Decathlon world record holder Roman ebrle of the Czech Republic will look to extend his World Championships win streak to two as 2008 Olympic champion Bryan Clay of the USA will miss the meet due to injury. ebrle, the 2004 Olympic champion, will have his hands full with two excellent Cuban multi-eventers as well as Clay's younger compatriot Trey Hardee.
Also returning are 2007 Osaka WC medalists Maurice Smith of Jamaica and Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan. But the Cubans have dominated the top of the leader board in 2009. Leonel Suárez and Yordani Garcia are 1, 4 on the world list. Suárez is an Olympic medallist, winning bronze in 2008 behind Clay and Belarusian Andrei Krauchanka.
So who is going to win? ebrle is almost 35 years old and is unlikely to defeat all of his younger rivals. Suárez is about to turn 22 and appears to be on his way up. His world-leading mark, however, came in Cuba, so he'll have to replicate a top performance on the world stage, not easy for a youngster.
Krauchanka, Beijing runner-up, looks to be ready to assume the throne of best all-around athlete in the world in the absence of Bryan Clay. Aleksandr Pogorelov of Russia was 4th in Beijing, but only has a personal best around 8400, which might not get him a medal this year. German Michael Schrader is #2 on the world list and should contend for a medal. In the end, we think Krauchanka will step up to take the #1 spot, while Cuba's Suárez will grab second and Trey Hardee will sneak in for bronze.
LRC Predictions: Gold: Andrei Krauchanka BLR Silver: Leonel Suárez CUB Bronze: Trey Hardee USA 4th: Aleksandr Pogorelov RUS
Men's Decathlon Statistics By LRC Coaching Guru John Kellogg
8654 Leonel Suárez (CUB) Bronze medal in 2008 Olympic Games
8522 Michael Schrader (GER) 10th in 2008 Olympic Games
8516 Trey Hardee (USA) PR 8534 (#8 all-time USA) (2008)
8496 Yordani García (CUB) 8th in 2007 World Championships, 15th in 2008 Olympic Games
8374 Pascal Behrenbruch (GER)
8348 Roman ebrle (CZE) PR 9026 (WR) (2001) Gold medal in 2007 World Championships, gold medal in 2004 Olympic Games, silver medal in 2005 World Championships, silver medal in 2003 World Championships, silver medal in 2000 Olympic Games, 6th in 2008 Olympic Games, 9th in 1997 World Championships, 10th in 2001 World Championships
8336 Andrei Krauchanka (BLR) PR 8617 (2007) Silver medal in 2008 Olympic Games
8313 Aleksandr Pogorelov (RUS) PR 8429 (2005) 4th in 2008 Olympic Games, 5th in 2005 World Championships, 11th in 2004 Olympic Games
8295 Norman Müller (GER) 22nd in 2007 World Championships
8286 Oleksiy Kasyanov (UKR) 7th in 2008 Olympic Games
8239 Romain Barras (FRA) PR 8298 (2007) 5th in 2008 Olympic Games, 7th in 2007 World Championships, 7th in 2005 World Championships, 13th in 2004 Olympic Games
8213 Nicklas Wiberg (SWE)
8157 Maurice Smith (JAM) PR 8644 (2007) Silver medal in 2007 World Championships, 9th in 2008 Olympic Games, 14th in 2004 Olympic Games
8091 Ashton Eaton (USA) PR 8122 (2008)
8069 Jake Arnold (USA) PR 8215 (2007) 13th in 2007 World Championships
8029 Dmitriy Karpov (KAZ) PR 8725 (2004) Bronze medal in 2007 World Championships, bronze medal in 2004 Olympic Games, bronze medal in 2003 World Championships