The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Top order shuffle likely in many events

London: Injuries and absenteeism have coincided to make the Paris World Athletics Championships starting August 23 a genuinely unpredictable competition.

The ninth edition will be staged in a city bidding to host the 2012 Olympics at the height of a heat wave which has gripped Europe for the past month.

Organisers expect a record entry list with around 200 countries competing at the last global track and field event before next yearís Athens Olympics.

Both the menís and womenís 100 m are examples of events likely to throw up new world champions. Maurice Greene, the three-time menís champion, who lost his world record to fellow-American Tim Montgomery last September, has been troubled by tendinitis in his right leg.

Greene still talks a good race and he is capable of winning in Paris, as he showed when clocking 9.94 seconds in California on June 1. But Montgomery has neither looked or sounded like a world champion, cutting short his European tour when he embarrassingly failed to reach the final of the 100 m at last Fridayís London GP.

The womenís race is also wide open. Ukrainian Zhanna Pintusevich Block, who beat Jones to the line in Edmonton two years ago, will attempt a 100-200 double in Paris although her season has been interrupted by injury. (Reuters)

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