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For the second year in succession, Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk won the women’s IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, while Krisztian Pars beat last year’s winner Pawel Fajdek in the men’s contest.
Kenyan runners have dominated the men’s race of the BMW Frankfurt Marathon for more than a decade as the past 12 champions of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race have all come from Kenya.
As the scene of the past five men’s world records, it’s no surprise that once again some of the world’s best runners will be taking part in the BMW Berlin Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on 28 September.
Marathon world record-holder Wilson Kipsang will headline a stacked men’s field on 2 November at the TCS New York City Marathon, while two-time world champion Edna Kiplagat and fellow Kenyan Mary Keitany are in the women’s field of the IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
Christophe Lemaitre will defend his Continental Cup title in Marrakech after picking up two silver medals at the European Championships last month. The Frenchman lines up alongside James Dasaolu, the Briton who beat him in Zurich and ran a season’s best of 10.00 in Brussels last Friday.
Anita Wlodarczyk kept the women’s hammer throw title firmly in Europe’s hands after her dominating victory that kicked off the field event action on day two at Le Grand Stade in Marrakech.
It’s no surprise that the Americas will field the women to beat.
With no Justin Gatlin or Warren Weir, this will be seen as Alonso Edward’s race to lose, and the Panamanian has certainly had an impressive season, clocking a national 100m record and running two sub-20 200s. He also knows how to win, notching up seven victories out of 10 races.
Dafne Schippers lost her world lead to Allyson Felix’s 22.02 clocking at the IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels last Friday, finishing third behind her Europe team-mate in Marrakech, Myriam Soumare of France.
Five of the world’s seven fastest quarter-milers in 2014 are in the field. LaShawn Merritt is the quickest of those, with 43.92, and the 28-year-old US sprinter – the 2008 Olympic champion, two-time world champion and winner of the 2014 Diamond Race – will start as the man to beat.
The Americas will be targeting maximum points in this event via Francena McCorory and Novlene Williams-Mills, the two quickest in the field on this year’s performances.
Botswana’s Nijel Amos is the man to beat this season. The 20-year-old leads the world with his 1:42.45 clocking at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Monaco, and later confirmed his shape by winning the Commonwealth and African titles.
The Americas team boasts the top two women on this year’s world list with USA’s Ajee Wilson and Cuba’s Sahily Diago, but the race is still wide open as they will be up against world champion Eunice Sum and European champion Marina Arzamasova.
Two-time world champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya will be on a revenge mission, having lost out on the African 1500m title to Djibouti’s Ayanleh Souleiman in Marrakech’s Great Stadium last month.
The field features the two fastest women of the year: Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan, the European champion who clocked 3:57.00 to win in Paris, and Kenyan Hellen Obiri, who ran 3:57.05 in Eugene and later won the African title.
With three former victories to his name in this competition and still going strong at 39, Bernard Lagat will be a sentimental favourite to retain his 3000m title. But he’ll have to go through Kenyan Caleb Ndiku to get it.
Although she didn’t quite live up the lofty hype thrust upon her after producing a pair of sensational world indoor records earlier this year, Genzebe Dibaba has performed admirably over distances ranging from 1500m to 5000m and will be the woman to beat in the 3000m here.
Asia-Pacific representative Albert Rop is the fastest man in the field in 2014, thanks to a 13:06.44 clocking at the IAAF Diamond League event in Eugene in June, but the 22-year-old Kenyan-born Bahraini runner faces a host of threats in what promises to be an intriguing 13-and-a-half-lap battle.
The African team arrives with a strong 1-2 punch, led by Almaz Ayana of Ethiopia who will start as the favourite.
This event stars Diamond Race winner and African champion Jairus Birech. The 21-year-old Kenyan shot up to 10th on the world all-time list with his winning time of 7:58.41 at the recent IAAF Diamond League final in Brussels.