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August 10, 2017

Worlds Day 7 Preview: Makwala, Van Niekerk square off in 200m final

Tuesday’s drama centered around Botswana’s Isaac Makwala being forced out of the 400 meter final due to illness and yesterday’s drama was Makwala running a solo 200 meter heat to qualify into the semis and then qualifying from the semis to today’s final. He’ll face off against the 400 meter champion and world record holder, South African Wayde Van Niekerk, in what could be an all-time classic race.


Today is the last single-session day of competition, starting at 1:30pm EDT. It starts off with some distance heats and field event qualifying but wraps up with tough 200 meter semifinals and three championship finals, including the now-dramatic 200 meter final. So if you have limited time to watch today, make it that 4:00 to 5:00 window.

And how, exactly, can you 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 8:00 to midnight.

Lie streams will be available to US viewers via NBC Sports Gold. There will be a track 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 from 1:05pm 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.


Headline Event: Men’s 200 meter finals
4:52pm EDT
Medal favorites: Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa), Isaac Makwala (Botswana), Ramil Guliyev (Turkey)
US qualifiers: Isiah Young, Ameer Webb

L’affaire de Makwala has suddenly made this race even more meaningful than it might otherwise have been. Van Niekerk, who won the 400 meters with such ease but looked just plain tired in yesterday’s semis. Trinidad’s Jereem Richards, who finished third at the NCAA Championships for Alabama, looked like a possible winner in the semis. If he did win, it would be just the second time ever that a collegian won Worlds gold after not winning the NCAAs (Note: the two who beat him there, Christian Coleman and Christopher Belcher, made the US team in the 100 but did not enter the 200).

1:30pm: Women’s 5000 meters heats
Qualifying format: the first five in each of two heats plus the next five fastest will qualify to the final
US entries: Shannon Rowbury, Shelby Houlihan, Molly Huddle
Canadian entries: Andrea Seccafien, Jessica O’Connell

Just over half the field will be eliminated so everyone is going to have to be on the top of their game.

2:05pm: Men’s Javelin qualifying
Qualifying format: the top twelve from two flights qualify to the final, with 83.00 meters or better doing so automatically
US entry: Cy Hostetler

It would be success for Hostetler to merely make it to the final. Germany’s Johannes Vetter is a big favorite to win that final.

2:10pm: Women’s High Jump qualifying
Qualifying format: the top twelve from two flights qualify to the final, with 1.94 meters (6′ 4¼”) or better doing so automatically
US entries: Inika McPherson, Vashti Cunningham, Liz Patterson
Canadian entry: Alyx Treasure

Cunningham appears to be NBC’s new star they’re hoping will pan out for the 2020 Olympics. She is still a “junior” (U20) athlete and has jumped higher than any other junior since the Berlin Wall fell.

2:25pm: Women’s 800 meters heats
Qualifying format: the first three in each of six heats plus the next six fastest will qualify to the semifinals
US entries: Ajee Wilson, Brenda Martinez, Charlene Lipsey
Canadian entries: Melissa Bishop, Anne LeBlanc, Lindsey Butterworth

alf the field will be eliminated in this round. The U.S. trio and Bishop should not have trouble getting through. We’ll get an early indicator of just how much the 1,500 took out of Caster Semenya.

3:20pm: Men’s Triple Jump final
Medal favorites: Christian Taylor (USA), Will Claye (USA), Alexis Copello (Azerbaijan)
US qualifiers: Taylor, Claye, Chris Benard

Another Taylor-Claye battle is widely expected, and they have put on some of the greatest duels in triple jump history. If the weather is good–and in London that’s a very big if–Taylor just might have a shot at the world record.

3:25pm: Men’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: Matt Centrowitz, Robby Andrews, Johnny Gregorek

The no-rabbit style of running favors the three American entries so all should get through to the semis. Andrews just might give you a heart attack while doing it, as he always does.

4:05pm: Women’s 200 meters semifinals
Qualifying format: the first two in each of three heats plus the next two fastest will qualify to the semifinals
US qualifiers: Deajah Stevens, Kimberlyn Duncan
Canadian qualifier: Crystal Emmanuel

None of the sprint stars save Dafne Schippers, Marie-Josée Ta Lou, and Shaunae Miller-Uibo are in these semis, and Miller-Uibo either suffered injury or complete exhaustion in yesterday’s 400 meter final. So there is room for some upstarts to get to the final. Emmanuel is capable of it and would be the first Canadian finalist in this event since 1983.

4:33pm: Women’s 400 meter hurdles final
Medal favorites: Dalilah Muhammad (USA), Zuzana Hejnová (Czech Republic), Kori Carter (USA)
US qualifiers: Muhammad, Carter, Cassandra Tate
Canadian qualifiers: Sage Watson

When measured by season’s best time, Muhammad and Carter are much faster than the rest of the field, but championship finals in this event have a way of evening things out. An outsider with a real chance is Switzerland’s Léa Sprunger.

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