Tokyo previews – Women’s Discus

Sandra Perković will aim to make it threw Olympic titles in a row. If she does she will be the first female athlete in history to ever complete the feat. The strength of the women’s discus this year shows just how hard that is to do. Here’s our women’s discus preview for Tokyo.

Schedule

Saturday 31 July 01:30 UK Time (Qualification) Monday 2 August 12:00 UK time

2021 Biggest Throws

2021 RankingsDistance (Metres)AthleteCountry
170.22Jorinde Van KlinkenNetherlands
270.01Valarie AllmanUSA
368.99Yaimé PérezCuba
468.31Sandra PerkovićCroatia
567.05Shadae LawrenceJamaica
666.59Kamalpreet KaurIndia
766.4Liliana CáPortugal
866.31Kristin PudenzGermany 
965.3Mélina Robert-MichonFrance
1065.14Yang ChenChina

British interest

There are no British entrants for the women’s discus.

Favourites

Jorinde Van Klinken from the Netherlands is just twenty one but by virtue of her win at the USATF Throws Fest and undefeated season so far she is one of the favourites for gold. Her 70.22m throw in Tucson, Arizona was almost nine metres more than she had ever thrown prior to this season. Despite going undefeated she has rarely competed against the very best in the world due to still being in the NCAA system and her win in Tucson is over four metres further than she has thrown anywhere else.

Looking for Championship experience then you need look no further than Yaimé Pérez of Cuba. The reigning world champion has only been defeated twice this year, in the Florence Diamond League and in Rouen, both times at the hands of Sandra Perković. She won in Doha but only by virtue of the final three format which will not be in Tokyo (Valarie Allman threw further) and did beat Perković in Hengelo.

Sandra Perković has to start as favourite, by virtue of her wins over Perez this year as well as her 68.31 throw to win in the Florence Diamond League. She knows what it takes to win major championships and could well bring the gold home for Croatia.

Valarie Allman has had a breakthrough couple of years and has never been defeated bar for the final three format in Doha. In both years she has broken seventy metres and she has thrown over 67 metres in four of her seven competitions this year. The only question marks can be that this is her first competition as one of the established stars and we will have to see how she deals with that pressure.

Denia Caballero of Cuba deserves mention due to her Rio bronze. She has not been in that form so far this year and is yet to break 65 metres. Her best is 70.65m from 2015.

Shadae Lawrence could also throw her way into medal contention provided she can get towards the 67.05 she threw at the USATF Throwsfest to finish second.

Our medal predictions

  1. Valarie Allman
  2. Sandra Perković
  3. Yaimé Pérez

Records

WR: 76.80m Gabriele Reinsch (1988)

OR: 72.30m Martina Hellmann (1988 Seoul)

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Featured image “Track & Field – Adidas Grand Prix – Icahn Stadium – Sandra Perkovic” by Steven Pisano is licensed under CC BY 2.0 CopyGO TO IMAGE’S WEBSITE

Tokyo previews – Women’s 4 x 400m Relay

Ludicrous strength in depth once more resides in the USA but this could be tight. Despite US riches, Jamaica have a strong team and could well compete. Here’s our women’s 4 x 400 relay preview.

Schedule

Thursday 5 August 11:25 UK Time (Round 1) Saturday 7 August 13:35 UK Time (Final)

Fastest times since 2019

Ranking since 2019Time Team
103:18.9United States
203:21.9Poland
303:22.3Texas A&M
403:22.4Jamaica
503:23.0Great Britain & NI
603:24.0United States U20
703:24.5USC
803:25.0UCLA
903:25.9Canada
1003:25.9Arkansas

British interest

Great Britain have sent a good team to Tokyo. Laviai Nielsen ran 50.83 in 2019. Jodie Williams, Nicole Yeargin and Ama Pipi have run 50.94, 50.96 and 51.08 respectively this year. Hannah Williams, 51.60, provides some able support.

Teams

  • Australia – Ellie Beer, Angeline Blackburn, Kendra Hubbard, Bendere Oboya, Anneliese Rubie-Renshaw
  • Bahamas – Doneisha Anderson, Lacarthea Cooper, Shaunae Miller-Uibo, Megan Moss, Anthonique Strachan
  • Belarus – Yuliya Bliznets, Aliaksandra Khilmanovich, Asteria Limai, Anna Mikhaylova, Kristina Mulyarchik
  • Belgium – Cynthia Bolingo, Paulien Couckuyt, Camille Laus, Hanne Maudens, Naomi van den Broeck, Imke Vervaet
  • Canada – Alicia Brown, Kyra Constantine, Lauren Gale, Natassha McDonald, Madeline Price
  • Cuba – Rose Mary Almanza, Sahily Diago Mesa, Roxana Gomez, Zurian Hechavarria, Lisneidy Veitia
  • France – Amandine Brossier, Floria Guei, Diana Iscaye, Sokhna Lacoste, Brigitte Ntiamoah, Sounkamba Sylla
  • Great Britain & NI – Laviai Nielsen, Ama Pipi, Jodie Williams, Hannah Williams, Nicole Yeargin
  • Italy – Rebecca Borga, Maria Benedicta Chigbolu, Ayomide Folorunso, Raphaela Boaheng Lukudo, Petra Nardelli, Anna Polinari
  • Jamaica – Tovea Jenkins, Roneisha McGregor, Candice McLeod, Stephenie Ann McPherson, Stacey Ann Williams
  • Netherlands – Andrea Bouma, Lisanne De Witte, Lieke Klaver, Hanneke Oosterwegel, Anne van de Wiel.
  • Poland – Iga Baumgart-Witan, Kinga Gacka, Malgorzata Holub-Kowalik, Natalia Kaczmarek, Anna Kielbasinska, Justyna Swiety-Ersetic
  • Switzerland – Annina Fahr, Yasmin Giger, Sarah King, Silke Lemmens, Rachel Pellaud, Lea Sprunger
  • Ukraine – Anastasiya Bryzhina, Yana Kachur, Tetyana Melnyk, Natalya Pyrozhenko-Chornomaz
  • USA – Kendall Ellis, Allyson Felix, Quanera Hayes, Wadeline Jonatas, Kaylin Whitney

