After Yelena Isinbayeva, Russia's Anna Chicherova aiming to upstage Usain Bolt

Updated: 16 August 2013 14:12 IST

Chicherova, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, will benefit from the absence through injury of Croatia's Blanka Vlasic, world champion in 2007 and 2009.

Moscow:

If Yelena Isinbayeva's appearance at the Luzhniki Stadium is anything to go by, Russian high jump star Anna Chicherova will likely outshine the men's 200m on day eight of the World Athletics Championships on Saturday.

Isinbayeva galvanised a world champs when she stormed to pole vault gold on Tuesday, garnering a rapturous welcome and then acclaim from a capacity crowd that was not afforded Jamaican Usain Bolt when he regained his 100m title.

Chicherova, the reigning Olympic champion and defending world champion, will benefit from the absence through injury of Croatia's Blanka Vlasic, world champion in 2007 and 2009.

But London Olympic silver medallist Brigetta Barrett of the United States will be there and the ebullient American has shown some fine form this season.

In their two meetings, Chicherova won in Paris but that result was reversed in Monaco, and Barrett will be going all out to become the United States' first world champion in this event.

Should Bolt safely negotiate his semi-final, then the Jamaican will be outright favourite to win a third successive title in the 200m.

Since powering to victory in Sunday's 100m final, regaining the title he lost when he was disqualified for a false start in Daegu two years ago, he has maintained a low profile, nursing a sore foot.

The 26-year-old, world record holder in both the 100 and 200m, appears to have little in the way of opposition in the 200m, his favoured event, and Jamaica will fancy their chances of a podium cleansweep on Saturday with Olympic bronze medallist Warren Weir and Nickel Ashmeade in the mix.

The men will race the marathon on the streets of Moscow, with Ethiopia seeking to overturn the stranglehold on this event by east African rivals Kenya.

Kenyans have won the past three world titles, but double defending champion Abel Kirui is out injured.

Their quintet of athletes is led by Bernard Koech, who ran a lifetime best of 2:04:53 to finish fifth in Dubai in January, and Peter Some, who claimed an impressive win in the Paris Marathon with 2:05:38.

Ethiopia have surprisingly only taken this title on one occasion, when Gezahegne Abera took gold in the 2001 worlds in Edmonton.

Tsegay Kebede is their most experienced man, having won bronzes at the 2008 Olympic Games and 2009 world championships, but their in-form athlete is Lelisa Desisa, who set a world-leading mark to win the Dubai Marathon in 2:04:45 before going on to win the Boston Marathon.

Back on the track, Ethiopia will be looking for more long-distance gold in the shape of Olympic champion Meseret Defar in the 5,000m, compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba having already won the 10,000m.

Defar has one gold (2007), a silver and two bronzes over the distance and will be favourite in the absence of defending champion Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya, who is expecting her first child.

Saturday's action also features the women's 100m hurdles, with defending champion Sally Pearson of Australia hoping to rekindle her form of last season.

A quartet of Americans led by Olympic champion Dawn Harper, up-and-coming Brianna Rollins, Queen Harrison and Nia Ali will also be in the mix.

Topics : Olympics 2012 Athletics
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