The ten must-see events at Bejing 2008 Olympics – The Sydney Morning Herald

August 14th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

1 Men’s 100 metres (final Saturday)

World record-holder Usain Bolt (Jamaica), immediate past world record-holder Asafa Powell (Jamaica) and world champion Tyson Gay (USA) battle out what should be a thrilling contest.

2 Women’s 100 metres hurdles (final Tuesday)
A race of centimetres. Australia’s Sally McLellan attempts to push the world’s best, headed by Lolo Jones and Damu Cherry (US), Jamaicans Delloreen Ennis- London and Brigitte Foster- Hylton, Sweden’s Susanna Kallur and Josephine Onyia of Spain.
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1 Men’s 100 metres (final Saturday)

World record-holder Usain Bolt (Jamaica), immediate past world record-holder Asafa Powell (Jamaica) and world champion Tyson Gay (USA) battle out what should be a thrilling contest.

2 Women’s 100 metres hurdles (final Tuesday)
A race of centimetres. Australia’s Sally McLellan attempts to push the world’s best, headed by Lolo Jones and Damu Cherry (US), Jamaicans Delloreen Ennis- London and Brigitte Foster- Hylton, Sweden’s Susanna Kallur and Josephine Onyia of Spain.

3 Men’s 5000 metres (final Saturday week)
Craig Mottram is fit, confident and ready to race, but will need to be to trouble world champion Bernard Lagat (US), world record-holder Kenenisa Bekele (Ethiopia), if he runs, Kenyans Eliud Kipchoge and Edwin Soi and Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi.

4 Women’s marathon (Sunday)
Starting in Tiananmen Square, finishing at the Bird’s Nest and going through hell in between. Defending champion Mizuki Noguchi of Japan is out but there is a potential fairytale winner in Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, plus the world champion Catherine Ndereba, home favourite Chunxiu Zhou, Japan’s Reiko Tosa and our own Benita Johnson and Lisa Jane Weightman.

5 Men’s 110 metres hurdles (final next Thursday)
Liu Xiang’s preparation has reportedly consumed a significant proportion of China’s Olympic sport budget and they have earned their money as he has battled a hamstring injury. Cuba’s Dayron Robles has taken Liu’s world record; Americans David Oliver, David Payne and Terrence Trammell threaten, too.

6 Women’s 800 metres (final Monday)
Kenyan world champion Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei looks the only threat to her younger countrywoman Pamela Jelimo especially after the Russian dope-testing shocks. Australians Tamsyn Lewis and Madeleine Pape will be aiming for a spot in the final.

7 Men’s pole vault (final next Friday)
Brad Walker (US), Yevgeniy Lukyanenko (Russia) and Steve Hooker are the three men to have jumped over six metres this year. The Russian has an edge over the other two head-to-head. Igor Pavlov (Russia), Romain Mesnil (France) or even our own Paul Burgess, a six-metre man returning from surgery on his leg last December, are medal chances.

8 Women’s pole vault (final Monday)
It would be a boilover comparable to one of Bolt, Powell or Gay not winning the 100 if Yelena Isinbayeva is beaten here. She has set two recent world records. America’s Jenn Stuczynski and Russian teammate (and former world record-holder) Svetlana Feofanova are next best. Alana Boyd is a chance for the final, but may need a personal best.

9 Men’s 400 metres (final next Thursday)
Looks a US head-to-head, with Olympic champion Jeremy Wariner facing a stern challenge from younger (22 v 24) teammate LaShawn Merritt, who beat him at the US trials. Joel Milburn and Sean Wroe need a PB to make the final.

10 Women’s 5000 metres (final next Friday)
A head-to-head between Ethiopian pair Tirunesh Dibaba and Meseret Defar. Dibaba has the 10,000 fi rst and may pull out, in which case, Kenyans Priscah Cherono, Sylvia Kibet and Lucy Wangui will look to run the sting out of Defar’s feared sprint finish.

AUSTRALIAN MEDAL CHANCES
Steve Hooker (pole vault); Men’s 4×400 metres relay (Joel Milburn, Sean Wroe, John Steffensen, Clinton Hill, Mark Ormrod, Dylan Grant); Sally McLellan (100 metres hurdles); Jane Saville (20-kilometre walk); Jared Tallent (20-kilometre walk)

POTENTIAL BOLTERS
Luke Adams (20-kilometre walk); Donna MacFarlane (3000 metres steeple); Scott Martin or Justin Anlezark (shot put); Jarrod Bannister (javelin); Sarah Jamieson (1500 metres); Benita Johnson (marathon)

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