The favourites

Team USA are the events favourites even though they didn’t compete in the World Relays earlier this year. Four of the five have run under 50 seconds and the fifth Kaylin Whitney has run 50.29. Depending on how she does in the individual 400m Allyson Felix could be targeting a seventh or possibly eighth Olympic gold. Only two in track and field, Paavo Nurmi and Carl Lewis (9 each), have won more than her six golds. Allyson Felix (49.26), Wadeline Jonatas (49.60), Quenera Hayes (49.78) and Kendall Ellis make up the likely quartet.

I expect Jamaica to be the team that pushes them hardest. Roneisha McGregor (50.02), Candice McLeod (49.91), Stephenie Ann McPherson (49.61) and Stacey Ann Williams (50.14) could genuinely make it a battle.

Cuba won the World Relays earlier this year but their 3.28.41 clocking will not be enough in Tokyo. They have Rose Mary Almanza, the in form 800m star, Roxana Gomez (50.76), Lisneidy Veitia (51.65) and Zurian Hechavarria (52.43).

Poland were second that day and boast some decent strength in depth. Iga Baumgart-Witan (51.02), Kinga Gacka (52.53), Malgorzata Holub-Kowalik (51.13), Natalia Kaczmarek (50.72), Anna Kielbasinska (51.51) and Justyna Swiety-Ersetic (50.41) will likely have them competing for bronze alongside Cuba and perhaps GB & NI.

A wildcard option is Bahamas but they will need to rely on a monster leg from Shaunae Miller-Uibo (48.37 best). With her 200/400 doubling this could be a step too far. The rest of the team haven’t run under 52 seconds.

A final prospect will be the Netherlands who could well snatch bronze. Femke Bol is in form (50.37) and she is aided by sub 51 runners Lisanne de Witte (50.77) and Lieke Klaver (50.98). They may be one runner short to contest the medals with none of the others having run under 53 seconds.

Our medal predictions

  1. USA
  2. Jamaica
  3. GB & NI

Records

WR: 3.15.17 Soviet Union (1988)

OR: 3.15.17 Soviet Union (1988 Seoul)

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Featured image “4 x 400m Preparation” by Lim CK is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tokyo preview – Men’s 4 x 400m Relay

The USA look set to be the team to beat in Tokyo but a wide open race will mean an almighty fight for the rest of the medals. Here’s our Tokyo 4 x 400m men’s relay preview.

Schedule

Friday 6 August 12:25 UK Time (Round 1) Saturday 7 August 13:50 UK Time (Final)

Fastest times since 2019

Ranking since 2019Time Team
102:56.7United States
202:57.9Jamaica
302:58.8Belgium
402:59.0Texas A&M
502:59.2North Carolina A&T
602:59.3United States U20
702:59.5Colombia
802:59.6Florida
903:00.1Houston
1003:00.1Iowa

British interest

GB & NI’s 4 x 400m is as follows (PBs in brackets):

Nicklas Baker (46.05), Joseph Brier (45.84) , Cameron Chalmers (45.64) Matthew Hudson-Smith (44.48), Michael Ohioze (46.30) , Lee Thompson (46.20)

This is not the quickest team GB & NI have ever sent but it will be interesting to see how close they can get to a medal.

