2017 WORLD CHAMPS FORMCHART—Men

(click to see women’s chart)

fearless forecasting by T&FN staff & contributors

The 10-deep predictions for each event:

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100 METERS
Even if he doesn’t break 10-flat, Bolt will still likely be the dominant figure of the whole meet, so oversized is his popularity. But no matter how fast he runs, he remains the favorite, even if he has been bothered by a sore back…
Bolt UsainFS RioOlyG16
Gatlin, a familiar runner-up to the Jamaican superstar, looks set to retain that position here, particularly with the last-minute withdrawal of Canadian superstar Andre DeGrasse (we had him as No. 3) with a hamstring problem… A marked lack of head-to-head meetings—and a general dearth of participation in big meets—makes the bronze unusually hard to plot out. Coleman, for example, hasn’t run an individual race outside the U.S., and Blake doesn’t have a race not staged in Kingston. But we’ll stick with the veteran Jamaican.
1. Usain Bolt (Jamaica) 9.58 (’09)
2. Justin Gatlin (USA) 9.74 (’15)
3. Yohan Blake (Jamaica) 9.69 (’12)
4. Christian Coleman (USA) 9.82 (’17)
5. CJ Ujah (Great Britain) 9.96 (’14)
6. Akani Simbine (South Africa) 9.89 (’16)
7. Ben Youssef Meité (Côte d’Ivoire) 9.96 (’16)
8. Abdul Hakim Sani Brown (Japan) 10.05 (’17)
9. Bingtian Su (China) 9.99 (’15)
10. Christopher Belcher (USA) 9.93 (’17)

 

200 METERS
Overwhelming 400 favorite van Niekerk will double back to the half-lapper, hoping to emulate Michael Johnson as a long-sprint legend. He’ll have run his 400s on days 2, 3 & 5 before running here on days 4, 6 & 7, as will yearly list leader Makwala…
VanNiekerk WaydeWR1 Rio16
Blake will have a lot easier time of it in his double, coming off the 100… Some in the online world think van Niekerk can even take down Bolt’s World Record of 19.19… van Niekerk’s task got easier with the last-minute withdrawal of Canadian Andre De Grasse, our original No. 2 choice.
1. Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa) 19.84 (’17)
2. Yohan Blake (Jamaica) 19.26 (’11)
3. Isaac Makwala (Botswana) 19.77 (’17)
4. Ramil Guliyev (Turkey) 19.88 (’15)
5. Ameer Webb (USA) 19.85 (’16)
6. Rasheed Dwyer (Jamaica) 19.80 (’15)
7. Jereem Richards (Trinidad) 19.97 (’17)
8. Isiah Young (USA) 19.86 (’13)
9. Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Great Britain) 19.95 (’16)
10. Kyree King (USA) 20.27 (’17)

 

400 METERS
Before van Niekerk tackles the 200, he’ll look to defend in his flagship event, where he scored a convincing win in ’15, then blew everyone’s doors off in breaking the WR in Rio… The Makwala/Kerley battle for the other two medals could be intense. Based purely on times the American has the edge, with 8 sub-44.50 times compared to the Botswanan’s 3, but those fast times by the Texan are just part of what has already been a 41-race season. For the fatigue factor we’ll give Makwala the edge… Merritt has won this title twice (’09 & ’13) but at 31 may have to give way to the younger generation… Merritt’s great rival, Kirani James, is out with an unspecified illness.
1. Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa) 43.03 (’16)
2. Isaac Makwala (Botswana) 43.72 (’15)
3. Fred Kerley (USA) 43.70 (’17)
4. LaShawn Merritt (USA) 43.65 (’15)
5. Baboloki Thebe (Botswana) 44.02 (’17)
6. Steven Gardiner (Bahamas) 44.26 (’17)
7. Gil Roberts (USA) 44.22 (’17)
8. Nathon Allen (Jamaica) 44.52 (’17)
9. Wil London (USA) 44.47 (’17)
10. Demish Gaye (Jamaica) 44.64 (’17)

 

