2003 Paris World Championship Preview
Paris IAAF World Championships will feature strong favourites
in the hurdles events, especially in the 400m events
where defending champion Felix Sanchez and new world
record holder Yulia Perchonkina will pose stern tests
for their opponents.
fresh from capturing the Pan American title on home
soil in Dominica is unbeaten for over two years and
also has the only two sub 48 clocking of the year to
his name, 47.80 in Lausanne and last week 47.83 in Zurich.
Closest to him on time is Jamaica's Kemel Thompson with
his 48.05 victory in the London Grand Prix, whilst young
American Bershawn Jackson 48.23 and Periklis Iakovakis'
second Greek record of the year 48.25 will also be in
the hunt for the medals.
likely to feature for medals in a very open competition
discounting Sanchez include American Joey Woody who
has run under 48.50 in his last three races, South Africa's
Olympic bronze medallist Llewellyn Herbert along with
Britain's Chris Rawlinson who if he can recapture the
consistency of his performance in June and early July
will be right up there. Polish European u23 champion
Marek Plawgo had shown little up to his Bydgoszcz success,
whilst European Champion Stephane Diagana cannot be
discounted have run 48.68 in his last race and performing
in front of his home crowd.
would seem to be one of the outstanding favourites for
a title in Paris. After dominating the vent last year
53.10, she only returned to competition in July, but
by August had set first a year leading 53.52 in the
heats of the Russian Championships and followed this
up with a stunning new World record of 52.34 in the
final, making her over a second faster than her nearest
rivals in Paris.
challenging for medals will undoubtedly include Australian
Jana Pitman who has a 53.62 time to her name but she
will need to make sure that she is technically strong
coming home to fend off European Champion Ionela Tirlea
and American Zurich & Paris Golden League meets
winner Sandra Glover as well as Natasha Danvers who
will be in the frame is she can perform to level that
has brought down to 54.02 this season.
perennials Allen Johnson and Gail Devers will also start
favourites for the sprint hurdles events, though Johnson
has suffered a couple of reverses to Latvian Stanislav
Olijars who heads the European challenge and has a season's
best of 13.08. Johnson has by far the best time of the
year with his 12.97 victory in the Paris Golden League
and a repeat performance of this would prove hard to
American Duane Ross has also performed well on the European
circuit but will not be in Paris after failing to finish
in the US trials, whilst last years Chinese sensation
Liu Xiang has shown glimpses of the form that brought
him the Junior World Record in 2002. Young Briton Robert
Newton could reach the semi final if he can reproduce
the form that has taken him to fourth on the British
all time list with 13.36.
is looking for her 3rd outdoor World title and despite
not having the fastest time in the world in 2003 - this
belonging to Jamaican Brigitte Foster - she has won
the big races on the circuit. With European Champion
Glorie Alozie not consistently at her best, other medal
contenders look likely to come from the Americas, with
Dever's fellow American's Miesha McKelvy and Jenny Adams
and Canadian Perdita Felicien having strong seasons.
Rachel King will be looking to dip under 13 seconds
for the first time after running 13.07 twice this year.
18 August 2003