Anna Hall and Kevin Mayer are favourites to win combined events titles but Katarina Johnson-Thompson will be in the medals mix

Anna Hall has been in brilliant form this year and her path to heptathlon glory in Budapest is made easier by the absence of Nafi Thiam, but she will still have good opposition from Britain’s Katarina Johnson-Thompson among others.

The decathlon is similarly intriguing with Kevin Mayer of France taking on Canadians Damian Warner and Pierce LePage, while in the race walks we look forward to keenly contested battles in the 20km and new 35km events.


Championship record: Ashton Eaton USA 9045, 2015
History maker: Dan O’Brien USA/Tomas Dvorak CZE: Three golds
Defending champion: Kevin Mayer FRA 8816
Olympic champion: Damian Warner CAN 9018

Ones to watch

Pierce LePage CAN (8700)

The surprise silver medallist in Eugene last year scored just one point less in winning in Götzis earlier this summer, beating Damian Warner.

Damian Warner CAN (8619)

Won the Olympics by almost 300 points with the fourth best score in history and also won the world indoor title but this will be his seventh attempt at winning world outdoor gold. Second in Götzis.

Niklas Kaul (GER) 8484)

An unexpected world title winner at the age of 21 in Doha in 2019, the former world youth and junior champion failed to finish in Tokyo and was only sixth in Eugene but came back to win the European title in Munich.

Kevin Mayer FRA (8816 in 2022)

Though below his 9126 world record form in recent years, the 2017 champion regained his world title in Eugene and won his third European indoor title this winter.

Emerging force: Leo Neugebauer GER (8836)

The former world youth medallist was 10th in Eugene but stepped up with a world lead in the Texas Relays and then scored 358 more points in winning the NCAA title.

British Challenge

There were no Britons close to qualifying.

AW Prediction: 1 Mayer FRA 8850; 2 Warner CAN 8795; 3 LePage CAN 8765; 4 Neugebauer GER 8760; 5 Moloney AUS 8742; 6 Garland USA 8690; 7 Skotheim NOR 8668; 8 Williams USA 8634

Kevin Mayer (Getty)


Championship record: Jackie Joyner-Kersee USA 7128, 1987
History maker: Jessica Ennis-Hill GBR: Three golds
Defending champion: Nafissatou Thiam BEL 6947
Olympic champion: Nafissatou Thiam BEL 6791

Ones to watch

Anna Hall USA (6988) 

The Eugene bronze medallist moved to fifth all-time with her Götzis victory this year and has moved up another level in 2023 having set PBs at every event other than the javelin.

Carolin Schafer GER (6369)

The 2017 world runner-up is nowhere near her form of that year when she scored 6867 in Gotzis but is among the favourites due to the paucity of medal contenders compared to normal and was only seventh in the Olympics.

Anouk Vetter NED (6867 in 2022)

The Olympic and world silver medallist has been unconvincing in 2023 pulling out after the first day in Gotzis and no competition since May.

Noor Vidts BEL (6559 in 2022)

The world indoor champion was fifth in Eugene and fourth in Munich and Tokyo and will lead the Belgian challenge with multi global champion Thiam injured.

Xenia Kriszan HUN (6372 in 2022)

The 2021 European Indoor bronze medallist with have huge home support in her first heptathlon of 2023 and if she can get close to her 6651 PB set in Gotzis then could win a medal.

Emerging force: Saga Vanninen FIN (6391)

Won the world junior title in 2021 and 2022 and European under-20 and under-23 titles in 2021 and 2023. Getting better all the time and has set 18 PBs this year, including a good score for fourth in Götzis.

British Challenge

The 2019 champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson may be below her Doha form but her Götzis score from May (6556) puts her second in the world rankings and she has a good medal shot aided by the absence of Thiam and Sulak.

AW Prediction: 1 Hall USA 7005; 2  Johnson-Thompson GBR 6785; 3 Vidts BEL 6575; 4 Vanninen FIN 6395; 5 Kunz USA 6380; 6 Schafer GER 6356; 7 Kriszan HUN 6340; 8 Vetter NED 6324

Anna Hall (Getty)

Men’s 20km walk

Championship record: Jefferson Perez ECU 1:17:21, 2003
History maker: Jefferson Perez ECU: Three golds, one silver
Defending champion: Toshikazu Yamanishi JPN 1:19:07
Olympic champion: Massimo Stano ITA 1:21:05

Ones to watch

Zhang Jun (CHN) (1:17:38)

The Olympic eighth-placer walked a world lead in China but was only 12th in Rio Maior and fifth in La Coruna.

Koki Ikeda JPN (1:18:36)

The Japanese champion finished second in the Olympics and in Eugene but has not competed since winning his national title in February.

Massimo Stano ITA (1:20:07)

The Italian was a surprise winner to take Olympic gold in 2021 and in Eugene he focused on the 35km, which he won. May have a better chance in the longer event.

Toshikazu Yamanishi JPN (1:20:58) 

The Olympic bronze medallist goes for a hat-trick of titles but was a well beaten third in his only major competition of 2023 back in May.

