A potent six-pack

Ahead of the World Athletics Championships, Ayan Acharya takes a look at six promising athletes.

Abderrahman Samba (Qatar) The Qatari trumped the 400m hurdles with a 48.44 seconds dash on his debut apperance at this year’s IAAF Diamond League in Doha. Earlier this year, the 22-year-old romped to victory in the Sasol-NWU International athletics meet held in South Africa. With momentum on his side, Samba could prove to be one of the dark horses in this year’s World Championships. Photo: Getty Images
Sydney McLaughlin (USA) The 17-year-old American hurdler set a 54.03 personal best, a world junior record, in the 400m hurdles at the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group Championships in June this year. McLaughlin has flexed her muscles in the 200m and 400m flats, too, both not exactly her strong suites. Suffice to say, she is a talent to watch out for. Photo: Getty Images
Andre De Grasse (Canada) The 22-year-old sprinting sensation has been touted as one of the potential successors to the Jamaican legend Usain Bolt. De Grasse’s 9.69 seconds in the 100m event at the Diamond League would’ve been a personal best and a Canadian record but for an illegal wind reading. But a bronze in the 100m and a silver in the 200m event at last year’s Rio Olympics reaffirm his contention for silverware at this year’s World Championship. Photo: Getty Images
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Britain) Johnson-Thompson, a heptathlon specialist, scored a personal best of 6,691 points at Gotzis Hypo-Meeting in Austria although she missed a podium finish at the event. A stellar performance in the high jump and long jump at this year’s Muller Anniversary Games makes the 24-year-old a top contender as she continues to pursue her maiden major international medal. Photo: Getty Images
Clayton Murphy (USA) The middle-distance runner set personal bests in the semi-final and final of the Rio Olympics, where he got the bronze medal in the men’s 800m event. Riding on his experience, Murphy could prove to be a major contender for the top honours in the world’s popular medium distance races. Photo: Getty Images
Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia) The 25-year-old long-distance runner hogged the limelight at the Rio Olympics when she broke the world record in 10,000m by more than 14 seconds. Ayana, who’s the reigning 5000m champion, will look to leave her mark at this year’s World Championship. Photo: Getty Images