Thiam, Muir and three other athletes who can take World Championships by storm

Matt Majendie 22:31 02/08/2017
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Ahead of the World Championships which get underway on Friday, Matt Majendie looks at five names set to light up the track in London.

Which athlete are you looking forward to seeing the most?

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Laura Muir (1500/5000m)

Billed as a combination of marathon world record holder Paula Radcliffe and two-time Olympic champion Kelly Holmes, this could be the moment for the 23-year-old to finally shine on the global stage.

Doubling up in the 1500 and 5000 metres, the former is arguably her best bet although she faces stiff competition from the likes of Caster Semenya, Genzebe Dibaba and Sifan Hassan.

Laura Muir.

Laura Muir.

Nafi Thiam (Heptathlon)

The Belgian athlete was in a class of her own in the heptathlon at the Rio Olympic Games but still remains a relatively under-the-radar sporting figure.

There is conjecture that the 22-year-old will one day break Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s world record but, with 278 points between her best and that of the American, that might may not happen in London.

Nafissatou Thiam.

Nafissatou Thiam.

Emmanuel Korir (800m)

The 22-year- old has been billed as the “next David Rudisha” and, with Rudisha out injured, his countryman and fellow school alumni – the pair both went to Kimuron Secondary School in Iten – is the favourite to win gold.

Rudisha won his first world title at the same age in a time (1:43.91), a time that Korir has comfortably eclipsed this season.

Emmanuel Korir.

Emmanuel Korir.

Mariya Lasitskene (high jump)

The Russian knows that had it not been for the blanket ban for Russian athletes in Rio she would probably now be world champion, jumping higher in events in Russia than those at the Olympics.

This year, she boasts the 10 best jumps in the world this year – her highest mark of 2.06 metres and looks destined for gold as one of 19 Russians allowed to compete as a neutral.

Maria Lasitskene.

Maria Lasitskene.

Fred Kerley (400m)

In all probability, Wayde van Niekerk will add the 400m world title to his Olympic one from last summer but the South African is wary of the 22-year- old American in his first proper year in the senior ranks.

His best time this season is just eight-hundredths of a second behind that of van Niekerk and former Olympic champion Quincy Watts has predicted him to be one of the greats.

Fred Kerley.

Fred Kerley.

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