Teams

  • Belgium – Kevin Borlée, Jonathan Borlée, Dylan Borlée, Alexander Doom, Jonathan Sacoor, Julien Watrin
  • Botswana – Isaac Makwala, Bayapo Ndori, Zibane Ngozi, Anthony Pasela, Leungo Scotch, Baboliki Thebe
  • Colombia – Raul Hernan Mena Pedroza, Diego Palomeque, Jhon Alejandro Perlaza, Carlos Romana, Jhon Alexander Solis, Anthony Jose Zambrano
  • Czech Republic – Michal Desensky, Matěj Krsek, Pavel Maslák, Vit Muller, Patrik Sorm, Jan Tesar
  • France – Mame-Ibra Anne, Gilles Biron, Thomas Jordier, Muhammad Kounta, Christopher Naliali, Ludovic Ouceni
  • Germany – Jean Paul Bredau, Torben Junker, Tobias Lange, Manuel Sanders, Marvin Schlegel
  • GB & NI – Nicklas Baker, Joseph Brier, Cameron Chalmers, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Michael Ohioze, Lee Thompson
  • Italy – Lorenzo Benati, Matteo Galvan, Giuseppe Leonardi, Davide Re, Edoardo Scotti
  • India – Amoj Jacob, Naganathan Pandi, Arokia Rajiv, Noah Nirmal Tom, Muhammed Anas Yahiya
  • Jamaica – Nathon Allen, Sean Bailey, Karayme Bartley, Demish Gaye, Christopher Taylor
  • Japan – Kosuke Ikeda, Rikuya Ito, Kaito Kawabata, Kentaro Sato, Aoto Suzuki, Julian Jrummi Walsh
  • Netherlands – Terrence Agard, Ramsey Angela, Liemarvin Bonevacia, Jochem Dobber, Nout Wardenburg
  • Poland – Kajetan Duszynski, Dariusz Kowaluk, Mateusz Rzezniczak, Wiktor Suwara, Karol Zalewski, Tymoteusz Zimny
  • Trinidad & Tobago – Machel Cedenio, Asa Guevara, Che Lara, Deon Lendore, Jereem Richards, Dwight St. Hillaire
  • USA – Michael Cherry, Michael Norman, Vernon Norwood, Randolph Ross, Trevor Stewart

The favourites

The USA possess nine of the twelve fastest 400m runners since the start of 2019 so it is no surprise that they will start red hot favourites for Olympic gold. They could likely send a B team and still challenge for gold. Michael Norman has run 43.45, Randolph Ross 43.85, Trevor Stewart 44.25 and Michael Cherry 44.35. They rank 1, 4, 8 and 12 over that period.

Their closest challengers look likely to be Trinidad and Tobago, the World Relay champs from 2019. Each of their four have world class bests and could lead to a genuine gold medal challenge. Their team looks likely to be Machel Cedenio who ran 44.01 for fourth in Rio, Dwight St. Hillaire who ran 44.55 in 2018 and 44.74 this year, Deon Londore who has ran slightly better this year in 44.73 and Jereem Richards who ran 45.21 in 2017 (he has not raced a 400m this year). Waiting in the wings maybe Asa Guevara (45.18 in 2018) and Che Lara who ran 46.43 this year.

Botswana deserve a mention. Isaac Makwala has run 44.47 this year. Leungo Scotch (45.00), Baboloki Thebe (45.08) and Zibane Ngozi (45.63), all ran their best times in 2019. If they had 800m star Nijel Amos (44.99) they may be even better but they are still a silver medal shout.

Jamaica posses a quartet all of whom boast impressive personal bests. Nathon Allen has run 44.13 in 2018, Demish Gaye 44.46 in 2019, Christopher Taylor 44.88 in 2018 and Sean Bailey 45.04.

Colombia may rely on their Doha silver medalist Anthony Jose Zambrano (44.15 best) but have a decent squad around him. John Alejandro Perlaza has dipped under 45 seconds (44.86 in 2018), Diego Palomeque ran 45.25 albeit back in 2016 and Carlos Romana 45.84 in Rio. Jhon Alexander Solis (46.15, 2020) makes up a competitive squad.

India have an exciting squad and could get in the mix. Amoj Jacob (45.68), Naganathan Pandi (46.09), Arokia Rajiv (45.47, 2019), Noah Nirmal Tom (45.75, 2019), Muhammed Anas Yahiya (45.21, 2019) provide a level of consistency which could see them aim for a medal.

The Belgium team isn’t quite the force of previous years with Jonathan Sacoor and Alexander Doom the only athletes to have run under 46.50 since the start of 2019. Jonathan Borlee ran 44.87 in August 2018, Kevin 45.07 in the same race and the youngest brother Dylan 45.55 that same summer.

Italy will perhaps provide Europe’s greatest challenge with a team featuring Davide Re (44.77, 2019), Matteo Galvan (45.12, 2016), Eduardo Scotti (45.21, 2020), Guiseppe Leonardi (46.19, 2017) and Lorenzo Benati (46.27, 2021).

Our medal predictions

  1. USA
  2. Trinidad & Tobago
  3. Botswana

Records

WR: 2.54.29 USA (1993)

OR: 2.55.39 USA (2008 Beijing)

Like our men’s 4 x 400m preview. For this and more see below.

Featured image “Public Domain: 4 x 400 Relay at the Summer Olympics by Ken Hackman, August 1984 (DOD DD-SC-85-09738)” by pingnews.com is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Tokyo previews – Women’s 4 x 100m Relay

Jamaica lead the charge by virtue of a quartet which includes the winners of the last three 100m Olympic titles. A whole host of countries will be hoping to seize on any mistakes in front and catapult themselves to Olympic glory. Here’s our women’s 4 x 100m relay preview.

