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August 12, 2017

Worlds Day 9 Preview: Finales for Bolt and Farah

This is it. Today is the end of Mo Farah’s world championships track career, and it’s the end of Usain Bolt’s career, period. Farah runs the 5000 meters at 3:20pm EDT and, provided his relay team qualifies, Bolt anchors the 4×100 relay at 4:50pm.


Today has a two-session format, with the morning session beginning at 5:00am EDT and the main part of the afternoon session beginning at 2:05pm. The morning session is the decathlon and the relay semifinals, while the afternoon concludes the decathlon plus six more finals. If you have only limited time to watch, make it that 3:00 to 5:00pm window.

And how, exactly, can you watch?


Today’s morning will be televised in the USA live on NBC Sports Network from 5:00 to 7:00am EDT and in tape-delayed fashion on the Olympic Channel from 9:00am to noon. The afternoon session will be carried live on NBC from 3:00 to 5:00pm and in tape-delayed fashion on the Olympic Channel from 8:00 to 10:00pm

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 various television broadcasts. 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 4:10am and 11:50am EDT. Television coverage will be live on CBC from 3:00 to 5:00pm EDT with a replay at 7:00pm 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 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 5000 meters final
3:20pm EDT
Medal favorites: Mo Farah (Great Britain), Muktar Edris (Ethiopia), Paul Chelimo (USA)
US qualifiers: Chelimo, Ryan Hill
Canadian qualifiers: Mo Ahmed, Justyn Knight

This is Sir Mo Farah’s last track race at a World Championships. Can anyone beat him? And if so, who?

Headline Event: Men’s 4×100 Relay final
4:50pm EDT
Medal favorites: Jamaica, United States, Japan

Finalists will be determined in the morning’s heats. Jamaica has injury trouble but they have Usain Bolt, and that might be all they need. It will be the last race of his career.

All Day: Decathlon
110 hurdles at 5:00am, discus at 6:00am, pole vault at 8:00am, javelin at 12:30pm, 1500 meters at 3:45pm
Medal favorites: Kevin Mayer (France), Rico Freimuth (Germany), Damian Warner (Canada)
US entries: Trey Hardee, Zack Zeimek, Devon Williams
Canadian entry: Warner

The best way to follow the changing fortunes of a decathlon is to consult a forecasting service, such as this one. For example, a decathlete who is a good hurdler can have a bad race and still beat a poor-hurdling decathlete on a good day, but the first has left points on the table while the second has gained.

Warner is locked in battle with Germany’s Kai Kazmirek for bronze, and silver is not entirely out of the question. The Americans are fighting for a top-ten finish.

2:05pm: Women’s High Jump final
Medal favorites: Mariya Lasitskene (neutral), Kamila Lićwinko (Poland), Vashti Cunningham (USA)
US qualifiers: Cunningham, Inika McPherson

Lasitskene is one of the few Russians who were allowed to compete as neutral athletes and is a heavy favorite to win. Cunningham is a very real threat to win – she’s the best “junior” (U20) jumper since the Berlin Wall fell – and appears to be NBC’s anointed star for the next Olympiad.

3:05pm: Women’s 100 meter hurdles final
Medal favorites: Kendra Harrison (USA), Sally Pearson (Australia), Nia Ali (USA)
US qualifiers: Harrison, Ali, Christina Manning, Dawn Harper-Nelson

Harrison is the world record holder but has never won an international championship of any kind. In fact, this is just her second championship final (she finished last at the ’16 World Indoors) and almost didn’t make it here after walloping the first hurdle in her semi. She can’t be beaten if she puts it all together.

3:15pm: Men’s Javelin final
Medal favorites: Thomas Röhler (Germany), Johannes Vetter (Germany), Jakub Vadlejch (Czech Republic)
US qualifiers: none

The traditionally strong German team hasn’t done much at these championships but expect that to change here. Röhler and Vetter are #2 and #3 on the all-time world list. The javelin has become more diverse than it used to be: the finals feature not just Europeans but athletes from Kenya, Trinidad, Qatar, and India.

4:30pm: Women’s 4×100 Relay final
Medal favorites: United States, Jamaica, Trinidad
The USA hasn’t shown tremendous depth in the sprints this week, but no other single nation has either. Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson will be looking to make up for her norovirus-related poor outing in the 100. Expect the stadium to explode if the Brits are in contention for a medal, which they just might be able to be.

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