By Marie van der Donk, AIPS Young Reporter
The IAAF World Championships opening with a bang as all eyes were on Mo Farah’s fairy-tale night and the anticipation of Usain Bolt been opened. There is more to London 2017 than just two men though as athletes and fans gear up for first full day of the championships from ten in the morning to ten in the evening.
The showcase of course will be the 100 meters final for men: where one Usain Bolt will run his last individual race. The Jamaican will also be running in the men’s final 4×100 on August 12, but it is Saturday night’s 100 meters that has everyone talking. In his first race of these Championships, Bolt flew over the finish line of the 100m preliminaries within 10.07 seconds. Not exactly what he wanted, which means he will be looking to prove himself again in the final.
Bolt is of course not the only man sitting in the starting blocks. He will be racing among others against Jan Volko from Slovakia, which came over the finish line in 10.15 seconds, fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake and Julian Forte who got the only sub-10 result on the night at 9.99, and Justin Gatlin, who many see as his biggest competition for a golden goodbye.
It isn’t just Jamaica’s male sprinters that know how to run as favorite for the women’s 100m Elaine Thompson will meet her rival Dafne Schippers from the Netherlands at the starting line for the first time this Championships. Since their first 200 meters race at the Diamond league earlier in Doha, the first standards for this day has been set.
Longer than the sprint
After Mo Farah’s Friday night festivities, there will be more long-distance medals to award on Saturday evening as well. A in total 33 women will start at the 10.000 meters. Last year Almaz Ayana set sharp the world record with 29:17.45 minutes at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Now the world champion is looking to defend her title here in London. Another favourite is Dera Dida from Ethiopia, with a personal best of 30,56.48.
The last event of the evening will be the men’s final. The question is not if Bolt will win, but if he breaks the psychological and physical 10-seconds barrier, as he promised the world he would do yet again.