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Friday, August 10, 2007

Osaka 400m Predictions


Gold - Jeremy Wariner (USA). In Stockholm he removed any doubts. He is as close to a lock as there is in a running event.

Silver - LaShawn Merritt (USA). He has not been worse than second all year and has a winning record against all but Wariner.

Bronze - Here's where it gets dicey. Gary Kikaya (Congo) looked very good early, then bombed in Rome a month ago and hasn't raced since. If he's at his best, he could even get second. I'm going to play it safe, though, and go with Angelo Taylor (USA).

The two best in this event, Sanya Richards and Allyson Felix, will not be competing, thus making the choices slightly more complex.

Gold - Novlene Williams (Jamaica). Has a winning record against all who will run.

Silver - Amy Mbacke Thiam (Senegal). Probably the best of the rest.

Bronze - A tossup between Natasha Hastings (USA) and Mary Wineberg (USA). At their best, it's no contest -- Hastings is a much better runner. However, it's been a very long year for the NCAA indoor/outdoor champ, and Wineberg has been improving all summer, beating Hastings handily in Stockholm. But it was the first time all year and Hastings has several weeks to get it back together. I'm going with Hastings because she doesn't even have to be at her best, only just good enough.

I reserve the right to re-arrange these predictions in the unlikely but possible occurrence that DeeDee Trotter drops out of the Worlds and Sanya Richards competes.

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