All eyes will be on Usain Bolt and Mo Farah as they look to crown their track careers with more gold medals at the World Championships in London.
Here, Press Association Sport looks at the talking points ahead of August’s Championships.
Mo Farah and Laura Muir will battle for victory on the track but there are few other gold medal hopes as strong as the duo. While the men and women’s relay teams will compete for the podium it will be a struggle to topple the Americans and Jamaicans. Katarina Johnson-Thompson is yet to fulfil her potential and defending long jump champion Greg Rutherford is battling an ankle injury which could still rule him out. Andrew Pozzi (110m hurdles), Chris O’Hare (1500m), Asha Philip (100m) and Sophie Hitchon (hammer) will all compete for medals but golds may be in short supply.
All eyes are on Bolt as the Jamaican sprint king calls time on his career. The 30-year-old has eight Olympic titles, down from nine after his 4x100m relay gold from 2008 was taken away following Nesta Carter’s positive drugs test. He will retire from the track in August and will be expected to sign off with two more golds to cap his glittering era. Forever the showman, Bolt will leave a void on the track and his legacy will stand the test of time. He will be expected to put on one final show.
Since his double Olympic win in 2012, Farah has been the poster boy of British athletics and he was knighted in the New Year’s honours list. His double double – following the defence of his 5,000m and 10,000m titles – means Farah has now won more world and Olympic titles than Ethiopian great Kenenisa Bekele. Farah, who finished eighth on his marathon debut in London in 2014, will be 37 at the time of the Tokyo Games. It means a return to the track is unlikely and Farah’s absence will leave a huge void.
The double European Indoor champion is expected to continue her form next month. She missed out on claiming Zola Budd’s 32-year-old record for the British mile at the Anniversary Games in July but runs in the 1500m and 5000m. She just missed out on the 1000m record in February after running two minutes and 31.93 seconds – just under a second away from Maria Mutola’s benchmark. But that run in Birmingham was a national record and she has also set new ones in in the 5000m (14:49.12 in Glasgow), the 1500m (4:02.39 in Belgrade) and the 3000m (8:26.41 in Karlsruhe) this year.
Johnson-Thompson finished sixth in the heptathlon at last year’s Olympics after being tipped for a medal as Ennis-Hill claimed silver, despite equalling the world heptathlon record in the high jump. The 24-year-old has changed coaches since, turning down the chance to link up with Ennis-HIll’s former coach Toni Minichiello, and moving to France. She has opted for Frenchman Jean-Yves Cochand, who is based in Montpellier. Two years ago she was 28th at the World Championships in Beijing and must improve to prove she can fill the gap left by Ennis-Hill’s retirement.