11 medals in Beijing?
Jamaica will win 11 medals at the upcoming World Athletics Championships. That's according to the latest prediction from the US magazine Track and Field News. The magazine foresees gold for Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Omar McLeod, Kaliese Spencer, and Jamaica's men in the 4x100 metre.
Despite his recent troubles, Bolt is tabbed as the winner of the 200m despite the fine form of Justin Gatlin, who set a world-leading time of 19.57 seconds at the US Championships. The American is expected to win the 100m over Jamaica's Asafa Powell and former world champion Tyson Gay.
Bolt is not listed as a medal winner in the 100m.
Fraser-Pryce is picked ahead of American Tori Bowie and Nigeria's Commonwealth champion Blessing Okagbare in the 100 metres. Perhaps in deference to her fine 2015 form, Spencer is on top of the 400 metre hurdles prediction.
McLeod's world-leading time of 12.97 seconds has given him gold-medal status in the 110 metre hurdles. Defending world champion David Oliver is slated for the silver after his win in the US Championships. Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, France's 2010 World Junior champion, has the inside track to third place.
Silver medals are predicted for Jamaica's teams in the ladies 4x100m and 4x400m, with bronze set for Fraser-Pryce and Nickel Ashmeade in their respective 200 metre events and Commonwealth champion Stephenie McPherson in the women's 400 metres.
The predictions make no mention of Jamaica's Jason Morgan, who has the longest discus throw of the season so far at 68.19 metres, or Elaine Thompson, who is the new Jamaican 200 metre champion.
Issued after national championship meets in the USA, Jamaica, The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago, the predictions were published on the magazine's website, www.trackandfieldnews.com. As is customary, Track and Field News upgrades its predictions on a regular basis as major championships approach.
One area certain to change concerns US star Allyson Felix. As national champion over 400 metres and 2014 Diamond League 200 winner, she is qualified for both the 200m and 400m in the World Championships. The magazine's June 30 predictions list her as the winner of both events but with a note acknowledging that she will only run one individual discipline. A 200-400 combination is well nigh impossible. The World Championship schedule places the 200 semi just 70 minutes before the 400 final on Day Six of the meet.