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World Championships Preview: Women's Throws

World Championships Preview: Women’s Throws

| On 01, Aug 2013

No one is beating Val Adams. (Photo courtesy TrackTownPhoto.)

Yesterday we kicked off our World Championships previews by taking a look at the decathlon and heptathlon. Today I’m previewing the women’s throwing events.

Shot Put

Qualifying: August 11 (Sunday), 2:45am ET
Final: August 12 (Monday), 12:25pm ET
2011 World champion: Valerie Adams (New Zealand)
2012 Olympic champion: Adams
2013 World leader: Adams
2013 Diamond Race leader: Adams

The Favorite: Valerie Adams hasn’t lost since 2010, when the notorious Nadezhda Ostapchuk beat her. The last time Adams lost to someone who is not facing a lifetime doping ban was in 2006. Adams is probably the strongest gold medal favorite in the entire meet.

The Americans: Michelle Carter broke the American record at the US championships and ranks second on the world list, but has been unable to beat any of the world’s top three so far this year. She may have to break the US record again or at least come close in order to medal. Tia Brooks just finished her senior year at Oklahoma and is capable of making the final. Alyssa Hasslen, also just finishing college at Arizona, threw her best of the year just to make the team.
US medal chances: Fair

The others: Germany’s Christina Schwanitz has lost to no one but Adams and is second on the world list. China’s Lijiao Gong is third on the world list and twice beat Carter. The other likely medal contender is Russian Evgeniia Kolodko, who has mostly avoided top competition.

Bottom line: The contest is for second.


Qualifying: August 10 (Saturday), 1:30am ET
Final: August 11 (Sunday), 12:15pm ET
2011 World champion: Li Yanfeng (China)
2012 Olympic champion: Sandra Perkovic (Croatia)
2013 World leader: Perkovic
2013 Diamond Race leader: Perkovic

The Favorite: Sandra Perkovic is so dominant this year that not only is she undefeated, but save one meet she’s led every round of every meet.

The Americans: Gia Lewis-Smallwood has competed very well on the international circuit, taking two seconds and a third in four Diamond League meets. She has an outside shot at a medal. The others, Whitney Ashley and Liz Podominick, face an uphill battle to make the final.
US medal chances: Fair

The others: Cuba’s Yarelis Barrios is the only woman who has been close to beating Perković and has lost to no one else besides some early-season competitions against teammate Yaimí Pérez. Germany’s duo of Nadine Müller and Julia Fischer have some long distances but haven’t competed well on the Diamond League circuit. A good long shot bet is Lithuania’s Zinaida Sendriutė.

Bottom line: Don’t be surprised if Team USA is in contention for a medal.


Qualifying: August 14 (Wednesday), 1:30am ET
Final: August 16 (Friday), 11:00am ET
2011 World champion: Tatyana Lysenko (Russia)
2012 Olympic champion: Lysenko
2013 World leader: Lysenko
2013 IAAF Hammer Challenge leader: Betty Heidler (Germany)

The Favorite: Tatyana Lysenko’s competitive record over the last few years means that if she’s healthy and throwing well then she’s the favorite. She was neither until last week, when she won the Russian Championships with a world-leading throw. Her main competition comes from Betty Heidler, the world record holder.

The Americans: Amanda Bingson broke the American record at the US Championships and ranks fifth on the world list, giving her an outside shot at a medal. Amber Campbell and Jeneva McCall are both international veterans but have just one World or Olympic finals appearance between them.
US medal chances: Poor

The Canadian: Sultana Frizell broke the Canadian record last year and isn’t quite up to that level this year, so making the final would be good for her.
Canadian medal chances: Virtually zero

The others: Besides Lysenko and Heidler, the medal contenders are Poland’s Anita Wlodarczyk and the Russian trio of Anna Bulgakova, Gulfiya Khanafeyeva, and Oksana Kondratyev–and maybe Bingson.

Bottom line: Given that they have four top-quality entries, this is one of the home team’s best chances for gold.


Qualifying: August 16 (Friday), 1:30am ET
Final: August 18 (Sunday), 8:00am ET
2011 World champion: Mariya Abakumova (Russia)
2012 Olympic champion: Barbora Špotáková (Czech Republic)
2013 World leader: Abakumova
2013 Diamond Race leader: Christina Oberföll (Germany)

The Favorites: Christina Oberföll has beaten Abakumova in all five of their head-to-head meetings this year, and just once to anyone else, so she’s a strong favorite. Still, the German has never won an Olympic, World or European gold medal and this could be closer than expected.

The American: Brittany Borman had to throw a near-PR just to get the necessary qualifying mark. At 24, she’s still young for a thrower and gaining necessary experience.
US medal chances: Virtually zero

The Canadian: Krista Woodward broke the Canadian record this year in Tokyo, but like Borman is unlikely to make the final.
Canadian medal chances: Virtually zero

The others: Olympic champion Špotáková has just barely returned to training after becoming a mother and will not be competing. Germany’s Linda Stähl is responsible for Oberföll’s one loss and is the third medal favorite. Other contenders include China’s Huihui Lu, Ukrainian Vira Rebryk, and Australian Kimberly Mickle.

Bottom line: Oberföll looks to win her first major gold medal, but this event is tricky and unpredictable.

Tomorrow: the men’s throwing events

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