British interest is at a minimum when it comes to finals on day four of the World Championships in Moscow, with Andrew Osagie an outside contender in the men’s 800m and Katarina Johnson-Thompson out to sneak a bronze in the heptathlon.
However, there are still five finals across the card, with the men’s 400m showdown between Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt the stand-out attraction.
Two-time world champion Robert Harting threw the longest in qualifying, but given that Piotr Malachowski, and Gerd Kanter also surpassed the qualifying mark with just one throw, expecting the German to complete the hat-trick is no gimme.
He is the favourite at 3/10, but preference is for Malachowski, who has thrown the world lead distance for 2013 and Poland have already secured one throwing gold with Pawel Fajdek’s success in the men’s hammer.
A few doubts over the favourites here, with pole vault queen Elena Isinbayeva hardly seen all season and Cuba’s Yarisley Silva needing all three attempts to clear the qualifying height of 5.55m.
Therefore, London Olympic champion Jenn Suhr may be the one to side with, especially as she has already broken Isinbayeva’s indoor record this year.
This is one of the toughest events to call at the World Championships with Olympic champ David Rudisha absent, especially as much will depend on how frantic the early pace is.
Duane Solomon is likely to try to lead gun to tape, but his fellow American Nick Symmonds has proved a shrewd judge of pace before and can pounce down the home straight.
A straight shoot-out between two Kenyans and two Ethiopians beckons, as Natalya Gorchakova is not good enough to maintain Russia’s stranglehold of the event.
Given that Ethiopia have never had a medallist in the event and favourite Milcah Chemos has finished third at the last two instalments, her Kenyan compatriot Lidya Chepkurui, who leads the Diamond League points, is fancied to edge it.
Men’s 400m – Kirani James @ 4/7
This is one of the most eagerly-awaited finals of the championships, with Kirani James and LaShawn Merritt going head-to-head.
James won it in Daegu two years ago and then took Olympic gold with Merritt injured. His slightly superior speed in the last 50m could be the difference, alongside being drawn a lane inside his main adversary, which will help in terms of judging pace.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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