800 METERS
Still only 23, Amos won Olympic silver at age 18 in ’12 but has been inconsistent since then, although he did rank No. 1 in the world in ’14. He’ll come to London riding 3 straight Diamond League wins and gets a narrow nod over yearly list leader Korir based on experience… Korir is a 22-year-old novice, with only handful of known 800 finals, but one of them is this year’s list leader. The speedy Kenyan also has an ace in the hole: he has a 43.34 relay split this year, showing raw speed nobody else in the race will be able to match… But how can one overlook WR holder David Rudisha, who also happens to be the reigning world and Olympic champion?
1. Nijel Amos (Botswana) 1:41.73 (’12)
2. Emmanuel Korir (Kenya) 1:43.73 (’17)
3. Kipyegon Bett (Kenya) 1:43.76 (’16)
4. Donavan Brazier (USA) 1:43.55 (’16)
5. Brandon McBride (Canada) 1:43.95 (’16)
6. Ferguson Cheruiyot (Kenya) 1:42.84 (’14)
7. Adam Kszczot (Poland) 1:43.30 (’11)
8. Amel Tuka (Bosnia) 1:42.51 (’15)
9. Antoine Gakeme (Burundi) 1:44.09 (’15)
10. Pierre-Ambroise Bosse (France) 1:42.53 (’14)
Other Americans:
Isaiah Harris 1:44.53 (’17)
Drew Windle 1:44.95 (’17)

 

1500 METERS
Past results are less informative than usual, but the 3 Kenyans have looked best on the circuit—and are the top 3 on the yearly list… Their nation has never swept the medals but went 1–2 in ’11 & ’15 and have a fourth entrant in 3-time defending champ Kiprop…
Manangoi ElijahFL Beijing15
Kiprop’s ’17 form hard to gauge; same situation for Oly champ Centro, twice OG medalist Willis and ’15 bronze man Abdelaati Iguider…
1. Elijah Manangoi (Kenya) 3:28.80 (’17)
2. Timothy Cheruiyot (Kenya) 3:29.10 (’17)
3. Ronald Kwemoi (Kenya) 3:28.81 (’14)
4. Matthew Centrowitz (USA) 3:30.40 (’15)
5. Ayanleh Souleiman (Djibouti) 3:29.58 (’14)
6. Nick Willis (New Zealand) 3:29.66 (’15)
7. Asbel Kiprop (Kenya) 3:26.69 (’15)
8. Filip Ingebrigtsen 3:32.48 (’17)
9. Chris O’Hare (Great Britain) 3:33.61 (’17)
10. Sadik Mikhou (Bahrain) 3:31.34 (’17)
Other Americans:
Robby Andrews 3:34.78 (’12)
Johnny Gregorek 3:35.00 (’17)

 

STEEPLE
Reigning Olympic champ Conseslus Kipruto, also winner of the last 2 WC silvers, is a bit of a mystery. Initial reports had him pull out with an ankle injury, then saying he’d be good to go in time. In the face of that, for us the favorite’s role has passed to Jager. The American, who won silver in Rio but has never stood on a WC podium (indeed, no American as ever stood on one), leads the yearly world list by some 3 seconds with his No. 2 time ever, 8:01.29…
JagerLedsKipruto1 RioOlyG16
In his breakout year, El Bakkali has twice run some 10 seconds faster than his PR coming in. He’ll have trouble holding off the Kenyans and perhaps even former Kenyan Kebenei… Kemboi has 6 major golds (2 Oly, 4 WC), but has a seasonal best of only 8:33 and at 35 may be over the hill. Still, he has frequently surprised with turns of form in the biggies.
1. Evan Jager (USA) 8:00.45 (’15)
2. Conseslus Kipruto (Kenya) 8:00.12 (’16)
3. Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco) 8:05.12 (’17)
4. Brimin Kipruto (Kenya) 7:53.64 (’11)
5. Jairus Birech (Kenya) 7:58.41 (’14)
6. Stanley Kebenei (USA) 8:08.30 (’17)
7. Ezekiel Kemboi (Kenya) 7:55.76 (’11)
8. Yemane Hailesilassie (Eritrea) 8:11.22 (’17)
9. Hillary Bor (USA) 8:11.82 (’17)
10. Mahiedine Mekhissi (France) 8:00.09 (’13)

 

