rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » 10 Track & Field events you must not miss at the Rio Olympics

10 Track & Field events you must not miss at the Rio Olympics

Last updated on: August 12, 2016 21:10 IST

Ten days of athletics competition at the Rio Olympics begin on Friday. Following are 10 events not to miss at the Olympic Stadium:

MEN'S 100 and 200 METRES

Usain Bolt

IMAGE: Jamaica's Usain Bolt crosses the finish line to win gold in the men's 200 metres final during Day 6 of the 15th IAAF World Athletics Championships Beijing 2015, on August 27, 2015. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images for IAAF

Usain Bolt always seems to emerge at his best when global titles are on the line. The Rio Games should be no different.

Justin Gatlin may have clocked the year's fastest 100 metres time and LaShawn Merritt tops the time sheets in the 200m, but do not shy away from picking Bolt in both events in his final Olympics.

Behind Bolt and Gatlin, youngsters Trayvon Bromell of the United States and Andre De Grasse of Canada appear the best in the 100m, with Merritt a strong possibility for third in the 200.

Check out the events you must not miss. 

MEN'S 400 METRES

Lashawn Merritt

IMAGE: Lashawn Merritt, right, races to victory in the men's 400 metres final during the 2016 US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on July 3, 2016. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Spectators at the Olympic Stadium are in for a real treat if the 400 metres final comes anywhere close to the sensational title race at last year's World Championships in Beijing.

South African Wayde van Niekerk ran a stunning lap to lead, Lashawn Merritt and Kirani James, the last two Olympic champions, across the line with all three clocking under 44 seconds.

American Merritt, the Beijing Olympic champion, and Grenadian James, who will defend his London title in Rio, have both run faster times than Van Niekerk this year so a thrilling battle between the trio can be expected on Sunday.

MEN'S 5,000 and 10,000M

Mo Farah

IMAGE: Mo Farah celebrates winning the men's 5000m during Day 2 of the Muller Anniversary Games at The Stadium - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, on July 23, 2016. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Britain's double Olympic champion Mo Farah is favoured to build on half a decade of dominance in middle-distance running to become only the second man ever to retain his 5,000 and 10,000 metres Olympic gold medals.

Kenyan and Ethiopian runners are expected to pose the biggest threat to Farah, 33, who has won five World Championships over the two distances since 2011.

Kenya's 23-year-old Geoffrey Kamworor narrowly lost out to Farah over 10,000m at last year's Beijing world championships and is expected to be chief among the challengers at Rio, along with Ethiopia's Muktar Edris.

DECATHLON

Ashton Eaton

IMAGE: Ashton Eaton during the men's Decathlon 110 metres hurdles at the 2016 US Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on July 3, 2016. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Defending gold medalist Ashton Eaton will be looking to retain his title at the decathalon on Wednesday and Thursday.

The 28-year-old American has been on a tear since London, winning the World Championships in Moscow in 2013 and Beijing in 2015, and despite being hit in the head by a stray pole vault cross bar while competing in the long jump at the U.S. Indoor Championships in March has remained in competitive form.

Eaton faces a handful of key competitors, including Canada’s Damian Warner, 26, currently ranked second in the world, who placed fifth in Beijing and 30-year-old German Artur Abele, recently returned to competition after losing eight months of the 2015 season to a torn Achilles tendon.

WOMEN'S 100 METRES

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce

IMAGE: Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce competes in the women's 100m heats during Day 2 of the Muller Anniversary Games at The Stadium - Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 23, 2016. Photograph: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

With Jamaica's twice Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce not at her best, the women's 100 metres, unlike the men's, appears to be wide open.

Will it be another Jamaican in Elaine Thompson - the year's fastest over the distance? Or might it be Dutch 200 metres world champion Dafne Schippers. Or could one of the Americans, United States trials winner English Gardner or world bronze medallist Tori Bowie, step up?

WOMEN’S 200 METRES

Dafne Schippers

IMAGE: Dafne Schippers of The Netherlands celebrates winning gold in the final of the women's 100 metres on Day 3 of The 23rd European Athletics Championships at Olympic Stadium on July 8, 2016 in Amsterdam. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The dominant US and Jamaican sprinters will be given a run for their money at the women's 200 metres by Schippers.

A former heptathalon specialist, Schippers finished first in the 200 metres at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing and earlier this year won the 100 at the European championships.

The United States. will have a pair of highly regarded competitors, 25-year-old Bowie and 19-year-old Ariana Washington, with Jamaica’s Thompson, 24, also expected to be a factor after finishing second in the event at the world championships in Beijing in 2015.

Thompson has proven a late bloomer in running – excelling on the world stage after failing to make her high school track team.

HEPTATHLON

Jessica Ennis-Hill

IMAGE: Jessica Ennis-Hill of Great Britain. Photograph: Ben Duffy/adidas/Handout/Getty Images

Jessica Ennis-Hill's success in the multi-discipline event London made her one of the faces of the 2012 Games and having returned from having a child to win the world title in Beijing last year, she will be confident of defending her title in Rio.

While the Briton is a proven performer on the sport's biggest stages, Canadian gold medal hopeful Brianne Theisen-Eaton will hope to deal better with the pressure she admits got to her at last year's World Championships.

Ennis-Hill's compatriot Katarina Johnson-Thompson has had a miserable time with injuries but will be a title contender if fit, as will Anouk Vetter of the Netherlands and Latvia's Laura Ikauniece-Admidina.

WOMEN'S SHOT PUT

Valerie Adams

IMAGE: Valerie Adams competes in the women's Shot Put during the IAAF Diamond League meeting at Alexander Stadium on June 5, 2016. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Valerie Adams has the chance to become the first woman to win an individual Olympic athletics event three times in a row on the opening day.

Dominant between the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2014, when the New Zealander required surgery on her shoulder and elbow, Adams eased back into competition this year but showed she was heading back to top form with two throws over 20 metres.

Germany's World champion Christina Schwanitz has had injury problems of her own but looms as the biggest threat to Adams, while Gong Lijiao has the longest throw of the year (20.43) and should also be in the mix when the medals are handed out.

Source:
© Copyright 2018 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.