Schedule

Thursday 5 August 02:00 UK Time (Round 1) Friday 6 August 14:30 UK Time (Final)

Fastest times since 2019

2019 – present ranking TimeTeam
141.44Jamaica
241.67Germany
341.85Great Britain & NI
442.1United States
542.18Switzerland
642.21USC
742.28Netherlands
842.29LSU
842.29Jamaican Select
1042.31China

British interest

GB & NI have a very strong quartet and may well mix up their team in the heats. Dina Asher-Smith, Beth Dobbin, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Daryll Neita, Ashleigh Nelson, Asha Philip make up the team.

Teams

  1. Brazil – Ana Carolina Azevedo, Ana Claudia Lemos, Lorraine Martins, Vitoria Cristina Rosa, Rosangela Santos
  2. China – Manqi Ge, Guiffen Huang, He Li, Yuting Li, Xiaojing Liang, Yongli Wei
  3. Denmark – Astrid Glenner-Frandsen, Mette Graversgaard, Ida Karstoft, Mathilde Kramer, Louise Ostergaard
  4. Ecuador – Yuliana Angulo, Marizol Landazuri, Gabriela Anahi Suarez, Angela Gabriela Tenorio, Virginia Elizabeth Villalba
  5. France – Wided Atatou, Eva Berger, Cynthia Leduc, Orlann Ombissa-Dzangue, Maroussia Pare, Carolle Zahi
  6. Germany – Alexandra Burghardt, Gina Luckenkemper, Lisa Mayer, Jennifer Montag, Lisa Nippgen, Tatjana Pinto
  7. Great Britain – Dina Asher-Smith, Beth Dobbin, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Daryll Neita, Ashleigh Nelson, Asha Philip
  8. Italy – Anna Bongiorni, Zaynab Dosso, Vitoria Fontana, Johanellis Herrera Abreu, Irene Siragusa
  9. Jamaica – Remona Burchell, Shericka Jackson, Natasha Morrison, Elaine Thompson-Herah, Briana Williams
  10. Japan – Hanae Aoyama, Aiko Iki, Yu Ishikawa, Mei Kodama, Ami Saito, Remi Tsuruta
  11. Netherlands – Jamile Samuel, Dafne Schippers, Naomi Sedney, Marije van Hunenstijn, Leonie van Vliet
  12. Nigeria – Rosemary Chukwima, Tima Godbless, Grace Nwokocha, Favour Ofili, Blessing Okagbare, Knowledge Omovoh
  13. Poland – Klaudia Adamek, Marlena Gola, Paulina Guzowska, Paulina Paluch, Marika Popowicz-Drapala, Ewa Soboda
  14. Switzerland – Alja Del Ponte, Riccarda Dietsche, Mujinga Kambundji, Salomé Kora, Cynthia Reinle
  15. Trinidad & Tobago – Michelle-Lee Ahye, Kelly-Ann Baptiste, Semoy Hackett, Kai Selvon, Khalifa St Fort, Alya Stanisclaus
  16. USA – Teahna Daniels, English Gardner, Aleia Hobbs, Javianne Oliver, Jenna Prandini

The favourites

Shelly Ann Fraser-Pryce (10.63) and Elaine Thompson-Herah (10.71) are included in the Jamaican team that will be a red hot favourite for gold. Between them they boast Bejiing, London and Rio gold in the individual 100m. Shericka Jackson (10.77) and Natasha Morrison (10.87) will likely finish the quartet and all four would likely make the individual final if nations weren’t capped at three representatives. Briana Williams (10.97) is world class back up. Should they get the baton round it is difficult to see the gold going anywhere else.

I would argue the British quartet is the next best. Dina Asher-Smith (10.83) needs no introduction and she is ably supported by three more world class athletes in Daryll Neita (11.04), Imani Lansiquot (11.09) and Asha Philip (11.10). Beth Dobbin (11.51) and Ashleigh Nelson (11.34) will be called upon if required.

Team USA are no doubt weakened by the absence of Sha’Carri Richardson (10.72) due to her Olympic trials results being expunged (she received a one month ban after testing positive for marijuana). That said they still have a capable team and may well go under the radar. Aleia Hobbs ran 10.90 in 2018, Jenna Prandini 10.96 the same year. Javianne Oliver has also run 10.96, Teahna Daniels 10.99 with English Gardner 11.02. Though none of them have reached this level in 2021 they will contest the medals and are a genuine silver medal shot.

Germany will launch another European challenge. Gina Luckenkemper ran 10.98 in 2018, Alexandra Burghardt 11.01 this year and they will be joined by Tatjana Pinto (11.09) and Lisa Mayer (11.12) in a very strong quartet.

Switzerland will be highly competitive. Mujinga Kambundji has broken 11 seconds (10.95) and she is supported by an in form Alja Del Ponte (11.07) Salomé Kora (11.12) and Riccarda Dietsche (11.41). They look likely to be in medal contention should others falter.

Nigeria will compete with their likely four all under 11.30 seconds. Blessing Okagbare (10.89), Grace Nwokocha (11.09), Rosemary Chukwuma (11.18) and Knowledge Omovoh (11.26).