5000 METERS
The only rationale to not pick Farah, winner each time (WC & OG) since ’11, is that doubling back from the 10K at age 34 is a tall order. Everyone loses some day, but in his swan song track Worlds on home soil?…
Farah Mo5kLeds Rio16
Edris tops the yearly list with a near-PR 12:55.63… U.S. hope Chelimo’s a WC novice, but one with an OG silver and a knack for beating people faster than he is on the list. His pacing in the Sacramento oven was impressive.
1. Mo Farah (Great Britain) 12:53.11 (’11)
2. Muktar Edris (Ethiopia) 12:54.83 (’14)
3. Paul Chelimo (USA) 13:03.90 (’16)
4. Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) 12:59.83 (’17)
5. Yomif Kejelcha (Ethiopia) 12:53.98 (’15)
6. Albert Rop (Bahrain) 12:51.96 (’13)
7. Cyrus Rutto (Kenya) 13:03.44 (’17)
8. Andrew Butchart (Great Britain) 12:08.61 (’16)
9. Eric Jenkins (USA) 13:05.85 (’17)
10. Mo Ahmed (Canada) 13:01.74 (’16)
Other American:
Ryan Hill 13:05.69 (’15)

 

10,000 METERS
We gotta go with Farah, 4-time vet in Olympics & Worlds of starting doubles with the 10K…
Farah Mo5kFL1 RioOlyG16
With fewer 25-lap races than ever on the Circuit and the Q period stretching back to January ’16, recent data is scarce. So it’s a hunch as much as anything that leading American Kipchirchir (19th in Rio) can surge up to the Top 10… Hadis leads the world list at 27:08.26 as fast times have not yet been in evidence.
1. Mo Farah (Great Britain) 26:46.57 (’11)
2. Abadi Hadis (Ethiopia) 26:57.88 (’16)
3. Bedan Muchiri (Kenya) 26:52.36 (’14)
4. Geoffrey Kamworor (Kenya) 26:52.65 (’15)
5. Paul Tanui (Kenya) 26:49.41 (’14)
6. Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) 27:10:06 (’16)
7. Jemal Yimer (Ethiopia) 27:09.08 (’17)
8. Andamlak Belihu (Ethiopia) 27:20.57 (’17)
9. Shadrack Kipchirchir (USA) 27:32.18 (’17)
10. Patrick Tiernan (Australia) 27:29:21 (’17)
Other Americans:
Leonard Korir 27:35.65 (’16)
Hassan Mead (USA) 27:33.04 (’15)

 

110 HURDLES
A brief injury scare in Paris on July 1 turned out to be nothing, so the reigning Olympic champion easily retains his No. 1 status. McLeod is the only one to break 13 so far this year, and he has done it twice…
McLeod Omar1a Rio16
Shubenkov wasn’t allowed into Rio, but this meet’s defending champion is showing fine form this year, running only 0.03 off his PR… The heartwarming tale of WR holder Merritt’s return from kidney transplant surgery continues to inspire. Can he make it all the way back to the top?… Levy has engineered the year’s monster breakthrough, having come in with a PR of just 13.50.
1. Omar McLeod (Jamaica) 12.90 (’17)
2. Sergey Shubenkov (Russia) 12.98 (’15)
3. Aries Merritt (USA) 12.80 (’12)
4. Ronald Levy (Jamaica) 13.05 (’17)
5. Orlando Ortega (Spain) 12.94 (’15)
6. Garfield Darien (France) 13.09 (’17)
7. Andy Pozzi (Great Britain) 13.14 (’17)
8. Devon Allen (USA) 13.03 (’16)
9. Aleec Harris (USA) 13.11 (’15)
10. Antonio Alkana (South Africa) 13.11 (’17)

 

400 HURDLES
In an era where 47-second times tend to be scarce, Clement just keeps rolling on at age 31. He was first a world champion (’07) before any of his rivals were anywhere near international class. He’s still not the smoothest of hurdlers, but he’s the reigning Olympic champ and obviously knows how to bring it on the big day…
Clement Kerron1d RioOlyG16
The 20-year-old McMaster is the year’s big find, chopping almost 2 seconds off his old PR of 49.56 in becoming ’17’s only sub-48 performer so far… Converted decathlete Warholm is also breaking through nicely in only his second real year in the event… Reigning champ Nicholas Bett of Kenya had to withdraw in late July with a stress-fractured right fibula.
1. Kerron Clement (USA) 47.24 (’05)
2. Kyron McMaster (British Virgin Islands) 47.80 (’17)
3. Karsten Warholm (Norway) 48.25 (’17)
4. Eric Futch (USA) 48.18 (’17)
5. Yasmani Copello (Turkey) 47.92 (’16)
6. Michael Stigler (USA) 48.26 (’17)
7. Rasmus Mägi (Estonia) 48.40 (’16)
8. Mamadou Kasse Hann (France) 48.40 (’17)
9. Kemar Mowatt (Jamaica) 48.49 (’17)
10. Haron Koech (Kenya) 48.49 (’16)
Other American:
TJ Holmes 48.44 (’17)

