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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Vetter can get the better of German teammate Rohler

Levchenko to hit the heights

Johannes Vetter launches a javelin
1 of 1

Day seven
BBC2 and Eurosport 1, 6.30pm Thursday

Day seven sees the return to the track of the controversial Almaz Ayana and, after her astonishing victory in the 10,000m by a staggering 46 seconds, it is understandable why she is 1-4 for the 5,000m.

But Ayana is worth opposing for two main reasons. Firstly Saturday's race was her first since September. After a pedestrian start she ran brutal fractions and did not let up.

With no racing in her legs there is every reason to believe that will have some effect on her ability to reproduce a similar performance.

In the Rio Olympics, having made a similar mockery of the 10,000m she set about doing the same thing in the 5,000m and having coasted through the first kilometre she opened up a gap of 30m on the field. But unlike in the 10,000 she was unable to maintain her surge and the chasing pack reeled her in over the final two laps.

Vivian Cheruiyot, who won that race, is not entered in London but Hellen Obiri, who also caught Ayana to take silver, is competing.

She has stepped up a level this season to dominate at the distance – she is unbeaten at 3,000m and 5,000m and holds the world-leading times in both. Unlike the other market leaders, Obiri has focused purely on this event and can score an upset.

The other women's event that starts on Thursday is the high jump, in which Maria Lasitskene is deservedly long odds-on and it may be worth backing 19-year-old Ukrainian Yuliya Levchenko for a podium finish.

She is going to be a global superstar and such is her rapid progression that she has jumped a personal best just about every time she has competed this year, culminating with a 1.97m second behind Lasitskene at Monaco last month.

The men's javelin is in effect a head-to-head between Germans Thomas Rohler and Johannes Vetter. The pair have met ten times this season with Rohler coming out on top in six, so he is the right favourite but not a great price. Vetter has the longer throw this season and has won three of their last four meetings.

In the men's 1,500m, it is worth backing European champion Filip Ingebrigtsen for a medal. If they go like the clappers he may just get run out of it but in a slow race – which championship races usually are – he has an almighty kick.

Recommendations
H Obiri Women's 5,000m
1pt 4-1 Betway
Y Levchenko top-three finish Women's high jump 
1pt 6-4 Sky Bet
J Vetter Men's javelin
1pt 13-8 general
F Ingebrigtsen top-three finish Men's 1,500m 
1pt 8-1 Sky Bet

Levchenko has jumped a personal best just about every time she has competed this year
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