China have a trio of top athletes in Yongli Wei (10.99), Manqi Ge (11.04) and Xiaojing Liang (11.13) but may come short just due to their final member. Guiffen Huang (11.44), Yuting Li (11.44) and He Li (11.54) make up the squad.

Our medal predictions

  1. Jamaica
  2. GB & NI
  3. USA

Records

WR: 40.82 USA (2012)

OR: 40.82 USA (2012 London)

Enjoy our women’s 4 x 100m preview? For all the other event check out the below.

Featured image “File:2019-09-01 ISTAF 2019 4 x 100 m relay race (Martin Rulsch) 06.jpg” by Martin Rulsch, Wikimedia Commons is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tokyo previews – Men’s 4 x 100m Relay

A team full of superstars or a well oiled engine? The men’s 4 x 100m isn’t quite as simple as it seems. While the USA possess by far the fastest individuals on paper experience tells us relays are about so much more. Here’s our men’s 4 x 100m preview.

Schedule

Thursday 5 August 03:30 UK Time (Round 1) Friday 6 August 14:50 UK Time (Final)

Fastest Times since 2019

2017- present ranking TimeTeam
137.1United States
237.36Great Britain & NI
337.43Japan
437.65South Africa
537.72Brazil
637.79China
737.88France
837.91Netherlands
837.91Canada
1037.97Florida

British interest

The British squad is as follows Jona Efoloko, Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, Reece Prescod, CJ Ujah. All have significant experience with World gold and silvers in 2017 and 2019 respectively. They have every chance of a medal and could sneak gold.

Embed from Getty Images

Teams

  1. Brazil – Felipe Bardi Dos Santos, Paulo Andre Camilo de Oliveira, Rodrigo do Nascimiento, Derick Silva, Jorge Vides
  2. Canada – Bolade Ajomale, Jerome Blake, Bismark Boateng, Andre de Grasse, Gavin Smellie
  3. China – Bingtian Su, Gaofei Sui, Xingquang Tang, Zhiqiang Wi, Zhenya Xie, Haibin Yan
  4. Denmark – Simon Hansen, Kristoffer Hari, Tazana Mikkel Kamanga-Dyrbak, Emil Kjaer, Kojo Musah, Frederik Schou-Neilsen
  5. France – Mouhamadou Fall, Amaury Golitin, Marvin Rene, Jimmy Vicaut, Meba Mickael Zeze, Ryan Zeze
  6. Germany – Denis Almas, Owen Ansah, Lucas Ansah-Peprah, Joshua Hartmann, Julian Reus, Marvin Schulte
  7. GB – as above
  8. Ghana – Sarfo Ansah, Benjamin Azamati-Kwaku, Joseph Oduro Manu, Sean Safo-Antwi, Emmanuel Yeboah
  9. Italy – Lamont Marcell-Jacobs, Davide Manenti, Lorenzo Patta, Hillary Wanderson Polanco Rico, Filippo Tortu
  10. Jamaica – Yohan Blake, Nigel Ellis, Jevaughn Minzie, Oblique Seville, Tyquendo Tracey, Hiroki Yanagita
  11. Japan – Bruno Dede, Yoshihide Kiryu, Yuki Koike, Shuhei Tada, Ryota Yamagata
  12. Netherlands – Solomon Bockarie, Christopher Garia, Churandy Martina, Hensley Paulina, Joris Van Gool
  13. South Africa – Gift Leotlela, Shaun Maswanganyi, Clarence Munyai, Galaletsang Ramorwa, Akani Simbine, Chederik Van Wyk
  14. Trinidad & Tobago – Adell Colthurst, Jonathan Farinha, Eric Harrison Jr, Richard Thompson
  15. Turkey – Emre Zafer Barnes, Jak Ali Harvey, Kayhan Ozer, Ertan Ozkan, Oguz Uyar
  16. USA – Ronnie Baker, Trayvon Bromell, Cravon Gillespie, Fred Kerley, Michal Williams
  17. Turkey

The favourites

The USA have the fastest team on paper with Cravon Gillespie the slowest member of their squad still having run 9.93. No other country has such depth but others do have a very strong chance.

Shuhei Tada is the slowest in the Japanese team but has run 10.01 and you can bet they will be well drilled. This is one event where Japan are hoping to have a home champion.

South Africa will be competitive. Akani Simbine and Gift Letlela have run 9.84 and 9.94 respectively. Shaun Maswanganyi 10.04 this year but they may be a bit short with a 10.22 their next best (Clarence Munyai & Chederick Van Wyk).

Brazil may not have had a single sub ten clocking in the last year but their whole team have run below 10.20. They could be in contention for a medal. Likewise China have a deep if unspectacular squad. Canada are in the same position and will hope to leave Andre De Grasse with a medal to chase.

Italy should also make the final and Trinidad and Tobago could be the neutrals favourite. Their squad is a deep one.

Our medal prediction

  1. USA
  2. Japan
  3. Great Britain & NI

Records

WR: 36.84 (Jamaica 2012)

OR: 36.84 (Jamaica 2012)

Enjoy our men’s 4 x 100m preview. For more like this just see below.

