Mon | May 22, 2017

Beijing Debate: Hejnová repeats, injuries hamper Spencer

Published:Sunday | August 23, 2015 | 8:00 AM

KC Graham: Are we going to see a repeat in the women's 400-metre hurdles like we had in the men's event where the howling favourite failed to advance from the preliminary round?

Andre Lowe: Bershawn Jackson's disaster is the first big shocker of the championships but some US officials said he wasn't healthy so who knows? Unlikely that we will see a repeat among the women though.

KC: By the way, who do you think is the favourite here as any of the big three, in Zuzana Hejnová, Kaliese Spencer and Shamier Little look like a possible winner here.

Andre: That's a tough question. Eight weeks ago I would have said Spencer without doubt but several things have happened since then. Hejnová is again looking like the champion she is, Little has shown she can run against the big girls and run fast and Spencer has had a few injury setbacks and that is key for me. I'd say that Hejnová is now the favourite because she looks fit and has the experience.

KC: I have a very sneaky feeling that Sara Slott Petersen from Denmark could be a big spoiler here as she looked extremely good in Paris when finishing second behind Hejnová.

Andre: It's the World Champs, there is almost always a spoiler and she looks like as good a bet as any to mess up the party for the favourites. I certainly think Spencer breaks her duck and wins her first ever medal at the World Championships here.

KC: Despite being unbeaten so far and being the world leader with 53.74 seconds I do not see Little winning here. I know she wouldn't mind taking the Oregon track with her around the world as she has been unbeaten there for the past two seasons, including her World Junior win last year. I definitely think this occasion though will be too big for her but she has youth in her favour and she looks a future World and Olympic champion.

Andre: Hejnová for the win. This Beijing track is bouncing, look for a fast time here, 53.1 or high 52 seconds with Spencer taking the silver and her first individual medal at a major global outdoor championships with a time of 53.5. She would have won here had she not suffered those two setbacks over the past month and a half. Third to Little but she'll be back for more in the years to come.

KC: The hurdles are about rhythm so the more you compete in this event it helps you and I am a bit concerned that Spencer has not competed in a while and she has a few flaws in the latter part of the race. Hejnová is the only sub-53 seconds athlete among the top athletes here and with her great finish she will win in around 52.96. It is going to be a bang up finish for the silver and bronze among Spencer, Little and Petersen.