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Aregawi favoured over 1500m

Abeba Aregawi

Abeba Aregawi

From the moment the first roar started in Göteborg when her named was announced to the crowd, it has been a year to remember for Sweden’s Abeba Aregawi. In Moscow next week, she will arrive ready to put the finishing touches to the time of her life.

Aregawi is the favourite for the 1500m, a distance she has dominated in 2013, with her victory at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in March starting it all off. It was her first competition as a Swedish citizen and she is now her country’s leading hope for a medal at the IAAF World Championships which start on Saturday week.

Aregawi has taken her indoor form onto the outdoor tracks in style. She secured success in the Diamond Race series in the Diamond League by winning her first five races and she is top of the world rankings from the opening of those events in Doha in May which she won in 3:56.60.

Her closest rival in the world remains from that race, Kenya’s Faith Chepngetich, who was second that day in 3:56.98, but it has all been about Aregawi’s ability not to be passed that has been one of her outstanding traits.

At the Diamond League in Birmingham, she entered the event after a bout of illness but still fended off all challengers to win.

Aregawi heads a Swedish team of 24 for the Championships, and it is a strong line-up.

From their medalists in Göteborg, only Ebba Jungmark, who won silver in the high jump, is missing, but Emma Green Tregaro, who won bronze behind her teammate, is named.

One man who knows how tough his event will be is long jumper Michel Torneus.

He broke the national record in Göteborg with 8.29m, but still had to settle for silver as Russia’s Aleksandr Menkov won with 8.31m.

Menkov is set to be one of the big home hopes for the Championships in a summer where he won the European Athletics Team Championships and has cleared 8.42m, which puts him second in the world rankings behind Mexico’s Luis Rivera with 8.46m.

Kim Amb, with 84.33m this year, is the best ranked of the Swedish javelin throwers while the pole vault will have two of their stars of the future as Angelica Bengtsson, 20, the world junior record-holder, and Sofia Linde, 18, who was second at last month’s European Athletics Junior Championships, are both in the team.

Moa Hjelmer will spearhead their medal bid in the women’s 400m, looking to build on her success having become European champion in Helsinki last summer with an outdoor national record of 51.13 before winning bronze in March with an indoor national record of 52.04.

She will compete in the 200m aswell, while Erica Jarder, who won bronze in the women’s long jump in March, completes the Swedish medalists from Göteborg who are heading to Moscow.