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

South Africa's Caster Semenya
Semenya has pulled out with a back injury

As in men's athletics the Commonwealth contains some of the finest female athletes in the world, but once again many of the biggest stars will be missing.

World champions Shelly-Ann Fraser and Linet Masai fail to make the trip to India, while British stars Christine Ohuruogu and Lisa Dobriskey both miss out.

And although the Commonwealth boasts four of the top six 100m sprinters in the world in the Jamaican trio of Veronica Campbell-Brown,Shelly-Ann Fraser and Kerron Stewart, and Trinidad's Kelly-Ann Baptiste, none of them will be present in Delhi.

However, over the years more than 60 Commonwealth champions have also won Olympic gold, while 10 of the individual gold medallists at 2009 World Championships - of both genders - are due to compete, so there will still be plenty of talent on show.

The absence of Campbell-Brown, Fraser, Stewart and Baptiste in the 100m means 2008 Olympic long jump bronze medallist Blessing Okagbare of Nigeria and England's Laura Turner are the main challengers for gold.

Okagbare is also expected to challenge in the 200m but Cydonie Mothersill of the Cayman Islands, the 2001 world championship bronze medallist, will start as favourite while little-known Audrey 'Audra' Segree will carry Jamaica's hopes. Adrienne Power, the 2010 Canadian champion, could also figure.

The relatively late withdrawal of England's defending champion Christine Ohuruogu and the absence of Jamaica's world-class athletes Shericka Simpson,Novlene Williams-Mills and Kaliese Spencer means the 400m is an open-looking race.

Scotland's Lee McConnell is in with a real chance of a medal along with Christine Amertil of the Bahamas.

World 800m champion Caster Semenya of South Africa was expected to challenge for gold, but will miss the Games because of a back injury; the 19-year-old underwent an MRI scan, which confirmed the problem.

Both Kenya's Janeth Jepkosgei and Jamaica's Kenia Sinclair have run faster than Semenya this year and the race is shaping up to be one of the most competitive on the track in Delhi.

Olympic champion Nancy Lagat leads the Kenyan challenge in the 1500m along with Irene Jelagat and Viola Kibiwot, while in the absence of Lisa Dobriskey, Steph Twell, who is representing Scotland, is the leading Home Nations hope as she attempts a 1500m-5,000m double

It is hard to look beyond a Kenyan 1-2-3 in the 5,000m with world champion Vivian Cheruiyot, Sylvia Kibet and Ines Chenonge all looking strong, while Twell is the only other woman in the Commonwealth who has broken 15 minutes this season.

Another leading name misses out in the 10,000m where world champion Linet Masai of Kenya has opted out, leaving her compatriot Doris Chageiywo, Tanzania's Zakia Mrisho Mohamed and Scotland's Freya Murray as the ones likely to challenge.

The marathon will prove to be emotional affair following the death of 2002 and 2006 champion Kerryn McCann from Australia in December 2008 from breast cancer.

Lisa Weightman will be hoping to win in memory of McCann and give Australia a third successive victory in the race while Kenya's Caroline Kilel is the quickest woman in the line-up.

Kenya have opted not to send any athletes for the 3,000m steeplechase while England's Hattie Dean and Barbara Parker are also absentees as well as defending champion Dorcus Inzikuru of Uganda.

England's Tina Brown has a good chance of winning a medal as well as Scottish-born Lennie Waite, who is based in the US city of Houston, and home competitors Orchatteri Jaisha and Sudha Singh.

Olympic silver medallist Sally Pearson (nee McLellan) of Australia is the favourite for the 100m hurdles in the absence of world number one Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Canada while Trinidad's Aleesha Barber and Canada's Angela Whyte could battle for the minor medals.

Jamaica's Nickeisha Wilson and Ajoke Osumosu of Nigeria are the main dangers in the 400m hurdles but Scotland's Eilidh Child and Australia's Laura Boden could also be in the mix for medals

England's Jo Jackson knows the Commonwealth 20km walk competition represents her best opportunity of a first major gold medal and her biggest rival appears to be Australia's Jess Rothwell.

With Jamaica fielding a weakened team in the 4x100m relay, England are in with a good chance of a medal, if they can overcome the sloppy changeovers which meant they failed to qualify for the European Championship final.

Jamaica and England also look like being the leading lights in the 4x400m relay with Scotland and Nigeria also targeting a medal.



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