a wide audience. It is not expected to produce a world record, however, the current form of several ladies turning up in Beijing suggests a very fast time. Leading the pack is World and Olympic Champion, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce with a world leading 10.74 seconds. She is expected to face stiff competition from all her competitors who no doubt are quality achievers. However, word coming from her camp is that Fraser-Pryce is now ready to run 10.6 seconds. If she wins in that time she would have erased the championship record of 10.70 seconds held by American Marion Jones set in 1999.
The women’s 5000m is another cracking middle distance event that will have spectators glued over the 12 ½ laps. The irrepressible Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba will face perhaps her stiffest challenger in countrywoman Almaz Ayana. Both women are expected to be involved in an exciting tussle stride for stride, neck to neck rubbing shoulders before the expected breakaway manoeuvre at a crucial point in the race.
So far this season both women have been running fast and are bordering on the world record time of 14:11.15 incidentally held by Genzebe’s bigger sister Tirunesh Dibaba who gave birth to a son in late March this year. Ayana has the world leading time of 14:14.32 while Genzebe is not too far behind with 14:15.41.
This race could go down to the wire unless Genzebe decides otherwise; one thing that is certain is, if conditions allow the championship record of 14:38.59 will be on life support. Who will pull the plug?
Women’s Hammer Throw
The women’s hammer throw pending ratification is now 81.08m. The 2009 World champion and Olympic silver medallist, Anita Wlodarczyk of Poland sits atop the world all-time rankings. She also held the previous record of 79.58m. She was runner-up in Moscow and will be hoping that with one mighty hurl she will break both the championship record of 78.80m set in 2013 and also improve her mark of 81.08m done on August 1, 2015. She will have quality competition to either upstage her or push her to a fantastic result.
About the Author:
Noel ‘Bravo’ Francis is a very exciting and creative freelance sports writer from Jamaica specializing in the fields of athletics and cricket. His colourful down to earth yet professional personality makes him a favourite amongst athletes and fans. Readers are often exposed to his detailed knowledge and passion which usually increase their interest in the athletes, events and the sport overall. He has a first degree in Banking & Finance and works in the financial industry. Contact Noel at [email protected]
Follow bravo on twitter @nanthonyfrancis