Emerging force: David Hurtado ECU (1:18:45)

The former world junior runner-up was only 11th in Eugene, but shown good form in 2023.

British Challenge

No Britons have qualified.

AW Prediction: 1 Yamanishi JPN 1:18:43; 2 Ikeda JPN 1:19:02; 3 Stano ITA 1:19:20; 4 Bonfim BRA 1:19;32; 5 Hurtado ECU 1:19:45; 6 Zhang CHN 1:19:48; 7 Tingay AUS 1:19:50; 8 Martin ESP 1:20:01

Toshikazu Yamanishi (Getty)

Women’s 20km walk

Championship record: Olimpiada Ivanova RUS 1:25:41, 2005
History maker: Liu Hong CHN: Three golds, two silvers
Defending champion: Kimberly Garcia PER 1:26:58
Olympic champion: Antonella Palmisano ITA 1:29:12

Ones to watch

Maria Perez ESP (1:25:30)

The former European champion was fourth at the Olympics but disqualified in Eugene. She is the current world leader and Spanish champion.

Kimberly Garcia PER (1:26:40)

Won double gold in Eugene, having failed to finish in Tokyo. Set a national record this year in La Coruña.

Yang Jiayu (CHN) (1:26:41)

The 2017 world champion was disqualified at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and finished 12th in Tokyo but is in reasonable form this year.

Liu Hong (CHN) (1:27:35)

Now 36 and maybe not in the form that saw her win four world and one Olympic title  but was still third in Tokyo and fifth in Eugene and won the Chinese title this year.

Emerging force: Jemima Montag AUS (1:27:27)

Already a double Commonwealth champion at the age of 24, she has won all her walks in 2023 after finishing sixth in Tokyo and fourth in Eugene.

British Challenge

No Britons have qualified.

AW Prediction: 1 Garcia (PER) 1:25:56; 2 Yang Jiayu (CHN) 1:26:11; 3 Perez (ESP) 1:26:15

Jemima Montag (Mark Shearman)

Men’s 35km walk

Championship record: Massimo Stano ITA 2:23:14, 2022
History maker (at 50km): Robert Korzeniowski POL: Three golds, one bronze
Defending champion: Massimo Stano ITA 2:23:14
Olympic champion (50km): Dawid Tomala POL 3:50:08

Ones to watch

Massimo Stano ITA (2:23:14 in 2022) 

The Italian has not competed over 35km this year but he is the defending champion and has also set a 10,000m track PB.

Masatoro Kawano JPN (2:26:51)

Sixth in the Olympic 50km and second in Eugene, he looks in good shape judging by his recent results.

Perseus Karlstrom SWE (2:36:14)

The Swede was the bronze medallist in both walks in Eugene last summer but has only done 20km events in 2023, finishing second in Dudince and at the European Team Championships.

Emerging force: Xe Xianghong CHN (2:22:55)

Set a Chinese record in finishing fifth in Eugene and then a world lead and Asian record 2:22:55 in Huangshan in March.

British Challenge

No Britons have qualified.

AW Prediction: 1 Stano ITA 2:23:10; 2 Kawano JPN 2:23:25; 3 Karlstrom SWE 2:23:35; 4 Xianghong CHN 2:23:56; 5 Noda JPN 2:24:23;  6 Martin ESP 2:24:35; 7 Tomola POL 2:25:10; 8 Wang CHN 2:25:45

Massimo Stano (Getty)

Women’s 35km walk

Championship record: Kimberly Garcia PER 2:39:16, 2022
History maker: Kimberly Garcia PER: One gold
Defending champion: Kimberly Garcia PER) 2:39:16
Ones to watch

Kimberly Garcia PER (2:37:44)

The defending champion has only contested three longer walks thus far and won the latter two easily, taking the world title last year and set a then world record in Dudince this year.

Liu Hong CHN (2:38:42) 

Eight global medals at 20km and this year has moved up to 35km, finishing second in Dudince and then setting an Asian record at Wajima.

Qieyang Shijie CHN (2:41:59)

The 2012 Olympic 20km champion has won three world medals at the shorter event and gained a bronze at the longer event in Eugene and set a quick time in finishing second this year in Huangshan.

Katarzyna Zdzieblo POL (2:48:53)

Won three silvers in 2022 with a double at Eugene and then a European 20km runner-up spot.

Antigoni Drisboti GRE (2:41:58 in 2022)

Won a European double in Munich last year after finishing fourth in the longer event in Eugene but has focused on 20km this year, winning the European Team Championships.

Emerging force: Maria Perez ESP (2:37:15)

The Spaniard enjoyed a world record-breaking performance at the European Race Walking Team Championships in May.

British Challenge

Bethan Davies’ invitation from World Athletics was turned down.

AW Prediction: 1 Garcia PER 2:36:43; 2 Liu Hong CHN 2:37:06; 3 Drisboti GRE 2:38:12; 4 Quieyang CHN 2:38:45; 5 Okada JPN 2:39;12; 6 Bai CHN 2:39:36; 7 Zdzieblo POL 2:40:02; 8 Sonoda JPN 2:41:12

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