 

MARATHON
As frequently happens, most of the world’s top 26-milers will eschew this race in favor of big paydays at the World Marathon Majors…
Tola TamiratH PreC16
The favorite’s role goes to Tola, last year’s Oly 10K bronze medalist, who broke the 2:05 barrier in only his third race ever… Wanjiru rates right there with him, having won the loaded London race in April.
1. Tamirat Tola (Ethiopia) 2:04:11 (’17)
2. Daniel Wanjiru (Kenya) 2:05:21 (’16)
3. Tsegaye Mekonnen (Ethiopia) 2:04:46 (’17)
4. Paul Lonyangata (Kenya) 2:06:10 (’17)
5. Alphonce Simbu (Tanzania) 2:09:10 (’17)
6. Yohanes Gebregergish (Eritrea) 2:08:14 (’17)
7. Stephen Kiprotich (Uganda) 2:06:33 (’15)
8. Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) 2:06:27 (’16)
9. Hirohito Inoue (Japan) 2:08:22 (’17)
10. Kaan Kigen Özbilen (Turkey) 2:06:10 (’16)
The Americans:
Bobby Curtis 2:11:20 (’14)
Elkanah Kibet 2:11:31 (’15)
Augustus Maiyo 2:13:16 (’17)

 

20K WALK
Yearly list leader Wang (middle in photo) PRed by almost 2:00 in his seasonal debut, but followed up with 2 mediocre finishes, so is currently plotted out of the medals behind Bird-Smith (Rio bronze, right in photo), Arévalo (3 significant wins this year) and Thorne (’15 bronze)…
Cai Wang BirdSmithA Rio16
8 of the 10 rankers have PRs between 1:18:53 and 1:19:55, just a 62-second gap… The slowest of the rankers, Bosworth, PRed for 6th in Rio and could have a nice breakthrough with a hearty hometown following on the streets of London… With the 20 and the 50 being staged on the same day, we don’t expect many doublers :-)
1. Dane Bird-Smith (Australia) 1:19:37 (’16)
2. Eider Arévalo (Colombia) 1:19:45 (’13)
3. Ben Thorne (Canada) 1:19:55 (’16)
4. Kaihua Wang (China) 1:17:54 (’17)
5. Christopher Linke (Germany) 1:18:59 (’17)
6. Daisuke Matsunaga (Japan) 1:18:53 (’16)
7. Tom Bosworth (Great Britain) 1:20:13 (’16)
8. Alvaro Martin (Spain) 1:19:36 (’16)
9. Eiki Takahashi (Japan) 1:18:03 (’15)
10. Caio Bonfim (Brazil) 1:19:42 (’16)
No Americans

 

50K WALK
You boil the event down to clean walkers and Tallent suddenly becomes a truly major force in the event, being the winner of ’12 Olympic gold and silvers in ’08 and ’16…
Tallent JaredFL Beijing15
Olympic bronze medalist Arai is always steady in the big championship meets… Rio 4th-placer Dunfee won the important Monterrey race in March… Niu captured the Chinese GP title by more than 2:00… WR holder Diniz may be a little long in the tooth at 39… Reigning Olympic champ Matej Tóth of Slovakia is sidelined while a blood passport issue is being resolved.
1. Jared Tallent (Australia) 3:36:53 (’12)
2. Hiroki Arai (Japan) 3:40:20 (’15)
3. Evan Dunfee (Canada) 3:41:38 (’16)
4. Wenbin Niu (China) 3:46:12 (’17)
5. Andrés Chocho (Ecuador) 3:52:57(A) (’16)
6. Robert Heffernan (Ireland) 3:37:54 (’12)
7. Ivan Banzeruk (Ukraine) 3:44:49 (’14)
8. Ihor Hlavan (Ukraine) 3:40:39 (’13)
9. Quentin Rew (New Zealand) 3:48:48 (’15)
10. Yohann Diniz (France) 3:32:33 (’14)
No Americans

