Fans’/Idiots’ Guide to Day 1 (Friday/ Saturday) of the World Championships

August 21, 2015

We’ve published the most in-depth event distance previews you’ll find anywhere and we hope you read them all.

However, if you’re short on time we’re going to give you a quick day-by-day preview of Worlds. It will be a bit untraditional since the US is 12 hours behind Beijing and some events are held on different days. So we’ll focus on US time even though some of the action will be a day ahead in China.

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2012 was a great year for Rupp, Salazar and Farah

Saturday AM :  (We’ll have more on Saturday coming later, but want to mention it early as the highlight of the day occurs early in the day)
Highlight: Men’s 10,000m Final: Farah Goes for 3rd Straight vs World XC Champ Kamworor and Galen Rupp (8:50 am eastern, will be on TV 3pm eastern in  USA on NBC): Mo Farah of Britain has been the most dominant distance runner in the world since he switched to coach Alberto Salazar in 2011. Farah has won every Olympic and World Championship 5000/10000 title since then except for losing the first one the 10,000 in 2011. He is the strong favorite here but World XC champ Geoffrey Kamworor is a force to be reckoned with. Kamworor won the World half-marathon in 2014, then the world cross country title early this year, and recently ran a 27:13 10,000m at altitude, the fastest ever at altitude. The big question is will the Kenyans use team tactics and sacrifice one of their runners individual chances to make it a super-fast race. The only thing Farah has not done is win a fast-race.

American Galen Rupp has had a difficult year by his lofty standards. He barely made the US team at 5000m after his coach Alberto Salazar was caught in a possible doping controversy. Rupp has laid low and only raced a low-key mile since Worlds, getting beat badly. Can Rupp return to his 20012 silver medal form?  (Full preview)

Looking ahead: Sunday AM Justin Gatlin vs Usain Bolt (NBC tape delay Sunday afternoon in USA) It doesn’t get any better than this. Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated has a great article on this race and LRC’s Wejo tried to give some perspective on Justin Gatlin’s two drug suspensions here.

Friday Night in US – Live 7:30 pm eastern on Universal Sports

  • Stephen Kiprotich after winning Olympic gold in 2012

    Stephen Kiprotich after winning Olympic gold in 2012

    Highlight: Men’s Marathon Final 7:30 pm Eastern: Olympic/World Champ vs World Record Holder vs Arguably the Best Marathoner Ever LIVE Prime Time in US
    Marahon Completed: Recap here
    (click for full preview)

    It doesn’t get any better than this for a World’s marathon. The defending World and Olympic champ, Stephen Kiprotich of Ugnada, takes on the world record holder Dennis Kimetto, and arguably the greatest marathoner ever Wilson Kipsang in a crazy good match-up to kick of Worlds. Kiprotich’s and Kimetto’s accomplishment’s speak for themselves, but Kipsang is the former world record holder and has won 8 of his last 11 marathons. No one does that in this day in age. Throw in this year’s Boston champ Lelisa Desisa and you have a tremendous race

  • Darkhorse in Marathon: If you’re looking for a long-shot it’s Kenya’s third entrant Mark Korir. The 30 year old ran 2:05:49 this year to win Paris and went to the University of Wyoming back in the day which most of us at LRC were shocked to find out as we don’t remember the name.
    LRC Predictions from Our $200,015 Prediction Contest (get your picks in by 7:30 pm eastern Friday)
    Who will win the
    Men’s Marathon?
    Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich 42.8%
    Dennis Kimetto 38.5%
    Leleisa Desisa Benti 9%
    Stephen Kiprotich 5.1%
    Mark Korir 1.9%
    Hayle Lemi 1.8%
    Other 0.4%
    Endeshaw Negesse 0.3%
    Any Eritrean 0.1%
  • Other Friday Night Highlights: In the Books, Am Session Recap Here
  • USA’s Evan Jager Starts His Quest for Gold (10:25 pm eastern)  Jager has the world’s 2nd fastest time this year and it would be the world’s fastest except he hit the final barrier in Paris. If not for that, he would have won the race and had the first sub 8:00 by an American ever. The steeple is a Kenyan dominated event and world leader Jairus Birech will challenge Jager as will Ezekiel Kemboi. the double Olympic champ who likes to celebrate at the end of races. Round 1 should be really easy for them except possibly for Kemboi who has struggled lately this year (full preview) so pay attention to how he looks.
  • Jenny Simpson’s quest for a 3rd straight medal begins when the women’s 1500m starts at 11:15 pm eastern. She will have her hands full with new world record holder Genzebe Dibaba and possibly new American record holder Shannon Rowbury. At Friday’s press conference, Jenny said she considers rounds to be the great equalizer and she is very fit and very ready. (preview here)
  • Men’s 800m Round 1 (11:50 pm eastern): Round 1 is the most forgiving of the rounds in the 800 so expect the favorites to advance. The 800 features 3 titans, world record holder David Rudisha of Kenya, defending champ Mo Aman of Ethiopia who now trains with the Oregon Track Club in Eugene,  and the best in 2015 Nijel Amos of Botswana all racing while taking on new European star, Amel Tuka, who we had at had seriously never heard of this year. He’s gone from 1:46 to a 1:42.51 world leader in one  year. US champ Nick Symmonds won’t be here because he stood up for athlete rights, neither will US #2 all-time Duane Solomon or 2015 US leader Boris Berian who didn’t make the team., but it should be stellar 800 (final is Tuesday)  (Click for preview)
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