A preview of the women's events at the 2005 World Track and Field Championships, which begin Saturday in Helsinki:
Olympic champion: Yuliya Nesterenko (Belarus)
World champion: Torri Edwards (U.S.)
World-record holder: Florence Griffith Joyner 10.49
World leader: Chandra Sturrup (Bahamas) 10.84
Breakdown: World champion Torri Edwards was banned for two years after testing positive for the stimulant nikethamide last April. She was awarded the gold after winner Kelli White was also given a doping ban. World bronze medalist Chandra Sturrup has the fastest time this year (10.84). Her main competition should come from American Olympic silver medalist Lauryn Williams, U.S. champion Me'Lisa Barber, Veronica Campbell of Jamaica and
France's Christine Arron.
Olympic champion: Veronica Campbell (Jamaica)
World champion: Anastasiya Kapachinskaya (Russia)
World-record holder: Florence Griffith Joyner (U.S.) 21.34
World leader: Allyson Felix (U.S.) 22.13
Breakdown: Likely to be a straight battle between American teenager Allyson Felix and Olympic champion Veronica Campbell. Felix, who finished second to Campbell in Athens, ended the Jamaican's five-year unbeaten streak in London last month. America's Rachelle Smith and LaTasha Colander could also make the podium.
Olympic champion: Tonique Williams-Darling (Bahamas)
World champion: Ana Guevara (Mexico)
World-record holder: Marita Koch (East Germany) 47.60
World leader: Sanya Richards (U.S) 49.28
Breakdown: World champion Ana Guevara has been beaten by Olympic gold medalist Tonique Williams-Darling of the Bahamas and American
Sanya Richards in the Golden League this season. Richards heads a strong U.S. trio of DeeDee Trotter and Monique Henderson.
Olympic champion: Kelly Holmes (Britain)
World champion: Maria Mutola (Mozambique)
World-record holder: Jarmila Kratochvilova (Czechoslovakia) 1:53.28
World leader: Tatyana Andrianova (Russia) 1:56.07
Breakdown: Britain's Olympic champion Kelly Holmes has withdrawn from the championships with an Achilles injury. World champion Maria
Mutola finished fourth in the Olympic final and her only victory this season was in the Prefontaine Classic. Russia's Tatyana Andrianova has the fastest time this year, while compatriot Svetlana Cherkasova, Morocco's Olympic silver medalist Hasna Benhassi and Cuba's Zulia Calatayud have won at major meetings this year.
Olympic champion: Holmes
World champion: Tatyana Tomashova (Russia)
World-record holder: Qu Yunxia (China) 3:50.46
World leader: Yuliya Chizhenko (Russia) 3:58.68
Breakdown: Russian Yuliya Chizhenko has the fastest time this year. The only others to have gone under four minutes are Brunei's Maryam Yusuf Jamal and former world 5,000 meters champion Olga Yegorova, who has beaten Chizhenko this season. Olympic champion Tatyana Tomashova has been off the pace this season and is a questionable starter.
Olympic champion: Meseret Defar (Ethiopia)
World champion: Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia)
World-record holder: Elvan AbeyLegesse (Turkey) 14:24.68
World leader: Tirunesh Dibaba 14:32.42
Breakdown: This should be an all-Ethiopian battle between defending
champion Tirunesh Dibaba, who is fastest in the world this year, and Olympic winner Meseret Defar. Dibaba beat Defar in Rome last month.
Olympic champion: Xing Huina (China)
World champion: Berhane Adere (Ethiopia)
World-record holder: Wang Junxia (China) 29:31.78
World leader: Tirunesh Dibaba 30:15.67
Breakdown: A possible Ethiopian sweep as Tirunesh Dibaba ran a world leading 30:15.67 on her first attempt at the distance, while older sister Ejegayehu Dibaba and Werknesh Kidane have the next fastest times. Ethiopia's defending champion Berhane Adere and Briton Paula Radcliffe, who has the second fastest time in history, are also in the field.
Olympic champion: Mizuki Noguchi (Japan)
World champion: Catherine Ndereba (Kenya)
World-record holder: Paula Radcliffe (Britain) 2:15:25
World leader: Radcliffe 2:17:42
Breakdown: Olympic champion Mizuki Noguchi will not be in Helsinki
after opting to run in September's Berlin marathon so the two fastest women in history, world record holder Paula Radcliffe and Kenya's defending champion Catherine Ndereba, are favorites. One of Radcliffe's chief rivals on the track, former Olympic and world 10,000 meters champion Derartu Tulu, makes her
major championship debut over the distance.
Olympic champion: Joanna Hayes (U.S.)
World champion: Perdita Felicien (Canada)
World-record holder: Yordanka Donkova (Bulgaria) 12.21
World leader: Michelle Perry (U.S.) 12.43
Breakdown: U.S. champion Michelle Perry, who switched from heptathlon this season, has the fastest time of the year and beat Olympic
champion Joanna Hayes at the national trials. World champion Perdita Felicien may have run into form after losing to Hayes at the Paris Golden League meeting and finishing fifth in London. The Canadian won in Stockholm, while Hayes was seventh.
Olympic champion: Fania Halkia (Greece)
World champion: Jana Pittman (Australia)
World-record holder: Yuliya Pechonkina (Russia) 52.34
World leader: Pechonkina 53.01
Breakdown: Australia's world champion Jana Pittman is out of the
championships with a stress fracture in her back. World record holder Yuliya Pechonkina has the three fastest times this year. American's Lashinda Demus and Sandra Glover are likely to provide the main challenge to the Russian.
