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Moscow braced for classic men's 400 hurdles final

Michael Tinsley of the U.S. clears a hurdle in the men's 400 metres hurdles heat during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhni
Michael Tinsley of the U.S. clears a hurdle in the men's 400 metres hurdles heat during the IAAF World Athletics Championships at the Luzhni

By Mitch Phillips

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Having taken a night off on Wednesday, fortuitously timed for Yelena Isinbayeva's emotional pole vault victory to soak in, the action comes thick and fast again at the world athletics championships on Thursday with six gold medals up for grabs.

It could be regarded as "barrier night" on the track with both 400 meters hurdles finals as well as the men's steeplechase. On the infield, there is the men's high jump and women's triple jump, with the women's 1,500m finishing off the action.

The men's one-lap hurdles has produced some great finals in recent years and Thursday's race could be another as American Michael Tinsley starts favorite but faces a stiff challenge from Puerto Rico's Javier Culson, compatriot Kenny Clement, Cuba's Omar Cisneros and the evergreen Felix Sanchez.

It is a different story in the women's race, where Czech Zuzana Hejnova looks a class above the field, who should be scrambling amongst themselves for silver.

Abeba Aregawi will be similarly favored in the 1,500m after winning all five of her Diamond League races this season but the Ethiopian-turned-Swede was caught out tactically in last year's Olympic final and needs to show she has learned from the experience.

(Editing by John O'Brien)

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