Featured image “File:Bolt se aposenta com medalha de ouro no 4 x 100 metros 1039075-19.08.2016 frz-0955.jpg” by Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Tokyo previews – Women’s Heptathlon

Nafissatou (Nafi) Thiam and Katerina Johnson-Thompson have won the last three major champs between them. Will anyone challenge the duopoly or will it be another duel in Tokyo? Here’s our women’s heptathlon preview.

Schedule

Wednesday 4 August (all UK Time) – 100m Hurdles – 01:35, High Jump – 02:35, Shot Put – 11:05, 200m – 12.30

Thursday 5 August – Long Jump – 01:40, Javelin – 04:30, 800m – 13:20

2021 Biggest Scores

2021 RankingsScoreAthleteCountry
16703Annie KunzUSA
26683Kendell WilliamsUSA
36667Erica BougardUSA
46651Xénia KrizsánHungary
56536Anouk VetterNetherlands
66437Yorgelis RodríguezCuba
76418Tyra GittensTrinidad & Tobago
86358Ninali ZhengChina
96352Michelle AtherleyUSA
106346Evelis Jazmin AguilarColombia
106346Ekaterina VoroninaUzbekhistan

British interest

Katarina Johnson-Thompson ruptured her achilles tendon at the end of 2020 and has been in a race to the Tokyo start line. She was eighth in the Gateshead long jump, well below her best jumping 6.10m (her PB is 6.92). If she wins Tokyo gold then it will be one of the greatest comebacks in British Olympic history.

The favourites

Nafi Thiam could only take silver in the Doha world champs behind Johnson-Thompson but has enjoyed an injury free 2021. She won European indoor gold in the pentathlon earlier this year in a personal best and has jumped, thrown and hurdled well this year. The Belgian is the third best of all time and the only one in the field to have broken the 7000 point barrier (7013). She is a strong favourite to retain her Rio crown.

Johnson-Thompson has shown that at their respective bests there is barely anything between the two. Her PB is just behind on 6981. If she can give herself a chance going into the 800m then we could be in for an exciting finale.

Annie Kunz and Kendell Williams of the USA will both be in contention. Their marks this year are truly world class. If Williams can improve her shot put she could give herself a chance. Kunz is consistent across the board. For both it would be a first global medal. Erica Bougard makes up a strong US team and was fourth in the Doha. She could upgrade that in an open field.

Yorgelis Rodríguez was eighth in Götzis, improved in the Cuban champs but has scored 6742 in the past. If she can get towards that level then she will be in medal contention.

Xénia Krizsán won in Götzis impressively and will go into Tokyo confident of being in medal contention.

Noor Vidts was runner-up to Nafi Thiam in the Euro Indoors Champs, though she hasn’t yet reached that form outdoors.

Anouk Vetter won bronze in the 2017 World Champs and was second in Götzis. Her championship experience at the top may stand her in good stead.

Our medal prediction

  1. Nafi Thiam
  2. Annie Kunz
  3. Xénia Krizsán

Records

WR: 7291 Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1988)

OR: 7291 Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1988 Seoul)

Enjoy our women’s heptathlon preview? Check out the rest below.

Featured image “479 nafi thiam 800m” by babbo1957 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Tokyo previews – Men’s Decathlon

Ten events is hard enough. Couple it with the humidity of Tokyo in summer and you can see why decathletes are some of the toughest in the business. With Ashton Eaton retired a new Olympic champion will be crowned and there will be a certain Frenchman hoping to ensure that he is that man. Here’s our men’s decathlon preview.

Schedule

Wednesday 4 August (all UK times ) – 100m – 01:00, Long Jump – 01:55, Shot Put – 03:40, High Jump – 10:30, 400m – 13:30

Thursday 5 August (all UK times) – 110m Hurdles – 01:00, Discus Throw – 01:50, Pole Vault – 04:45, Javelin – 11:15, 1500m – 13:40

2021 Biggest Scores

2021 RankingsScoreAthleteCountry
18995Damian WarnerCanada
28647Garrett ScantlingUSA
38534Pierce LePageCanada
48485Steven BastienUSA
58484Karel TilgaEstonia
78439Harrison WilliamsUSA
88430Thomas Van der PlaetsenBelgium
98333Paweł WiesiołekPoland
108331Vitaliy ZhukBelarus

British interest

There is none with British athletics having turned down an invite for Tim Duckworth who has not been fully fit in 2021.

The favourites

Kevin Mayer may not be on the world top ten list but that is likely because he hasn’t done a decathlon this year. The world record holder has been suprisingly starved of major honours having finished second in Rio and winning a sole world champs in 2017. Earlier this year he showed some form to win the Euro Indoors Heptathlon but which Mayer we see will largely be revealed in Tokyo. He jumped a 7.35m in Monaco recently which is somewhat below his 7.80m best and also threw 48.18m in the Discus in Montpellier (his pb is 52.38m). Besides that we do not know.

Damian Warner, by contrast has set his stall out. Whilst Mayer is the only in the field to have broken 9,000 the Canadian has come mighty close, achieving 8995 in Götzis earlier this year. The Olympic bronze medalist in Rio, he won bronze in Doha too and is probably a slight favourite for Tokyo.

