There are less than two months to go before the IAAF World Athletics Championships kick off in Doha. The next 58 days will see athletes from around the world competing in the final Diamond League events as they fine-tune their form in the hope of hitting peak just in time for these later in the season than ever World Championships
As much as athletics is a sport where nationality can fade into the background, when medals are up for stake it’s hard not to root for your home country. Here we look at Team GB’s medal prospects.
Asher-Smith has shown herself to be a genuinely world-class athlete after winning three golds at the European Championships in Berlin last year in the 100m, 200m and 4×100 relay. Although she recently finished second in the 100m at the Anniversary Games in London, she did so to a reinvigorated Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and still clocked 10.92. Come the World Championships she’s sure to be in contention for the big prize.
Johnson-Thompson got her season off to a flying start by winning gold in the pentathlon at the Indoor Championships, her fourth major medal. She’ll be hoping to make it five, and the colour gold when she pitches up in Doha. Defending champion Nafi Thiam will likely be her stiffest competition, but after a new PB at Gotzis in May, KJ’s confidence will be at an all-time high.
Despite a second place in the 100m at the London Anniversary Games, Zharnel Hughes posted a season’s best of 9.95 seconds and come the big event we’d be surprised not to see him in the medal mix. With Hughes training in Jamaica under coach Glen Mills, he’ll be more accustomed to the oppressive heat in Doha, which might just give him the edge over the field.
Prescod was the only Brit to make the 100m final in London at the last World Championships and will be setting his sights firmly on a medal this time around. With a current PB of 9.94 he might need a new record to medal, but this 23-year-old is a supreme talent and capable of mixing it with the best. Over the past year, he’s even made some significant lifestyle choices to try and up his game, cutting out loud music and computer games in a bid to reach the top.
It’s been a solid season so far for pole vaulter Holly Bradshaw with wins at both the UK Indoor Championship title and the Muller Indoor Grand Prix. Most encouraging of all she recently finished in third place at the Anniversary Games in what was essentially a Doha dress rehearsal with 9 out of the top ten vaulters in the world in attendance. The leading jump on this occasion was 4.75, with 4.72 being Holly’s season’s best in Lausanne. Close to her very best and in with a medal chance.
After dominant wins at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow earlier in the year the 25-year-old Scot has had a successful season so far and has a real chance of landing a maiden world title in Doha. We’ll likely see her taking on both the 1500 & 3000 metres. A cruise to victory in the 1500 at the Anniversary Games suggests she’ll be the woman to beat come September and her confidence is at an all-time high.
You might not be quite World Championship ready, but if you fancy giving any of these disciplines a go, you can get athletics equipment in the UK from Eveque.
The IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha take place between 27th September – 6th October. For more information visit: https://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-world-championships/iaaf-world-athletics-championships-doha-2019-6033