Ibrahim Jeilan of Ethiopia and Mo Farah of Great Britain (Photo: Getty Images)

The first day of competition at Luzhniki Stadium for the IAAF World Championships will be for distance and combined events fans, with medals being awarded in the women’s Marathon and the men’s 10,000m and the first day of the Decathlon.

It’s likely to be a scorcher for the women’s Marathon, which starts at 2pm local time, with temperatures in Moscow unusually warm and forecast to peak right as the women are on their final loop between the stadium and Red Square.

Heat may lend some credibility to the efforts of Mizuki Noguchi and Deena Kastor, gold and bronze medallists nine years ago at the sweltering Athens Olympics, and in the Marathon it matters less that the pair are now 35 and 40 respectively.

However, this may also be the last time Noguchi’s and Kastor’s names are mentioned before those of Tiki Gelana, the Olympic gold medallist just last year, or Edna Kiplagat, the defending World champion from Daegu.

Ethiopia and Kenya have sent extraordinarily deep squads as usual and will likely dominate the World Cup team scoring, even if the likes of Gelana, Kiplagat or sub-2:20 runner Lucy Kabuu have an off day. Third place will be an open question, but few countries take the Marathon more seriously than Japan, and the hosts are also likely to reach for a share of the honours on the first day of competition. Read more