Olympic champions: Jamaica
World champions: France
World-record holders: East Germany 41.37
World leaders: U.S. 42.65
Breakdown: The United States are usually strong in the relays but were narrowly beaten by France in Paris in 2003 and messed up a baton change at last year's Olympics. Russia should also be medal contenders.
Olympic champions: U.S.
World champions: U.S.
World-record holders: Soviet Union 3:15.17
World leaders: U.S. 3:22.93
Breakdown: The U.S., Russia and Jamaica took the top three spots in
Paris and Athens and could well finish in the same order in Helsinki.
Olympic champion: Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia)
World champion: Svetlana Feofanova (Russia)
World-record holder: Isinbayeva 5.00
World leader: Isinbayeva 5.00
Breakdown: Olympic champion Yelena Isinbayeva will be hot favorite to add the world title after becoming the first woman to clear five meters in London last month. It was the Russian's eighth world record of the year and 17th in total. Her main competition is likely to come from Poland's Anna Rogowska, who set a national record of 4.80 in London to finish second to Isinbayeva. Russian world champion Svetlana Feofanova is injured and has not
competed this season.
Olympic champion: Yelena Slesarenko (Russia)
World champion: Hestrie Cloete (South Africa)
World-record holder: Stefka Kostadinova (Bulgaria) 2.09
World leader: Kajsa Bergqvist (Sweden) 2.01
Breakdown: In the absence of world champion Hestrie Cloete, who is not competing for personal reasons, world leader Kajsa Bergqvist should be favorite for the title having cleared two meters four times in competition this year. Olympic champion Yelena Slesarenko and American Chaunte Howard have also jumped that height.
Olympic champion: Tatyana Lebedeva (Russia)
World champion: Eunice Barber (France)
World-record holder: Galina Chistyakova (Soviet Union) 7.52
World leader: Irina Simagina (Russia) 7.04
Breakdown: Russian Irina Simagina is the only woman to jump more than seven meters this season with a legal best of 7.04, although compatriot Tatyana Kotova went out to a wind-assisted 7.20 in Madrid. World champion Eunice Barber, who won the 2003 title from Kotova with the final jump of the competition, is also entered in the event. Olympic champion Tatyana Lebedeva appears to be concentrating on the triple jump.
Olympic champion: Francoise Mbango (Cameroon)
World champion: Lebedeva
World-record holder: Inessa Kravets (Ukraine) 15.50
World leader: Lebedeva 15.11
Breakdown: World champion Tatyana Lebedeva is the only woman over 15 meters this year and won the events at the Paris, Rome and Oslo Golden League meetings. Jamaica's Trecia Smith has four of the top 10 best jumps this year while Russian Anna Pyatykh and Algerian Baya Rahouli could also feature on the podium.
Olympic champion: Yumeileidi Cumba (Cuba)
World champion: Svetlana Krivelyova (Russia)
World-record holder: Natalya Lisovskaya (Soviet Union) 22.63
World leader: Nadezhda Ostapchuk (Belarus) 21.09
Breakdown: Belarus' Nadezhda Ostapchuk has four of the five leading
efforts this year with a best of 21.09 meters. Russia's Svetlana Krivelyova is the other name in the top five with 20.24 although four of this year's Grand Prix meetings have been won by different athletes.
Olympic champion: Natalya Sadova (Russia)
World champion: Irina Yatchenko (Belarus)
World-record holder: Gabriele Reinsch (East Germany) 76.80
World leader: Vera Cechlova (Czech Republic) 66.81
Breakdown: Olympic champion Natalya Sadova has consistently thrown over 65 meters this year although the world leader is Czech Vera
Cechlova with 66.81. Sadova and German Franka Dietzsch are the only other two women to better 66 meters in 2005.
Olympic champion: Olga Kuzenkova (Russia)
World champion: Yipsi Moreno (Cuba)
World-record holder: Tatyana Lysenko (Russia) 77.06
World leader: Lysenko 77.06
Breakdown: Tatyana Lysenko must be favorite for the title after
smashing Romanian Mihaela Melinte's 1999 world record of 76.07 by almost a meter in Moscow last month. She has also thrown 75.95 twice this year. World champion Yipsi Moreno and Olympic champion Olga Kuzenkova and are well down on the Russian with season's bests of 73.88 and 73.59 respectively.
Olympic champion: Osleidys Menendez (Cuba)
World champion: Mirela Manjani (Greece)
World-record holder: Menendez 71.54.
World leader: Menendez 68.47
Breakdown: Appears to be a three-way battle between Olympic champion and world record holder Osleidys Menendez, Germany's Steffi
Nerius and Cuban Sonia Bisset. Menendez warmed up for the championships with a world leading 68.47 in Helsinki to beat the former best of 67.67 by compatriot Bisset.
Olympic champion: Carolina Kluft (Sweden)
World champion: Kluft
World-record holder: Jackie Joyner-Kersee (U.S.) 7,291
World leader: Barber 6,889
Breakdown: Sweden's Carolina Kluft has been unrivalled at this event
and its indoor equivalent, the pentathlon, at major competitions
since winning the European title in 2002. However, Kluft sprained her left ankle Friday during practice. Her trainer said the injury was minor, but it could give a boost to France's Eunice
Barber, runner-up to Kluft in Paris two years ago. Barber has the
leading score in the world this year. Britain's Olympic bronze
medalist Kelly Sotherton could also make the podium.