 

4 x 100 RELAY
Jamaica has had more injury-list reports than be imagined, but at the end of the day they probably remain confident in knowing that they still don’t have as many problems as the passing-challenged Americans…
Bolt Usain4x1M1a OlyGames16
Can anybody run down/hold off a mega-motivated Usain Bolt—no matter what his state of fitness—on the anchor?… For a textbook less in how to pass the stick, check out the smooth Chinese or Japanese foursomes… At this point the composition of Team USA is unknown, but the first 4 in the USATF 100 were Justin Gatlin, Christian Coleman, Christopher Belcher and Jaylen Bacon.
1. Jamaica 37.27 (’16)
2. United States 37.65 (’16)
3. Japan 37.60 (’16)
4. China 37.82 (’16)
5. Great Britain 37.78 (’16)
6. Trinidad 37.96 (’16)
7. France 38.35 (’16)
8. Germany 38.25 (’16)
9. Canada 37.64 (’16)
10. Turkey 38.30 (’16)

 

4 x 400 RELAY
As always, the Americans will go in as a strong favorite, but that doesn’t always translate to gold. If anybody can top Team USA it’s likely to be up-and-coming Botswana, which certainly isn’t hurting for horsepower…
Merritt Roberts4x4 RioOlyG16
Who will be the U.S. anchor, new star Fred Kerley or old warhorse LaShawn Merritt? Kerley anchored on only 2 of the 8 relays he ran for Texas A&M this year, so he obviously feels comfortable elsewhere.
1. USA 2:57.30 (’16)
2. Botswana 2:59.06 (’16)
3. Jamaica 2:58.16 (’16)
4. Bahamas 2:58.49 (’16)
5. Trinidad 3:02.51 (’17)
6. Belgium 2:58.52 (’16)
7. Great Britain. 3:01.44 (’16)
8. Cuba 2:59.53 (’16)
9. Brazil 3:00.43 (’16)
10. Poland 2:59.58 (’16)

 

HIGH JUMP
For a guy who has fared so well in the World Rankings (starting in ’11: Nos. 7, 4, 2, 2, 1, 1) and stands at No. 2 on the all-time world list, Barshim is somewhat lacking in major medals. To be sure, he’s no piker, owning an Olympic silver and bronze and a WC silver plus a World Indoor gold. But no major outdoor places on the stop step of the podium. With the top 3 meets of the year, and 5 of 6, we think that’s about to change…
Barshim Mutaz Rio16
The law of gravity has changed since ’14 when there were 4 over the 2.40 barrier, but few have done it since… 2-time World No. 1 Bondarenko has had a minimalist season, but is a great big-meet jumper… Kynard frequently outjumps rivals with higher PRs come the big meets… Tamberi, the weird-bearded Italian, looked like he’d threaten to be No. 1 on the planet when he won the World Indoor last year, but pre-Rio ripped ankle ligaments after setting a PR. He missed the Olympics and is understandably slow to return to form this year… Reigning Olympic champ Drouin had to miss the Canadian Champs with a bad Achilles, so is downgraded here.
1. Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar) 2.43 | 7-11¾ (’14)
2. Bogdan Bondarenko (Ukraine) 2.42 | 7-11¼ (’14)
3. Andrii Protsenko (Ukraine) 2.40 | 7-10½ (’14)
4. Erik Kynard (USA) 2.37 | 7-9¼ (’15)
5. Derek Drouin (Canada) 2.40 | 7-10½ (’14)
6. Gianmarco Tamberi (Italy) 2.39 | 7-10 (’16)
7. Robbie Grabarz (Great Britain) 2.37 | 7-9¼ (’12)
9. Mateusz Przybylko (Germany) 2.35 | 7-8¾ (’17)
8. Donald Thomas (Bahamas) 2.37 | 7-9¼ (’16)
10. Sylwester Bednarek (Poland) 2.33 | 7-7¾ (’17)
Other Americans:
Brian McBride 2.30 | 7-6½ (’17)
Ricky Robertson 2.32 | 7-7¼ (’12)
Jeron Robinson 2.30 | 7-6½ (’17)

