Today - saturday - in Helsinki: 8.15 p.m.: 10.000 m women with Sabrina Mockenhaupt (GER)
The pictures from Athens are still in good memory: Paula Radcliffe, the big favourite in the marathon, was sitting on the roadside crying. After the marathon shock, the English runner tried the 10,000 m race and failed again. After the darkest hours in Paula Radcliffe’s career a year ago she now wants to reach her biggest triumph at the World Championships in Helsinki. The 31-year-old Marathon world record holder (2:15:25 hours) will run the 10,000m on the first day at the World Championships.
“My goal is the marathon.”
There are different opinions about whether Paula Radcliffe’s double gives her a favour or if she just let go another chance to win a big gold medal. She never won at a summer World Championships or at the Olympics. But Paula doesn’t see the 10,000 m grim: “My goal is the marathon.” For the 10,000 m the Ethiopian runner Tirunesh Dibaba counts as a favourite, as well as her sister Ejegayehu and the third Ethiopian Werknesh Kidane. Furthermore the
World Cross Country champion, Edith Masai (Kenya) will run the race and for
Sabrina Mockenhaupt (Germany) it would be great to finish in the top ten.
In the marathon, which will be held on the very last day of the championships, Paula Radcliffe normally is a big favourite. But she has to watch the Kenyan titleholder Catherina Ndereba and the Japanese runners. Tirunesh Dibaba is another athlete who wants to double. Besides the 10,000 m she will also run the 5,000 m.
First time the 3000 m steeplechase for women
For the first time the 3000 m steeplechase will be held at the world championships, and with Dorcus Inzikuru (Uganda), who is with 9:15.04 minutes by far the fastest woman, there is already a big hope. At the 800 m race the Russians are going to be the favourites, particularly Tatyana Andrianova. The Russian Yuliya Chizhenko is the fastest of the season at
the 1500 m.
There are also some men who try the double: Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia) wants to win the double at 5,000 and the 10,000 m for the first time. With gold ambitions the Italian Olympic Champion Stefano Baldini will start at the marathon. He will meet defending champion Jaouad Gharib (Morocco), the Spaniard Julio Rey and Toshinari Takaoka (Japan).
While at the 3000 m steeplechase nobody should be able to beat Saif Saaeed Shaheen
(Qatar), there is no real favourite in the 800 m and the 1,500 m. Mbulaeni Mulaudzi
(South Africa), Wilfred Bungei (Kenya) and Olympic Champion Yuriy Borzakovskiy (Russia) are the favourites at the 800 m. At the 1500 m the favourites are Rashid Ramzi (Bahrain), Daniel Komen (Kenya) and maybe also Alan Webb (USA).