The women's 400m hurdles field includes several entrants with gaudy amounts of world medals. The reigning world champ is Jana Pittman-Rawlinson of Australia. Pittman's performances have been all over the place since 2007.
Jamaican Olympic champion Melaine Walker has a world top 5 time this year. The world #1 is American Lashinda Demus, whose 52.63 clocking places her as the #4 hurdler of all time. She'll be joined on the US team by Sheena Tosta and Tiffany Williams. All told, these three American women are the 3rd-, 5th- and 6th-fastest Americans of all time in the event.
Outside of the US/Jamaica rivalry, Anastasiya Rabchenyuk was 4th in the 2008 Olympics for the Ukraine and Poland's Anna Jesien won bronze in Osaka in 2007.
This field is very tough to predict, as big shots like Rawlinson haven't competed much this year and we don't really know what to expect. We're going to go with only people who have consistently medaled at the big events: Demus, Walker, Jesien and Tosta, with Williams and Pittman-Rawlinson as wild cards.
LRC Predictions: Gold: Lashinda Demus USA Silver: Melaine Walker JAM Bronze: Anna Jesien POL 4th: Sheena Tosta USA
Women's 400m Hurdles Statistics By LRC Coaching Guru John Kellogg
52.63 Lashinda Demus (USA) (#4 all-time, #3 all-time USA) Silver medal in 2005 World Championships, silver medal in 2006 World Cup
54.17 Josanne Lucas (TRI)
54.19 Sheena Tosta (USA) PR 52.95 (#5 all-time USA) (2004) Silver medal in 2008 Olympic Games, 4th in 2004 Olympic Games
54.20 Melaine Walker (JAM) PR 52.64 (#5 all-time) (2008) Gold medal in 2008 Olympic Games
54.31 Anna Jesien (POL) PR 53.86 (2007) Bronze medal in 2007 World Championships, bronze medal in 2006 World Cup, 4th in 2005 World Championships, 5th in 2008 Olympic Games
54.33 Kaliese Spencer (JAM)
54.50 Tiffany Williams (USA) PR 53.28 (#6 all-time USA) (2007) 7th in 2007 World Championships, 8th in 2008 Olympic Games
54.74 Anastasiya Rabchenyuk (UKR) PR 53.96 (2008) 4th in 2008 Olympic Games
54.82 Angela Morosanu (ROM) PR 54.40 (2007)
54.86 Yuliya Pechenkina (RUS)+ PR 52.34 (WR) (2003) Gold medal in 2005 World Championships, silver medal in 2007 World Championships, silver medal in 2001 World Championships, bronze medal in 2003 World Championships, gold medal in 2006 World Cup, gold medal in 2002 World Cup, 8th in 2004 Olympic Games
54.90 Zuzana Hejnová (CZE) 7th in 2008 Olympic Games
55.19 Tasha Danvers (GBR) PR 53.84 (2008) Bronze medal in 2008 Olympic Games, silver medal in 2006 Commonwealth Games, 8th in 2007 World Championships, 8th in 2000 Olympic Games
55.34 Jana Pittman-Rawlinson (AUS) PR 53.22 (2003) Gold medal in 2007 World Championships, gold medal in 2003 World Championships, gold medal in 2006 Commonwealth Games, gold medal in 2002 Commonwealth Games, bronze medal in 2002 World Cup, 5th in 2004 Olympic Games