 

POLE VAULT
Riding a streak of 7 straight years as No. 1 in the World Rankings as he is, it’s hard to imagine not on the podium, but he’s dangerously close to being rated that way, with no wins in 5 DL meets and a seasonal best of only 19-3¼ (5.87). A variety of leg and knee injuries will do that to you…
Kendricks SamFL RioOlyG16
Rising ahead of the French star in our ratings are the year’s only two 6-meter vaulters, Kendricks and Lisek. The American has won their two head-to-head meetings so far and, in fact, is undefeated in his 10 competitions… Lots of eyes will be on 17-year-old wunderkind Duplantis, a Louisiana high schooler who represents Sweden internationally… Olympic champ Thiago Braz of Brazil withdrew with multiple physical woes.
1. Sam Kendricks (USA) 6.00 | 19-8¼ (’17)
2. Piotr Lisek (Poland) 6.00 | 19-8¼ (’17)
3. Renaud Lavillenie (France) 6.16 | 20-2½ (’14)
4. Paweł Wojciechowski (Poland) 5.93 | 19-5½ (’17)
5. Raphael Holzdeppe (Germany) 5.94 | 19-5¾ (’15)
6. Mondo Duplantis (Sweden) 5.90 | 19-4¼ (’17)
7. Shawn Barber (Canada) 6.00 | 19-8¼(A) (’16)
8. Jan Kudlička (Czech Republic) 5.83 | 19-1½ (’16)
9. Konstadínos Filippídis (Greece) 5.91 | 19-4¾ (’15)
10. Kévin Menaldo (France) 5.83 | 19-1½ (’17)
Other Americans:
Andrew Irwin
5.75 | 18-10¼ (’17)
Chris Nilsen 5.75 | 18-10¼ (’17)

 

LONG JUMP
The 25-year-old Manyonga (left in photo) has emerged as the best in the world this year. The Rio silver medalist has the year’s only 28-foot meets, 4 of them, including a low-altitude best of 28-3½ (8.62) and will come in undefeated. On the downside, the South African star was on crutches in mid-July after injuring a foot in Stockholm…
Monyonga Henderson RutherfordA Rio16
Confusing winds at the U.S. championships made it hard to sort out form, with Olympic champ Henderson (center) not knowing for sure if he was on the team until the qualifying period ended a month after Sacramento… The U.S. and China each have 3 in our top 10… Reigning champ Greg Rutherford of Britain (right) is out with an ankle problem.
1. Luvo Manyonga (South Africa) 8.65 | 28-4½(A) (’17)
2. Jeff Henderson (USA) 8.52 | 27-11½ (’15)
3. Jarrion Lawson (USA) 8.58 | 28-1¾ (’16)
4. Marquis Dendy (USA) 8.42 | 27-7½ (’16)
5. Jianan Wang (China) 8.25 | 27-¾ (’15)
6. Rushwal Samaai (South Africa) 8.49 | 27-10¼(A) (’17)
7. Changzhou Huang (China) 8.26 | 27-1¼ (’17)
8. Michel Tornéus (Sweden) 8.44 | 27-8¼(A) (’16)
9. Emiliano Lasa (Uruguay) 8.19 | 26-10½ (’17)
10. Yuhao Shi (China) 8.31 | 27-3¼ (’17)

 

TRIPLE JUMP
If the conditions are favorable, Taylor has to be viewed as a potential WR breaker virtually every time he steps on a runway these days. As the 2-time reigning Olympic champion—and the WC golds of ’11 and ’15—he’s clearly the favorite…
Taylor Christian1h Rio16
Taylor’s former college teammate Claye can’t be overlooked though. He claimed silver at the last two Olympics and is a former world indoor champion… Heß edges Dong, last year’s world indoor gold medalist for the No. 3 spot here based on consistency this season while the Chinese jumper has looked off-form most of the time… But we keep wondering: is a 60-footer in the cards?
1. Christian Taylor (USA) 18.21 | 59-9 (’15)
2. Will Claye (USA) 17.91 | 58-9¼ (’17)
3. Max Heß (Germany) 17.52 | 57-5¾ (’17)
4. Bin Dong (China) 17.58 | 57-1½ (’16)
5. Alexis Copello (Azerbaijan) 17.68 | 58-¼(A) (’11)
6. Cristian Atanay Nápoles (Cuba) 17.27 | 56-8 (’17)
7. Nelson Évora (Portugal) 17.74 | 58-2½ (’07)
8. Chris Benard (USA) 17.48 | 57-4¼ (’17)
9. Jean-Marc Pontvianne (France) 17.13 | 56-2½ (’17)
10. Andy Díaz (Cuba) 17.40 | 57-1 (’17)
Other American:
Donald Scott 17.25 | 56-7¼ (’17)