If he is to do so, he will have to better Niklas Kaul and Marcel Uibo, the gold and silver respectively from Doha. Uibo seems to be operating somewhere near to his 8604 best from Doha. Kaul was only fifth in Götzis but is a 8691 performer at his best.

Garrett Scantling’s 8647 came in the US trials and he could well figure in Tokyo. He has a great Pole Vault, impressive shot put and is good at just about everything else. He could well be in contention.

Our medal predictions

  1. Damian Warner
  2. Kevin Mayer
  3. Marcel Uibo

Records

WR: 9126 Kevin Mayer (2018)

OR: 8893 Ashton Eaton (2016 Rio)

Enjoyed the men’s decathlon preview? See the rest of the events below.

Featured image “Damian Warner, décathlon, Canada” by khlav is marked with CC0 1.0

Tokyo previews – Women’s 400m Hurdles

Tokyo will feature three of the five fastest 400m hurdlers of all time. A fourth didn’t even manage to make the US team. That’s how stacked the Women’s 400m hurdles is. Here’s our Tokyo preview.

Schedule

Friday 30 July 02:55 UK Time (Round 1) Sun 1 August 13:05 UK Time (Semifinals) Tuesday 3 August 04:20 UK Time (Final)

2021 Fastest Times

2021 RankingsTime (s)AthleteCountry
151.9Sydney McLaughlinUSA
252.37Femke BolNetherlands
352.39Shamier LittleUSA
452.42Dalilah MuhammadUSA
552.96Anna RyzhykovaUkrain
653.68Janieve RussellJamaica
753.7Anna CockrellUSA
854.02Viktoriya TkachukUkraine
954.24Cara Nnenya HaileyUSA
1054.28Emma Zapletalová Slovakia

British interest

A full British team is in Tokyo. Meghan Beesley, Jessie Knight and Jessica Turner are there with Knight currently isolating due to coming into contact with a positive case.

Knight recently ran the twelth fastest time this year to finish fourth in Gateshead (54.69). Jessica Turner is fourteenth on the list with 54.77 with Meghan Beesley fourty-third in 55.80. Both Turner and Knight will be hurdling with a final slot in mind and Beesley will hope to get back to her 2015 best (54.52).

The favourites

Sydney McLaughlin is the favourite, having become the first women to run under 52 seconds in history. Her dominant win in Eugene will have her confident of a first global gold.

The last woman to beat her over the 400m hurdles is the Doha World and defending Olympic champion Dalilah Muhammad. She pushed McLaughlin all the way in Eugene and it is her world record that McLaughlin broke. Coming in second favourite may yet be a blessing.

Femke Bol is also undefeated this year and edged out Shamier Little in Stockholm. That made her the fourth fastest of all time, one place ahead of Little who did not make the US team. Bol is only twenty-one but also picked up the Euro Indoors title over 400m earlier this year.

Bol, Muhammad and McLaughlin are the clear front three and the Olympic record looks in real jeopardy (52.64).

Hoping to take advantage should they slip will be Anna Ryzhkyova of Ukraine who is the only other athlete to have run under 53 seconds this year.

Janieve Russell of Jamaica and Anna Cockrell, the third US team member are the only under 54.

Our medal predictions

  1. Sydney McLaughlin
  2. Dalilah Muhammad
  3. Femke Bol

Records

WR: 51.90 Sydney McLaughlin (2021)

OR: 52.64 Melanie Walker (2008 Beijing)

Liked our Women’s 400m hurdles preview? Check out the rest.

Featured image “400m hurdles” by Lim CK is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tokyo previews – Men’s 5000m

This could be the event of the games with so many athletes in contention for gold. A world record holder, two prodigies and a Spaniard on fire this could be an epic. Here’s our 5000m preview.

Schedule

Tuesday 3 August 12:00 UK Time (Round 1) Friday 6 August 13:00 UK Time (Final)

2021 Fastest Times

2021 RankingsTime AthleteCountry
112:48.5Jakob IngebrigtsenNorway
212:49.0Hagos GebrhiwetEthiopia
312:50.1Mohammed AhmedCanada
412:50.8Mohamed KatirSpain
512:51.9Justyn KnightCanada
612:53.3Getnet WaleEthiopia
712:54.2Nibret MelakEthiopia
812:54.7Joshua CheptegeiUganda
912:55.6Jacob KiplimoUganda
1012:55.9Daniel Simiu EbenyoKenya

British interest

Andrew Butchart and Marc Scott make up the British Contingent. Butchart was sixth in Rio but has been beset by controversy that almost kept him out of Tokyo (a British Athletics investigation into lying about the result of a PCR test earned him a suspended 12 month ban from athletics). He has shown his strength in recent weeks, running 7.35 in Gateshead over 3000m but is up against a hugely talented field. He should make the final.

Mark Scott has struggled with injury of late after an early season where he thrust himself into medal contention. A 13.05 in the Sound Running Invite in March was the third best by a Brit of all-time but he hasn’t raced since being first Brit in the European Cup. He could figure but it is a step into the dark.

