World Championships Day 1 Preview

By Jesse Squire

August 4, 2017


The IAAF World Championships begin today in London’s Olympic Stadium, and all eyes will be on London native Mo Farah as he attempts to win his fifth straight major 10,000 meter final — the last time he will ever race that distance on the track.


As you can see, the schedule is all qualifying rounds and just a single final, the men’s 10,000 meters, but it’s going to be a good one. Track and field’s two biggest names in recent memory will be on the track today: Farah in the 10k and Usain Bolt in the 100 meter quarterfinals.

If you only have time to watch one event, make sure you’re ready for that 10k race at 4:20pm Eastern time. And how, exactly, can you watch?


Today’s action will be televised in the USA live on the Olympic Channel from 1:00 to 5:00pm EDT and in tape-delayed fashion on NBC Sports Network from 7:00 to 9:00pm.

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 discus, long jump, and pole vault, along with a simulcast stream of the Olympic Channel 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 and television coverage will be via CBC (live at 3:00pm EDT, replay at 8:00pm local time).

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 northern postindustrial hellscape such as Detroit, Buffalo, or Toledo.

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


Headline Event: Men’s 10,000 meters
4:20pm EDT
Medal favorites: Mo Farah (GBR), Geoffrey Kamworwor (KEN), Paul Tanui (KEN)
US entries: Hassan Mead, Shadrack Kipchirchir, Leonard Korir
Canadian entry: Mo Ahmed

Mo Farah’s standard approach is to spend the early miles paying little to no attention to the gamesmanship at the front of the race, then somehow gain control in the closing laps and outrun everyone at the bell. In championship events it’s only failed once in the last seven years, in the 10k at the 2011 Worlds. His formula isn’t terribly complicated, just difficult to do. Farah appears more vulnerable than in the past, but even so Kenyans Kamworwor and Tanui are among the only competitors who are given much chance of beating him. As for the Americans and the Canadian, anything in the top eight or so would be success.

2:00pm: Men’s 100 meters preliminary round
Qualifying format: The first three in each of four heats plus the next two fastest qualify to the quarterfinals
Canadian entry: Brendan Rodney

The fastest qualifiers get a bye out of this round; everyone here has a seasonal best of 10.14 or slower.

2:20pm: Men’s Discus Throw qualifying
Qualifying format: The top twelve qualify to the finals, 64.50 meters or better will do so automatically
US entries: Mason Finley, Rodney Brown, Andrew Evans
Canadian entries: none

The USA has qualified just one thrower to the finals of the last four World/Olympic men’s discus throw competitions (Mason Finley, last year), so merely qualifying is considered success.

2:30pm: Men’s Long Jump qualifying
Qualifying format: The top twelve qualify to the finals, 8.05 meters or better will do so automatically
US entries: Jarrion Lawson, Marquis Dendy, Jeff Henderson
Canadian entries: none

The USA should expect to get all three jumpers to the final but field event q-rounds can be tricky since athletes get only three attempts.

2:35pm: Women’s 1500 meters heats
Qualifying format: The first six in each of three heats plus the next six fastest will qualify to the semifinals
US entries: Kate Grace, Jenny Simpson, Sara Vaughn
Canadian entries: Nicole Sifuentes, Sheila Reid, Gabriela Stafford

Just 20 of the 44 entries will be eliminated in this round, but that still leaves room for an early exit if anyone is not up to the task.

2:45pm: Women’s Pole Vault qualifying
Qualifying format: The top twelve qualify to the finals, 4.60 meters or better will do so automatically
US entries: Sandi Morris, Jenn Suhr, Emily Grove
Canadian entries: Kelsie Ahbe, Alysha Newman, Anicka Newell

Even the best pole vaulters can have off days, so nothing is guaranteed in the qualifying round.

3:20pm: Men’s 100 meters quarterfinals
Qualifying format: The top three in each of six heats plus the next six fastest will qualify to the semifinals.
US entries: Justin Gatlin, Christian Coleman, Christopher Belcher
Canadian entries: Andre De Grasse, Gavin Smellie, Brendan Rodney

The IAAF is calling this round the “heats”. If you know much about the FA Cup, you might call this the “first round proper”. It’s where the faster qualifiers enter the competition—and yes, that includes Usain Bolt. Canada’s De Grasse, expected to give Bolt a real challenge, has made a late withdrawal due to injury.

Jesse Squire

I was second in the 1980 Olympic* long jump. (*Cub Scout Olympics, Pack 99, 9-10 age group.)