 

SHOT
Like the triple jump, this is an event where a U.S. 1-2 is forecast and one has to wonder about WR possibilities now that both Crouser and Kovacs have joined the 74-foot club. To be sure, 75-8 (23.06) is still a long way off, but the way Crouser has become consistent, with a yearly tally of a half-dozen 73-footers and 19 past 73 means that an outlier for him now is very far…
Crouser RyanWide1a Rio16
Defending champ Kovacs is primed for an outlier too…Walsh, the indoor world champ, remains the biggest threat to the American duo… After an off Olympic year, 2-time world champ Storl seems to be coming back into form, and he’s known as a great big-meet thrower.
1. Ryan Crouser (USA) 22.65 | 74-3½ (’17)
2. Joe Kovacs (USA) 22.57 | 74-½ (’17)
3. Tom Walsh (New Zealand) 22.21 | 72-10 (’16)
4. David Storl (Germany) 22.20 | 72-9½ (’15)
5. O’Dayne Richards (Jamaica) 21.96 | 72-¾ (’17)
6. Michał Haratyk (Poland) 21.88 | 71-9½ (’17)
7. Ryan Whiting (USA) 22.28 | 73-¾ (’13)
8. Konrad Bukowiecki (Poland) 21.97 | 72-½ (’17)
9. Tomáš Stanĕk (Czech Republic) 22.01 | 72-2 (’17)
10. Darlan Romani (Brazil) 21.82 | 71-6½ (’17)
Other American:
Darrell Hill 21.91 | 71-10¾ (’17)

 

DISCUS
Based on recent history, Małachowski—No. 1 in the World Rankings the last two years after a pair of No. 2s—is hard to bet against, but the defending champion has been markedly off form this year, so we’ve got him fighting just for a podium spot…
Stahl DanielW Rome16
Ståhl didn’t make it out of the Q-round in Rio last year, but is having the season of his life and rates as the favorite over Dacres (rhymes with acres), who likewise didn’t make the final in Brazil but is also having his best campaign ever… Milanov did make last year’s final, finishing 9th. He was also the ’15 silver medalist, but heads to London with a seasonal record of 1-4 against the Swede and 0-4 against the Jamaican… No discus discussion would be complete without mentioning the Harting brothers. Reigning Olympic champ Christoph was only 4th in the German Championships, so didn’t earn a place. As for the older of the two, Robert, we’ve got him in the middle of the pack after an injury plagued Olympic year and minimal competition in ’17. But as a former Olympic champion and 3 time WC gold medalist he could easily surprise.
1. Daniel Ståhl (Sweden) 71.29 | 233-10 (’17)
2. Fedrick Dacres (Jamaica) 68.88 | 226-0 (’17)
3. Piotr Małachowski (Poland) 71.84 | 235-8 (’13)
4. Philip Milanov (Belgium) 67.26 | 220-8 (’16)
5. Andrius Gudžius (Lithuania) 68.61 | 225-1 (’17)
6. Robert Harting (Germany) 70.66 | 231-10 (’12)
7. Robert Urbanek (Poland) 66.93 | 219-7 (’12)
8. Lukas Weißhaidinger (Austria) 67.24 | 220-7 (’15)
9. Gerd Kanter (Estonia) 73.38 | 240-9 (’06)
10. Zoltán Kővágó (Hungary) 59.95 | 229-6 (’06)
The Americans:
Rodney Brown 66.00 | 216-6 (’16)
Andrew Evans 66.61 | 218-6 (’17)
Mason Finley 66.72 | 218-11 (’16)

 

