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August 7, 2017

IAAF World Championships Day 4 Preview: Merritt and Simpson go for gold

Aries Merritt’s last championship race in the London Olympic Stadium was part of a dream season. He won the 2012 Olympic gold medal in the 110 meter hurdles and went on to break the world record later that season. Since then the dream turned into a nightmare; his kidney began to fail due to a genetic disorder and by 2015 he needed a transplant just to survive. Now he’s back at world-class level and a contender for gold this afternoon.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

We’re back to a single afternoon session, beginning at 1:30pm EDT and going until 5:00. There are four finals: the women’s hammer throw, women’s triple jump, men’s 110 meter hurdles, and women’s 1500 meters. The last two feature American contenders who could win, but if either did it would be considered an upset. So if you have limited time to watch today, make it that 4:30 to 5:00 window.

And how, exactly, can you watch?

HOW TO WATCH

Today’s action will be televised in the USA live on NBC Sports Network from 2:00 to 5:00pm EDT and in tape-delayed fashion on the Olympic Channel from 8:00pm to midnight.

Lie streams will be available to US viewers via NBC Sports Gold. There will be a track-centric all-event stream plus one each dedicated to each field event, along with a simulcast stream of the NBCSN television broadcast. A “track and field pass” is required ($70 per year) but is well worth the cost – and unlike other broadcasters’ online platforms, no cable subscription is necessary for access.

Online coverage in Canada will be via CBCsports.ca from 1:00pm EDT. There will be no CBC television coverage today.

The IAAF will also offer a live stream via YouTube and Facebook which will be available in a large number of nations which includes Canada but not the USA. The IAAF Radio service will be available globally and can be accessed through both the IAAF website and the IAAF mobile app.

Determined fans can bypass various geoblocking measures by installing a VPN. Exceptionally determined fans can view CBC broadcasts by temporarily relocating to a postindustrial hellscape such as Detroit, Buffalo, or Toledo.

We also highly recommend the live results & text commentary page at the IAAF website.

EVENT-BY-EVENT

Headline Event: Men’s 110m Hurdles final
4:30pm EDT
Medal favorites: Omar McLeod (Jamaica), Sergey Shubenkov (neutral), Aries Merritt (USA)
US qualifier: Merritt
Canadian qualifiers: none

Olympic champion McLeod is the strong favorite and Merritt is the sentimental underdog. This is the high hurdles, where there are ten chances for things to go wrong, so no lead is safe until the last hurdle is cleared.

1:30pm: Men’s 200 meters heats
Qualifying format: the first three in each of seven heats plus the next three fastest will qualify to tomorrow’s semifinals
US entries: Kyree King, Ameer Webb, Isiah Young
Canadian entries: Aaron Brown

Most of the top sprinters are either skipping this event (Bolt, Coleman) or injured (De Grasse, Lyles), but that opens the door for others. Wayde Van Niekerk is attempting to win the 200/400 double.

1:35pm: Men’s Triple Jump qualifying
Qualifying format: the top twelve from two flights qualify to the final, with 17.00 meters or better doing so automatically
US entries: Christian Taylor, Will Claye, Chris Benard, Donald Scott
Canadian entries: none

Taylor and Claye have faced off in some of the great triple jump battles of all time, so let’s hope all goes well and both make it to the final.

2:00pm: Women’s Hammer Throw final
Medal favorites: Anita Włodarczyk (Poland), Wenxiu Zhang (China), Zheng Wang (China)
US qualifier: DeAnna Price
Canadian qualifiers: none

The top 24 throws of the 2017 season all belong to Włodarczyk. She’s about a safe a bet for gold as there is in this meet.

2:30pm: Women’s 400 meter hurdles heats
Qualifying format: the first four in each of five heats plus the next four fastest will qualify to tomorrow’s semifinals
US entries: Delilah Muhammad, Cassandra Tate, Shamier Little, Kori Carter
Canadian entries: Sage Watson, Noelle Montcalm

Hopes run high for the USA based on the fact that this year’s national championship final was the deepest and fastest women’s 400 meter hurdle race in world history.

3:20pm: Men’s 400 meter hurdles semifinals
Qualifying format: the first two in each of three heats plus the next two fastest will qualify to Wednesday’s finals
US qualifiers: Kerron Clement, TJ Holmes, Eric Futch
Canadian qualifiers: none

Semifinals like this, where two-thirds of the field are eliminated, can be brutal. They certainly were for the USA yesterday where just one of four qualified out of the men’s 400 semis and none of three did in the 800 semis.

2:00pm: Women’s Triple Jump final
Medal favorites: Caterine Ibargüen (Colombia), Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela), Olga Rypakova (Kazakhstan)
US qualifiers: none
Canadian qualifiers: none

Ibargüen and Rojas have staged some great battles over the last few years and hopefully we’ll get another one.

3:55pm: Women’s 400 meters semifinals
Qualifying format: the first two in each of three heats plus the next two fastest will qualify to Wednesday’s finals
US qualifiers: Quanera Hayes, Allyson Felix, Phyllis Francis
Canadian qualifiers: none

Only four women have broken 50 seconds this year: the three Americans plus Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas.

4:50pm: Women’s 1500 meters final
Medal favorites: Sifan Hassan (Netherlands), Faith Kipyegon (Kenya), Genzebe Dibaba (Ethiopia)
US qualifier: Jenny Simpson
Canadian qualifiers: none

This looks like the most unpredictable race of the meet. World record holder Dibaba hasn’t run well this year and barely made the final. Two British runners qualified, Laura Muir and Laura Weightman, and if either is in contention then the stadium explode in cacophony.

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