ATHLETICS Worlds Preview IV: Repeat titles ahead for Lasitskene, Stefanidi, Rojas, Gong and Thiam?

History for DeAnna Price in the women's hammer throw in Eugene: two American Records!

With just a couple of exceptions, the results from the 2019 IAAF Track & Field Championships in Doha (QAT) will probably look a lot like those from 2017 in London. All but one of the 2017 champions are back for more and five of the nine – including for our purposes the heptathlon – are favored:

Women/High Jump: 27 & 30 September

Leading entries:
2.06 m Mariya Lasitskene (RUS: 6-9) ~ Defending champion
2.02 m Yuliya Levchenko (UKR: 6-7 1/2)
2.00 m Karyna Demidik (BLR: 6-6 3/4)
2.00 m Yaroslava Manuchikh (UKR: 6-6 3/4)
2.00 m Vashti Cunningham (USA: 6-6 3/4)

Lasitskene is the dominant force in this event and will be trying for a third straight world title … and should get it. The fight for silver and bronze will be tight; a first-time clearance at 2.00 m should earn a medal. Cunningham was the 2016 World Indoor Champion.

Women/Pole Vault: 27 & 29 September

Leading entries:
4.91 m Jenn Suhr (USA: 16-1 1/4)
4.91 mi Anzhelika Sidorova (RUS: 16-1 1/4i)
4.86 mi Katie Nageotte (USA: 15-11 1/4)
4.85 m Sandi Morris (USA: 15-11) ~ 2017 Worlds silver medalist
4.83 m Katerina Stefanidi (GRE: 15-10) ~ Defending champion

Stefanidi won the Olympic gold in 2016 and Worlds in 2017 and always seems to find a way to get to the top of the medal stand when it counts. She and Sidorova are the likely favorites; none of the three Americans have been especially sharp this summer. Canada’s Alysha Newman set a national record of 4.82 m (15-9 3/4) at the Diamond League Paris meet and figures as a possible medalist as well.

Women/Long Jump: 5-6 October

Leading entries:
7.16 m Malaika Mihambo (GER: 23-6)
7.05 m Ese Brume (NGR: 23-1 3/4)
7.00 m Brittney Reese (USA: 22-11 3/4) ~ Defending champion
6.93 mi Nastassia Mironchyk-Ivanova (BLR: 22-9)
6.92 m Florentina Iusco (ROU: 22-8 1/2)

Mihambo has been the world leader for most of the season and everyone else has been playing catch-up. Reese is going for her fifth world title and has jumped 7.00 m his year and 7.01 m wind-aided. Brume has the one 7.05 m at her Nationals, but has otherwise not been past 6.76 m (22-2 1/4) at sea level.

Women/Triple Jump: 3 & 5 October

Leading entries:
15.41 m Yulimar Rojas (VEN: 50-6 3/4) ~ Defending champion
14.93 m Shanieka Ricketts (JAM: 48-11 3/4)
14.89 m Caterine Ibarguen (COL: 48-10 1/4) ~ 2017 Worlds silver; 2016 Olympic Champ
14.77 m Liadagmis Povea (CUB: 48-5 1/2)
14.73 mi Ana Peleteiro (ESP: 48-4)

Rojas has been superb this season, moving to no. 2 all-time in September; she has five meets better than Ricketts’ second-place mark on the world list. Ibarguen won silver in 2017and is a very fine big-meet competitor. Also watch for American Keturah Orji, fourth in 2016 and with a competitive seasonal best of 14.72 m (48-3 1/2).

Women/Shot Put: 2-3 October

Leading entries:
20.31 m Lijiao Gong (CHN: 66-7 3/4) ~ Defending champion
19.68 m Chase Ealey (USA: 64-6 3/4)
19.55 m Danniel Thomas-Dodd (JAM: 64-1 3/4)
19.54 mi Christina Schwanitz (GER: 64-1 1/4)
19.47 m Maggie Ewen (USA: 63-10 1/2)

Gong won in 2017 and owns four Worlds medals; she’s a clear choice to win. She was defeated by Ealey early in the season, but has rebounded with eight straight wins since. Ealey has been second-best during the season, but will be challenged by Thomas-Dodd and Schwanitz, the 2015 World Champion. Ewen, who scored a lifetime best at the USA vs. Europe match is the wild card; another big PR could result in a medal.

Women/Discus: 2 & 4 October

Leading entries:
69.39 m Jaime Perez (CUB: 227-8)
69.20 m Denia Caballero (CUB: 227-0)
68.58 m Sandra Perkovic (CRO: 225-0)
67.15 m Valarie Allman (USA: 220-3)
66.64 m Claudine Vita (GER: 218-8)

Perkovic owns Olympic golds in 2012 and 2016 and world titles in 2013 and 2017. She hasn’t quite been able to get back to that level, but she’s a contender for sure. Perez showed she can be clutch when needed with a last-throw win at the Pan American Games, but Caballero was the 2015 World Champion and should not be counted out.

Women/Hammer: 27-28 September

Leading entries:
78.24 m DeAnna Price (USA: 256-8)
76.75 m Brooke Andersen (USA: 251-9)
76.46 m Gwen Berry (USA: 250-10)
76.36 m Zheng Wang (CHN: 250-6)
75.23 m Malwina Kopron (POL: 246-10)

The U.S. women have never won a medal in this event and enter with the three top marks on the season. Is the drought over? Price has thrown just once since the USATF Nationals, where she set an American Record of 78.24 m (256-8), but Berry won the Pan Am Games and after raising her fist during the awards ceremony, got a reprimand from the USOPC. Any medal for the American throwers would be historic.

Women/Javelin: 30 September-1 October

Leading entries:
67.98 m Huihui Lyu (CHN: 223-0) ~ 2017 Worlds bronze medalist
67.70 m Kelsey-Lee Barber (AUS: 222-1)
67.40 m Nikola Ogrodnikova (CZE: 221-1)
67.22 m Tatsiana Khaladovich (BLR: 220-6)
66.59 m Christin Hussong (GER: 218-5)

Lyu has won 12 of 13 meets this year and the last 12 in a row. She won the Diamond League Final and is the clear favorite. Barber has come on during the summer and appears poised for a medal.

Women/Heptathlon: 2-3 October

Leading entries:
6,819 Nafi Thiam (BEL) ~ Defending champion
6,813 Katarina Johnson-Thompson (GBR)
6,663 Erica Bougard (USA)
6,619 Xenia Kriszan (HUN)
6,610 Kendell Williams (USA)

Thiam is a great talent and has set lifetime bests this season in the 200 m, high jump and shot put. She won in 2017 with 7,013 and another 7,000-plus score is certainly within reach. Johnson-Thompson set her PR in winning at Gotzis, but Thiam will have to fall back for KJT to think about winning. Bougard has moved up steadily and is a real contender for a medal in her fourth World Championships start.

Prize money at the Worlds is $60,000-30,000-20,000-15,000-10,000-6,000-5,000-4,000 for individual events at $80,000-40,000-20,000-16,000-12,000-8,000-6,000-4,000 for the top eight places.

NBCSN has coverage from Doha starting at 9:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday; look for results here.