HAMMER
Last summer we wrote, “It’s hard to imagine a bigger Rio favorite than Fajdek.” Oops! In one of the biggest failures of the Games the Pole didn’t even make it to out of the Q-round. Nonetheless, we still rate him among the hugest favorites, even if his last pre-London meet was a loss at his Nationals. Over the last three seasons he has won 42 of his last 44 competitions. He also dominates this year’s list, having about a 10-foot (3m) bulge on his nearest competitor…
Fajdek PawelWide Worlds15
Nowicki scored bronzes at both Beijing ’16 and Rio ’16 but is well posed to move up a step on the podium… Nazarov won the Rio gold but has been throwing at a low level, relative speaking, this year.
1. Paweł Fajdek (Poland) 83.93 | 275-4 (’15)
2. Wojciech Nowicki (Poland) 80.31 | 263-6 (’17)
3. Dilshod Nazarov (Tajikistan) 80.71 | 264-9 (’13)
4. Valeriy Pronkin (Russia) 78.90 | 258-10 (’17)
5. Pavel Bareisha (Belarus) 78.60 | 257-10 (’16)
6. Marcel Lomnický (Slovakia) 79.16 | 259-8 (’14)
7. Nick Miller (Great Britain) 77.55 | 254-5 (’15)
8. Serghei Marghiev (Moldova) 78.72 | 258-3 (’15)
9. Bence Halász (Hungary) 78.85 | 258-8 (’17)
10. Quentin Bigot (France) 78.58 | 257-10 (’14)
The Americans:
Kibwé Johnson 80.31 | 263-6 (’11)
Rudy Winkler 76.76 | 251-10 (’16)
Alex Young 74.39 | 244-0 (’17)

 

JAVELIN
German power. Vetter & Röhler stand 1-2 on the yearly list with their PRs and third team member Andreas Hofmann (88.79/291-3) is No. 3. Hofmann isn’t consistent enough to crack the top 10, however.
Rohler Thomas1a RioOlyG16
Vetter moved to No. 2 on the all-time list with his big bomb in Lucerne, displacing Röhler from that spot. We give Röhler the edge or two reasons: he admits to not throwing well in windy conditions and that won’t be a factor in London’s big stadium and he has a 6–4 season edge over his compatriot… Vadlejch earns the final podium position based on very consistent placings on the DL Circuit.
1. Thomas Röhler (Germany) 93.90 | 308-1 (’17)
2. Johannes Vetter (Germany) 94.44 | 309-10 (’17)
3. Jakub Vadlejch (Czech Republic) 86.76 | 284-8 (’16)
4. Julius Yego (Kenya) 92.72 | 304-2 (’15)
5. Marcin Krukowski (Poland) 88.09 | 289-0 (’17)
6. Tero Pitkämäki (Finland) 91.53 | 300-3 (’05)
7. Ioánnis Kiriazís (Greece) 88.01 | 288-9 (’17)
8. Neeraj Chopra (India) 86.48 | 283-9 (’16)
9. Andrian Mardare (Moldova) 83.93 | 275-4 (’17)
10. Keshorn Walcott (Trinidad) 90.16 | 295-9 (’15)
The American:
Cyrus Hostetler 83.83 | 275-0 (’16)

 

DECATHLON
Deca-guru Frank Zarnowski says, “There are 54,000+ possible combos of the names listed past the top 2: pick one… Zeke gives the nod to KK since he is tougher than teammate Freimuth…
Mayer KevinJav RioOlyG16
The “neutral athlete” Shkurenyov, twice a Euro Bronze medalist has PRed this year… NCAA champion Victor may not yet be quite ready for prime time. His jump weakness will show… If Hardee’s body holds together he could be a darkhorse for a podium spot.
1. Kevin Mayer (France) 8834 (’16)
2. Damian Warner (Canada) 8695 (’15)
3. Kai Kazmirek (Germany) 8580 (’16)
4. Ilya Shkurenyov (Russia) 8601 (’17)
5. Lindon Victor (Grenada) 8539 (’17)
6. Rico Freimuth (Germany) 8663 (’17)
7. Zach Ziemek (USA) 8413 (’16)
8. Eelco Sintnicolaas (Holland) 8539 (’17)
9. Trey Hardee (USA) 8790 (’09)
10. Kurt Felix (Grenada) 8509 (’17)
Other American:
Devon Williams 8345 (’17)