The favourites

Jakob Ingebrigtsen announced himself as a potential favourite by winning in a world lead in Florence. Since then he has been ill and was third over 1500m in Monaco. He will still be well in contention but it remains to be seen just how much it has taken out of him. He is also doubling over 1500m but most of the favourites also have a second event. With Ingebrigtsen you can’t seem him going for anything but gold and it will either pay off or backfire.

My pick for the favourite is Jacob Kiplimo, the Ugandan World Half Marathon Champion. Like the Norwegian he will be only twenty at the time of the Olympics and managed to get the better of Ingebrigtsen over 3000m in Rome last year. It will be a battle of two terrific kicks. He ran 12.55.60 in his only outing this year over 5000m to win in Lucerne and time-trialed a 26.33.93 10,000m in Ostrava. How much the double will take out of him remains to be seen.

Joshua Cheptegei has raced sparingly this year and was a disappointing sixth in Florence. As the world record holder he led out the race and wilted over the final few laps. Such an experience may serve to his benefit in Tokyo. He has also run over 3000m this year where he went for the world record but ended up well short in 7.33.24. We will see just what shape he is in seven weeks after his last race.

Mohammed Katir has certainly got people talking with Spanish records over 1500m, 3000m and 5,000m in recent weeks. He dominated in Gateshead over both 3000m and 5000m and has only lost to the very best this season. He should be in contention for a medal in Tokyo but from previous showings you would suggest he may be outkicked for gold.

Mo Ahmed of Canada was fourth in Rio and earnt bronze in Doha in 2019. He has every chance of repeating a medal and is entered into both the 5000m and 10,000m. He has not raced since running 12.50.12 in June. Behind him that day was compatriot Justyn Knight who has progressed hugely in 2021. He will have to progress some more to nudge his way onto the podium in Tokyo.

Our medal predictions

  1. Jacob Kiplimo
  2. Joshua Cheptegei
  3. Jakob Ingebrigtsen

Records

WR: 12.35.36 Joshua Cheptegei (2020)

OR: 12.57.82 Kenenisa Bekele (2008 Bejiing)

Like the men’s 5000m preview, check out our other Tokyo previews.

Featured image “Catch me if you can” by Lim CK is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Tokyo previews – Men’s Shot Put

Fresh from his world record Ryan Crouser will aim to defend his Olympic title. He will be challenged by an elite level field right up there with the best in history with his greatest challenger his own US teammate. Here’s our men’s shot put preview for Tokyo.

Olympic Schedule

Tuesday 3 August 11:15 UK Time (Qualification) Thursday 5 August 03:05 UK Time (Final)

2021 Furthest Throws

2021 RankingsDistanceAthleteCountry
123.37Ryan CrouserUSA
222.72Joe KovacsUSA
322.34Darrell HillUSA
422.22Tomas WalshNew Zealand
522.17Michał HaratykPoland
621.94Filip MihaljevićCroatia
721.92Payton OtterdahlUSA
821.88Armin SinančevićSerbia
921.84Josh AwotundeUSA
1021.71Bob BertemesLuxembourg

British interest

Scott Lincoln is Britain’s sole representative for the event and has thrown 21.28m this year, a mark he managed in Brno. He was third in the European Team Championships and will have hopes of trying to reach the final. He sits third on the British all-time list.

The favourites

Ryan Crouser has won every contest he has been in this year and thrown over 23 metres on two occassions. Only three men in history ever have. The defending champ from Rio, he has perhaps pushed on so far in light of the pressure from his fellow countrymen.

In Joe Kovacs he has a formidable challenger. Kovacs won silver behind Crouser in Rio and is the reigning world champion, a feat he repeated from 2015. He sits fourth on the all time list with 22.91m. His only defeats this year come at the hands of Crouser. He will be pineing to reverse the order in Tokyo in what may be his last chance at Olympic gold (he is 32).

Third this year, Darrell Hill, failed to make the US team meaning Tomas Walsh, the 2017 World Champion, is next on the list. The New Zealander was third in Rio and also in Doha. His 22.90m from Doha is the sixth best of all-time. He has thrown consistently if not spectacularly this year but is bound to be competitive once more. He won the Florence Diamond League.

The last man to have thrown over 22 metres is Michał Haratyk of Poland, who was fifth in the London world champs in 2017. He has thrown over 22 metres in three separate years and will be hoping to peak for Tokyo. The Pole was fifth in the Florence Diamond League but on his day has a chance.

Filip Mihaljevic deserves mention by virtue of his World Indoor bronze in Portland in 2016. He was third in the European Indoors earlier this year and was fourth in Florence.

Tomáš Staněk won the Euro Indoors but has struggled outdoors this season. He also won World Indoor bronze, this time in Birmingham in 2018.

Our medal predictions

  1. Ryan Crouser
  2. Joe Kovacs
  3. Tomas Walsh

Records

WR: 23.37m Ryan Crouser (2021)

OR: 22.52m Ryan Crouser (2016 Rio)

Featured image “Men’s Shot Put victory ceremony” by David Jones is licensed under CC BY 2.0