World Championships XVII — Life In The Post-Bolt Era

Surely somebody will break out in a Boltian pose in Doha: perhaps even The Great One himself? (VICTOR SAILER/PHOTO RUN)

FOR THE FIRST TIME since the ’03 edition, Usain Bolt’s name isn’t part of our World Championships forecasting. The Jamaican superduperstar’s last competitive steps on the track came in the London 4×1 in ’17. And what a career Bolt had at the Worlds once he got up and running. A quick recap of a WC résumé that totals 14 medals (11 gold, 2 silvers, 1 bronze):

Helsinki ’05: a disappointing 8th in the 200 for a still-raw teenager.
Osaka ’07: silvers in both the 200 and 4×1.
Berlin ’09: the triple-gold era which had begun in Beijing the year before came to the WC, with top-step podium appearances after the 100, 200 and 4×1. With still-standing WRs in both the individual dashes.
Daegu ’11: the infamous false start in the 100, but golds in the 200 and 4×1 (in WR time).
Moscow ’13: triple gold again.
Beijing ’15: Yawn—triple gold yet again.
London ’17: At age 30, mortality strikes, as he skips the 200, is shunted to bronze in the 100 and pulls up in the 4×1.

With no Bolt to dominate the landscape, who will emerge as the sport’s new media darling? Who will be the face of the sport heading into Tokyo next year? This is the meet that will likely decide it. Rather than venturing any guesses, we’ll let you ponder it yourself. Where we will go out on some limbs, however, is with our by-event Top 10 formcharts for both men and women.

Doha Preview Links
Timetable Men’s Picks Women’s Picks

How Many Medals For Team USA?

Last time out, in London, the American squad collected a record 30 medals. Our fearless forecasters have put their heads together and come up with the same total this time, 15 for the men and 15 for the women (the London split was 13 men, 17 women). But wait! This time around there’s the addition of the mixed-sex 4×4 and while it’s impossible to create a proper formchart for that one until all the participating nations make public how they’re splitting up their talent between that and the single-sex 4x4s we can project the U.S. as the probable winner there, making for a record 31 medals.

The Final-Final Versions Of The Formcharts

Important note for digital subscribers: the formcharts you see at the time of our original mailing to announce this issue’s publication will not be the last word on the subject. In the week leading up to the start of the meet, explanatory verbiage will be added to each event on the men’s and women’s prediction pages on our site, and the order of picks may well end up being tweaked slightly.

Important note for digital subscribers who rather than reading the online version prefer to look at the PDF: the PDF link that comes with the original mailing will not be modified. The original is all that will be produced. ◻︎