Six Brits to watch at the 2015 World Athletics Championships
Athletics

Six Brits to watch at the 2015 World Athletics Championships

21 August 2015 / 11:34

Two years ago Great Britain took home six medals from the World Athletics Championships in Moscow, with three of them gold – two for Mo Farah and one for Christine Ohuruogu. Saturday sees the 2015 edition kick off as we return to Beijing and the Bird’s Nest, the scene of the 2008 Olympic Games. That time Team GB left with four athletics medals, and ahead of another Chinese adventure we look at a number of those in action this time around who will have their sights on the podium once again.


Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill insists she will have her son Reggie in her thoughts as she bids to get her hands back on the heptathlon world title.

Ennis-Hill has competed sparingly since winning Olympic gold in 2012, taking time out after the birth of her first child.

However, she returned to London's Olympic Stadium to compete in three events at the Anniversary Games in July and starts her World Championships heptathlon campaign in the 100m hurdles at 02:00 BST on Saturday.

The 29-year-old won the world crown in 2009 before settling for silver two years later and then pulling out due to injury altogether in 2013.

And as Ennis-Hill bids to get back to the very top once again, she has a secret weapon, saying: "I want to make it really worthwhile and make him proud as well.”

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Katarina Johnson-Thompson

In Ennis-Hill’s absence at the last World Championships, Katarina Johnson-Thompson stepped up to the challenge of filling her sizeable shoes – going on to finish fifth.

And since then she has gone from strength to strength, winning gold at the 2014 Hypo-Meeting in Gotzis with a world leading personal best score of 6682.

She was forced to sit out the Commonwealth Games with a foot injury but bounced back earlier this year to set new British high-jump and indoor long-jump records, and will now relish the chance to compete alongside Ennis-Hill on the world stage.

Dina Asher-Smith

Dina Asher-Smith

Dina Asher-Smith has been ripping up the record books of late, first breaking the national 100m record and then becoming the first British woman to break the 11-second barrier.

Asher-Smith has also clocked the fastest time for the 200m by a Briton since Kathy Cook in 1984. Her time in June of 22.30 seconds was just 0.2 off Cook’s record so she could surpass that mark in China.

Having opted to forego the 100m to focus on the 200m in Beijing, there is the usual modesty in terms of her expectations.

“Everyone thinks that because it’s a major championships anything can happen,” says Asher-Smith, who will also be running in the 4x100m. “The world rankings are only a bit of paper. It’s on the day that counts.

“I just want to do my best and whether that means making the semi-finals or the finals, I’ll be happy as long as I have performed to my potential. 

“It’s been a really good season and it’s exceeded my expectations. I just get the biggest smile on my face talking about it.”

Greg Rutherford

Greg Rutherford

Greg Rutherford arrives in Beijing as the reigning Olympic, European and Commonwealth long jump champion – seeking to complete the set with his maiden world title.

Two years ago an injury-ridden build-up saw him fail to escape qualifying in Moscow, while the 28-year-old also has some history with the Bird’s Nest too.

At the 2008 Games Rutherford qualified third for the final but could only go on to finish tenth and he will be hoping for more success this time around.

Christine Ohuruogu

Christine Ohuruogu

The last time Christine Ohuruogu competed at the Bird's Nest she won Olympic 400m gold in 2008.

Since then she has become world champion in Moscow in 2013 and will aim to defend her title back in Beijing.

However, that is easier said than done with her fastest time this season sitting at 50.82 seconds, a long way off her 49.41 personal best.

But she has a track record of bringing her best for the biggest meetings and she will be hoping to do the same again in China.

Mo Farah

Mo Farah

Mo Farah arrives in Beijing as the man to beat having won 5000m and 10000m gold at the last Olympic Games in London, the World Championships in Moscow and last year’s European Championships.

It would take a brave person to bet against Farah from doing the double again, although he will once again be pushed all the way by the Kenyans.

And last time he was in the Bird’s Nest he failed to reach the 5000m final, although surely he will change all that this time around.

© Sportsbeat 2015