Although the latest showcase of the world’s athletic talent is only just coming to its end, there’s another platform for sport’s best and brightest to display their talents just around the corner.
The World Championships start in Russia in just over a week’s time, giving those who perhaps didn’t perform as they would have hoped to at London’s Anniversary Games their chance at redemption. On the other hand, those who did walk away as successful will have to defend their titles.
Track and Field is one of the most cyclical sports in the world, a sector where anyone can walk away as champion with just that one, expertly-timed jump, step or hop.
With that in mind, here are some of the most in-form athletes heading to Moscow’s August meet, based on their displays 12 months on from the 2012 Olympics.
Blessing Okagbare, Nigeria
One of the major threats to Jamaican women’s grip on sprinting matters, Blessing Okagbare blazed the field in London this weekend to set a new African record in the 100m of 10.79 seconds.
The 24-year-old has slowly enjoyed her rise through the sprinting hierarchy in recent years, but she had arguably her most prominent performance to date in the English capital and can be considered a true giant of the sport right now.
Having endured a torrid time at London 2012, the Nigerian swiftly rid herself of any demons, storming to success in a meet that involved Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce, Barbara Pierre and Kelly-Ann Baptiste among other fierce runners.
Mo Farah, Great Britain
One year ago, the Olympic Park played host to British jubilation of previously unknown quantities, a lot of which was down to the heroics of one Mo Farah.
One year on and the Oregon-based runner cantered to 3000-metre glory with a time of seven minutes, 36.85 seconds, with a gap of more than five seconds between him and his nearest rivals.
Farah is aware of just how good London has been to him of late, too, expressing his love for the Olympic Stadium on Twitter.
The Somali-born competitor now heads to Moscow looking to claim more long-distance success, and he can certainly do so based on the last two years he has had in the world of athletics.
Usain Bolt, Jamaica
Running a season’s best of 9.85 seconds, Usain Bolt returned to some of his fighting best in London this weekend, back at the scene of his almighty triumph in 2012.
Although his start out of the blocks was a little lethargic, Bolt now goes to the World Championships knowing that he’s in good enough shape to beat the field placed alongside him.
Given recent events in regards to blood doping, there’s an air of uncertainty around the world of sprinting, but the man at its very peak continues to cut an idol-like figure.
Somewhat of a surprise name for the Anniversary Games’ women’s Long Jump gold medal, Katarina Johnson-Thompson capitalised on the injury problems of Jessica Ennis-Hill to claim the top spot in this track and field event.
Regardless of how much she enjoyed the triumph, however, Johnson-Thompson is looking nowhere but upwards, having already tweeted her intentions for Moscow.
The crowd in the stadium were amazing, as always! I wish athletics crowds were like that all the time! Onto Moscow..... 😁— KJT (@JohnsonThompson) July 27, 2013
With that kind of work ethic, there’s no reason why the 20-year-old can’t claim yet more medals over her peers, showing the maturity—and talent—of one far beyond her years.
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