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41st edition of the 20km of Brussels 2020

The IAAF World Championships finally get going on Friday in Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium with no finals, but the women’s marathon will be held at 11:59 p.m. However, when the medals start getting distributed in the women’s events, don’t be surprised if you’re able to hum the Jamaican anthem – “Jamaica, Land We Love” – by the end of the championships.

Jamaican sprint power has ebbed on the men’s side, but not for the women; a look at the women’s track events:

Leading entries:
10.73 Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (JAM) ~ 2018-12 Olympic Champion
10.73 Elaine Thompson (JAM) ~ Defending champion; 2016 Olympic Champion
10.88 Dina Asher-Smith (GBR)
10.93 Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV) ~ 2017 Worlds silver medalist
10.94 Briana Williams (JAM)

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Fraser-Pryce and Thompson, who between them have won the last three Olympic titles, are the clear favorites, not only for their year-leading times at the Jamaica Nationals, but impressive running during the summer. That said, Asher-Smith is fully capable of breaking them up or even winning, and Ta Lou was the 100/200 m silver medalist in London two years ago. Williams, just 17, was cleared by a Jamaican doping panel on Wednesday with just a reprimand after testing positive; she insisted that the prohibited substances came from over-the-counter medications and had no intent to cheat.

Defending champ Tori Bowie of the U.S. has not healed fully from her injuries in 2018 and has run a modest 11.09 so far this year. American champ Teahna Daniels ran 10.99 at the NCAA West Regionals in May and 11.00 at the NCAA final, but no faster than 11.13 at sea level since.

Olympic champ Thompson and European champ Asher-Smith rate as favorites here, since Okagbare has been consistently inconsistent all season, She won at the Prefontaine Classic in 22.05, but nothing close since then. Annelus was fast at the NCAAs, winning her second title in a row, but hasn’t been seen since her third-place finish at the U.S. Nationals in 22.71.

Leading entries:
49.05 Shaunae Miller-Uibo (BAH) ~ 2016 Olympic Champion
49.17 Salwa Eid Naser (BRN) ~ 2017 Worlds silver medalist
49.78 Shericka Jackson (JAM)
50.20 Shakima Wimbley (USA)
50.38 Kendall Ellis (USA)

With the exception of Miller-Uibo, this has been a down year for the 400 m. The Bahamas star has only run the distance three times, winning in 49.05-49.54-49.59 with no one close. She’s an overwhelming favorite.

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Naser was thought to be a challenger, but her 49.17 at the Lausanne Diamond League meet is her only sub-50 of the year. Same for Jackson, whose sub-50 came at the Jamaican Nationals in June. That makes the minor medals up for grabs, but the Americans have not distinguished themselves either. Phyllis Francis of the U.S. came from nowhere to win in the final meters in London two years ago and she or someone else could surprise again … for second place.