Dodgy favourites in 400m and Hammer
Easy as Montsho and Felix appeared to qualify in the semis, they represent little value in the win market and on this season's form both have a fair bit to find with Kapachinskaya, who I felt was sizing up Montsho when finishing just a whisper behind her in the semis.
Bob Adams isn't keen on the jollies in either the women's 400m final and men's hammer and has value alternatives in both events.
Discipline is the most important attribute that any athlete can possess, whether they are a runner, jumper or thrower. We have already seen in these World Championships a number of very experienced athletes producing false starts in the sprints. Usain Bolt being the most high profile example alongside Great Britain's Christine Ohuruogu, who crashed out of the heats of the 400m, and Dwain Chambers, who false started in the 100m semi-finals.
The IAAF start rules used to offer a second chance, but some athletes would take advantage and play mind games, leaving the blocks early on purpose to unnerve opponents, knowing that they would be disqualified if a subsequent false start occurred.
Starting is all about going on the B in BANG as the great Linford Christie once said and certainly there were some nifty starts in the semi-finals of the women's 400m. One of the best came from Alyson Felix ([2.38]) of the USA. Felix unwound the staggered start with considerable ease to qualify with the brake pedal on, thus underlining her form ahead of today's final.
Botswana's Amantle Montsho ([2.0]) was fairly slowly away by comparison, but her late thrust carried her to victory ahead of the Russian Anastasia Kapachinskaya ([9.4]).
In contrast Sanya Richards-Ross ([17.0]), the gold medallist in Berlin two years ago had to seriously knuckle down to qualify behind Francena McCorory ([18.0]) and she surely faces an uphill struggle to retain her title.
Easy as Montsho and Felix appeared to qualify in the semis, they represent little value in the win market and on this season's form both have a fair bit to find with Kapachinskaya, who I felt was sizing up Montsho when finishing just a whisper behind her in the semis. The 200m gold medallist from Paris in 2003 has since progressed to the one-lap sprint and after finishing 5th in Beijing Olympic final the 31-year-old has shown marked improvement to lead the IAAF rankings this year. Felix is the danger, but I'll take Kapachinskaya to take the gold.
Hungarian Krisztian Pars [2.66] is too short for the men's hammer final and I am happy to lay the 29-year-old strictly because he has not proven to be a man for the big occasion. Pars' last major gold was in the European U23 Championships as long ago as 2003. Being able to perform in the heat of a major final is essential and there are several athletes with a much better pedigree than Pars.
Russia's Aleksey Zagornyi, is the only man over 81m this year, but he's absent through injury, which leaves the Belarus athlete Pavel Kryvitski [4.1] with a 2011 PB of 80.67 as the leading thrower in the competition. The giant Nicola Vizzoni [8.2] of Italy is only a few centimetres behind Kryvitski and with the 2009 champion Primoz Kozmus [8.4] also in the mix, I believe that these three Behemoths will fight out the hammer final.
Pars, Vizzoni and Kryvitski led the qualifiers yesterday, but cometh the hour, cometh the man and although the Slovenian Kozmus has not been at his best this season, he is certainly a man for the big occasion with a string of top flight titles to his name including World Championships and Olympic gold medals and he can add to his medal tally today by throwing for gold.