London Olympics heroes are best British medal hopes at World Athletics
Decorated track and field quartet Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu and Greg Rutherford lead the British medal charge at the 2015 IAAF World Athletics Championships in Beijing from August 22nd to 30th.
These household names, established as such following their miraculous exploits on home soil at the London Olympics in 2012, have all taken very different paths over the last three years.
Long jumper Rutherford followed up with Commonwealth Games Gold in Glasgow last year, yet a World Championships medal eludes him. Coral make him 4/1 to take the top prize in the men’s event.
Rutherford is thus second-favourite to complete his Gold medal collection behind the USA’s Jeff Henderson, who has had wind-aided jumps in excess of 8m 50cm. Impressive as such leaps are, the Briton has won three Diamond League events this term with a legal season’s best of 8m 35cm.
Women’s 400m expert Ohuruogu is the reigning world champion round one lap of the track, but will need to continue her lucky habit of reaching peak form at major events to stand any chance of getting another medal. There’s a strong American and Caribbean contingent in the sprints as ever.
Already a long-distance running legend, Farah, meanwhile, looks likely to once again double up and race over both 5k and 10k. His season has been marred by the controversy surrounding doping allegations made against coach Alberto Salazar, but he is not implicated personally and there’s no denying the pedigree of the Somali-born star.
The Ethiopian and Kenyan contingent will be out to stop Farah, who is aiming for a third consecutive 5000m World Championships Gold and to also defend the 10,000m title. He scooped his first major honours on Asian soil, with a Silver over 10k and the 5k title in Daegu four years ago, so East Asian climates clearly suit Farah.
Last, and by no means least, reigning Olympic and former world Heptathlon champion Ennis-Hill is to compete at the highest level for the first time since the birth of her son. She is 12/5 for a second World Championships Gold medal, but Canada’s Brianne Theisen-Eaton is the firm 13/8 favourite for the seven-discipline event.
Deciding on whether to battle for a medal in Beijing was left until the last minute, but Ennis-Hill’s performances in track and field events at the London Anniversary Games convinced her to go. Team GB understudy Katarina Johnson-Thompson has developed, so is also in with a chance of being on the podium at 9/4 to take top honours .
Away from the major names, watch our for Anguilla-born sprinter Zharnel Hughes (200m), 110m hurdler Tiffany Porter, ladies’ long jumper Shara Proctor (who recently set a new British record) and a host of middle-distance runners.