ATHLETICS WORLD CUP PRESENTED BY MÜLLER: WHO WILL LIFT THE PLATINUM TROPHY?
The USA lead the way after a thrilling opening session of the inaugural Athletics World Cup presented by Müller, with the USA’s total of 109 points, 24 more than second-placed France. But with another 17 events scheduled for day two and a maximum of 136 points on offer, who will be lifting the Platinum Trophy on Sunday evening?
In this ground-breaking new event, points are awarded respective of an athletes’ finishing position (eight points for the winner, seven for second place through to one point for eighth).
Set to kick off the second and final session of the event, the opening discipline of Sunday’s session will represent a great chance for the USA to extend their lead with world champion Sam Kendricks competing in the men’s pole vault (18:45).
Poland’s Piotr Lisek claimed silver behind Kendricks at last year’s World Championships and is likely to be the US athlete’s closest challenger, while 2013 world champion Raphael Holzdeppe (Germany) is also capable of a strong showing.
Currently third in the points table with 77 points after being spurred on byAnita Wlodarczyk’s stunning world lead in the hammer, the men’s hammer (19:00) also presents the opportunity for those in white and red to rack up further points, with Wojciech Nowicki aiming to follow his compatriot’s example and improve on his world lead distance of 81.85m set two weeks ago.
When it comes to home interest, Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Nick Miller will be hoping to give the crowd plenty to cheer for and add a Athletics World Cup title to his Commonwealth gold medal from earlier this year.
In the women’s triple jump (19:30), the USA’s Keturah Orji will start as the favourite, but is likely to face stern competition from Jamaica’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Shanieka Ricketts and France’s Jeanine Assani Issouf in particular.
China captain Lijiao Gong will be aiming to lead by example in the women’s shot put (19:40), an event she won gold in at last year’s World Championships. USA’s Maggie Ewen and Poland’s Paulina Guba both arrive at the London Stadium in good form, having set personal bests this year.
The first event on the track will be the men’s 400m (20:00). Jamaica’s Rusheen McDonald’s is the quickest runner over 400m in Jamaican history, and, whilst he has not been able to reproduce that form in 2018, he will certainly be one of the ones-to-watch.
The USA’s Paul Dedewo is certainly in form having set a new lifetime best last month, while South Africa’s Derrick Mokaleng has also ran his quickest ever 400m this year, with the experienced Rabah Yousif, himself a world and European medallist, going for Great Britain & Northern Ireland.
The women’s discus (20:05) looks set to be very competitive with less than 60cm separating the personal bests of China’s Xinyue Su, Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Jade Lally, the USA’s Valeria Allman and Germany’s Claudine Vita.
The USA’s Kenny Selmon will take to the start line of the men’s 400m Hurdles (20:18) full of confidence after setting a new personal best and claiming the USA national title this year. As will Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Dai Greene who won his first British title in five years earlier this month after a long injury lay-off.
In the women’s 200m (20:27), Jamaica’s Olympic bronze medallist Shericka Jackson set a new personal best en-route to claiming Commonwealth silver in April.
The Jamaican will start as the athlete to beat, but the USA’s Jenna Prandini is also likely to be in the mix, while Beth Dobbin gets quicker and quicker every time she races and will make her senior international debut for Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
USA captain Queen Harrison is relishing the captaincy responsibility and will be hoping to secure a win and eight points for her team in the women’s 100m Hurdles (20:37). Germany’s Nadine Hilderbrand, China’s Wu Shuijiao and Jamaica’s Jeanine Williams will provide strong competition amongst the rest of the field.
The women’s high jump looks (20:42) set to be one of the events to watch on Sunday with a thrilling head-to-head battle between the USA’s Vashti Cunningham and Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Morgan Lake in prospect.
Cunningham was victorious at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham earlier this year, while Commonwealth silver medallist Morgan Lake jumped a new personal best of 1.97m to claim the British title two weeks ago, a height which is two centimetres short of Cunningham’s lifetime best.
World champion in the men’s long jump Luvo Manyonga of South Africa will be hoping it will be a successful return to the London Stadium, 12 months after he won world gold in London. The raised runway in front of the back straight stand will allow spectators a unique perspective of the men’s long jump competition (20:44).
The men’s 1500m gets underway at 20:48 and is a close race to call with Poland’s world indoor silver medallist Marcin Lewandowski one of the favourites to take the victory and all eight points. Germany’s Timo Benitz and France’s Simon Denissel will also be two athletes to watch.
The next event on the track will be the women’s 800m (21:08) and, with only a few events left of the Athletics World Cup, any points an athlete collects could be crucial to the final standings.
Raevyn Rogers will be hoping the USA can maintain their lead at the top of the points table and she will take to the women’s 800m start line full of confidence having set a new personal best to claim the US title last month.
The US athlete certainly won’t have it all her on way with Jamaica’s Simoya Campbell, Germany’s Christina Hering and Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Adelle Tracey all capable of securing the victory.
The final field event will be the men’s javelin (21:15) and, with not much separating the personal or season bests of Julian Weber and Marcin Krukowski, it could prove to be a battle between Germany and Poland.
In the men’s 100m (21:20), the USA’s Kendal Williams is one of only 16 men to have run under 10 seconds in the world this season, while South Africa’s Simon Magakwe, Jamaica’s Tyquendo Tracey and Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s Ojie Edoburun have all shown they can run quick.
The women’s 4x100m relay (21:30) and men’s 4x400m relay (21:42) will represent the last opportunity for the teams to add points to their tally and the nation who lifts the Platinum Trophy could be decided by the relay results.
Full start lists and results can be found by clicking here.
For UK viewers, coverage of the final session is available to watch from 7pm on Sunday on Sky Sports Action, while it will also be available to all Sky customers on Sky Sports Mix, channel 121. The action will also be shown on Sky Sports Main Event from 8pm.