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Commonwealth Games 2010: Form guide - men's track athletics

Andy Turner
Hurdler Andy Turner is aiming for his second major title of 2010

The Commonwealth contains some of the best male athletes in the world but many of the most stellar names will not be competing in Delhi.

Usain Bolt, the biggest name in athletics, cited a back problem as the reason for his absence while former 100m world record holder and fellow Jamaican Asafa Powell said the the competition came too late in the year.

World 800m record holder David Rudisha is also absent, but there is still plenty of talent on show.

Historically more than 60 Commonwealth champions - both male and female - have also won Olympic gold, while 10 of the individual gold medallists at 2009 World Championships are due to compete.

In the absence of Bolt and Powell in the 100m, Daniel Bailey, a training partner of Bolt, will be aiming to become the first Commonwealth Games medallist from Antigua.

Jamaica will look to Lerone Clarke and Oshane Bailey while European silver medallist Mark Lewis-Francis could figure for England

In the 200m, Wales's Christian Malcolm, who also won silver at the European Championships, will be hoping to go one better in Delhi and although his main challenge could come from fellow veteran Marlon Devonish, South African Simon Magakwe, the fastest man in the field, should also figure.

Defending 400m champion John Steffensen will not be competing in Delhi after he withdrew as a protest against Athletics Australia, who he described as "egotistical and outdated".

But the gold medal could stay in Australia with Ben Offereins a strong challenger, while Jamaica's Allodin Fothergill and Oral Thompson, Kenya's Mark Mutai and England's Conrad Williams and Rob Tobin could also have a say in the medals.

Despite the absence of 800m world record holder Rudisha, Kenya still have plenty of strength in depth with World Indoor Championships silver medallist Boaz Lalang, Abraham Kiplagat and Richard Kiplagat.

They will form a three-pronged challenge to South Africa's world champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who won Commonwealth gold in 2002 but missed out four years later through injury.

Kenya, who have failed to win the 1500m at the last two Games, have world leader Silas Kiplagat heading their charge after the withdrawal of Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop. Defending champion Nick Willis from New Zealand is back after knee surgery and Andy Baddeley and Tom Lancashire could challenge for England.

Double European champion Mo Farah's withdrawal means African runners are likely to dominate in the long-distance track races.

In the 5,000m, former world championEliud Kipchoge of Kenya and his compatriot Vincent Yator will expect to be among the main challengers along with Uganda's Moses Kipsiro, who was fourth over the distance at the last Olympics, World Championships and African Championships.

In the 10,000m, Kenya have put their faith in teenagers Daniel Salal and Titus Mbishei and virtual unknown Joseph Birech, better known as a road-running specialist, while Kipsiro will be a threat if he opts to compete. England's European silver medallist Chris Thompson will be bidding for another major championship medal.

Africans have won gold and silver in each marathon since 1998, with Tanzania boasting the last two winners. Samson Ramadhani will defend his title while compatriot Patrick Nyangero has already won a marathon in India this year.

The marathon runners must do four laps of a 6.55-mile course, which incorporates numerous landmarks including India Gate, a national monument and war memorial.

World and Commonwealth champion Ezekiel Kemboi and Olympic champion Brimin Kipruto are set to battle it out for Kenya in the 3,000m steeplechase while the third Kenyan, Richard Mateelong, won a medal at the last Olympics and World Championships and is the African champion.

After his European gold earlier this summer, England's Andy Turner will be hoping for more success in the 110m hurdles after winning bronze four years ago.

World champion Ryan Brathwaite of Barbados and England's Will Sharman, a former cornet player in the BBC Youth Orchestra, will be hoping to win a medal to make up for relatively disappointing 2010 seasons

European 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene of Wales is another hoping to win his second major title of the year but fellow Welshman Rhys Williams, the son of former Wales and British Lions rugby wingerJJ Williams, and South Africa's defending champion LJ van Zyl will be the biggest threats

In the 20km walk, Australia'sJared Tallent will be hoping to improve on his bronze medal of four years ago while Luke Adams and Chris Erickson could be his closest rivals, along with Kenya's David Kimutai.

Jamaica would normally be favourites for the 4x100m relay but their quartet is unrecognisable from the one that won Olympic and world gold over the previous two years, which could open the door for England if they can get the baton around.

Jamaica and England could also feature in the medal shake-up in the 4x400m relay, along with 2006 champions Australia.



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