BEIJING, Sporting Alert – The opening day of the 2015 IAAF World Championships gets underway on Friday (Saturday morning local time) and the following is the schedule for the first two sessions.
But before the track and field action gets going, 68 runners will go in search of the first gold medal of these championships in the men’s marathon.
Dennis Kimetto, the world record holder for this event in a swift 2:02:57, leads a strong group of Kenyan runners, who are expected to battle with their Ethiopian counterparts for the podium places, and he is feeling confident.
However, after finishing third at the London Marathon and behind teammate Wilson Kipsang, the man whose record he erased last year, Kimetto, who drifted off the lead midway through the race, knows he must be at his best if he wants to become only the second world record holder to capture the World Championships title as well.
Also expected to be in the running for podium spots are Ethiopia’s Berhanu Lemi, Kenya’s Mark Korir, the champion in Paris earlier this year with a massive personal best of 2:05:49 and Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, the silver medallist from Moscow 2013.
FARAH LOOKS TO DEFEND 10K CROWN
Two other finals are on the schedule for the opening, with the men’s 10,000 Metres and women’s Shot Put titles up for grabs.
Reigning champion and the world-leader this year, Mo Farah of Great Britain, will look to defend the men’s 10,000m title he won two-years-go in Russia.
Another strong awaits again, with the likes of Paul Tanui, the bronze medalist from Moscow and his Kenyan teammate and World Cross Country Championships champion Geoffrey Kamworor, among the best starters.
American champion Galen Rupp, the training partner of Farah, hasn’t been at his best thus far this season, but was fourth in Moscow and is expected to be sharp and ready to better the modest 28:11.61 seasonal best he used to win at the U.S. championships.
Ethiopia’s Imane Merga, a bronze medallist at the 2011 championships in Daegu, is also another runner to watch for, along with Candian record holder Cameron Levins, who is having the season of his life training with Farah and Rupp under coach Alberto Salazar.
SCHAWNTIZ HEAVY FAVOURITE FOR SHOT
The other final on the day and in the second session comes in the women’s Shot Put.
Opening rounds of this event will be in the first session, with the likes of world-leader Christina Schwanitz of Germany, China’s Lijiao Gong, American Michelle Carter and Trinidad and Tobago’s Cleopatra Borel all expected to reach to final.
Defending champion Valerie Adams of New Zealand who has struggled for form since coming back from her double-surgery, has decided to withdraw from the championships and focus her attention on defending her Olympic crown in Rio next summer.
Elsewhere on the schedule, world record holder David Rudisha of Kenya will start his quest to win the men’s 800m, while the heats of the 3000m steeplechase, men’s 400m hurdles, women’s 1500m and the women’s Heptathlon, are all among the events listed for the opening day of competition in Beijing.
Day 1 Schedule – August 22
M Marathon Final
W 100 Metres Hurdles Heptathlon
M Hammer Throw Qualification Group A
W Shot Put Qualification
W High Jump Heptathlon
M 3000 Metres Steeplechase Heats
M Hammer Throw Qualification Group B
W 1500 Metres Heats
M 800 Metres Heats
M 100 Metres Preliminary Round
W Shot Put Heptathlon
M 400 Metres Hurdles Heats
M Pole Vault Qualification
W Triple Jump Qualification
M 100 Metres Heats
W Shot Put Final
W 200 Metres Heptathlon
M 10,000 Metres Final