The World Championships are set to go ahead in London this afternoon and track fans from coast to coast should be tuning in to watch.

Just one year ago, our best athletes lined up to race in Rio and Canadian eyes were glued to screens across the country as our favourite stars gave their full effort through to the finish line. It was a dramatic Olympics – especially in the athletics department – if ever there was one: we saw falls, dives, records shattered, even a rare Olympic medal for sportsmanship. When the athletics portion of the Games started with Almaz Ayana burying the women’s 10,000m world record, we started the spectating on a high note. It didn’t disappoint and as such, the track events continued to captivate us to very the end. 

If the showdowns of 2017 so far have escaped you, the IAAF World Championships is your chance to rekindle last year’s Rio high.

This binge-watching of track races is not and should not be a once-in-every-four-years occurrence. While the same athletes grace competitions across the globe for high-level competitions like the Diamond League events, World Marathons Majors, national and the IAAF World Championships, for some reason, when the word “Olympics” is absent from the title, interest among the general population often wanes. This is a shame. It’s a shame for athletes who exert the same efforts to receive less support from home and it’s a shame that the brilliance of a sport that continues to push the physical limits of human strength gets missed. 

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If the showdowns of 2017 so far have escaped you, the IAAF World Championships is your chance to rekindle last year’s Rio high. The events start on the track today and run all the way until Aug. 13 before the closing ceremonies. Tune in now whether it’s because you’re a long-time track nerd keeping tabs on international elites or because 2017 marks the completion of your first-ever 5K. While we runners boast that the beauty of the sport is that it appeals to people of all backgrounds, running as a spectator sport produces the exact same sort of magic. Everyone can draw inspiration from eyeing the world’s best – it’s hard to see a case of the contrary. 

RELATED: No, track racing is *not* a boring spectator sport

Some of the most remarkable plot lines of running in 2017 haven’t happened yet. That’s because they’re just about to.

London 2017

Some of the most remarkable plot lines of running in 2017 haven’t happened yet. That’s because they’re just about to. Day one opens with the preliminary round in the men’s 100m. This is the first stage in the event where the best sprinter of all time, Usain Bolt, will run for his fans one last time before saying adios. While the World Championships unfold, we get the rare chance to watch that happen. With the whole farewell tour, another name gets dropped: Mo Farah. The British star is someone who many think of as unbeatable. This World Championships, he’ll run for the gold again likely to close off his career. 

Strictly looking at Canadian-grown talent, we have a wide array of athletes who should be turning heads over these coming ten days. Sure, Andre De Grasse – the favourite for many – is now out. That doesn’t mean that the curtains are drawn. Don’t up and leave; several stars are about to take the stage.

Our country’s running fans are so invested in her success that the moments before the gun goes off causes our palms to break into a cold sweat.

Melissa Bishop

Photo: Claus Andersen/Athletics Canada.

Mohammed Ahmed could be the other Mo to step up to a podium position which would be incredible for Canada. Natasha Wodak is back after a difficult year during which, she contemplated throwing in the towel. The likes of Gabriela Stafford, Andrea Seccafien and Jessica O’Connell made their first Olympic team last year and have had 12 months to come back even better. This will actually be O’Connell’s World Championship debut. And of course, there’s Melissa Bishop. That name is top of the mind for any major international track competition, not just for Canadians but for track enthusiasts across the world. The Canadian 800m record holder’s talent is undeniable and our country’s running fans are so invested in her success that the moments before the gun goes off causes our palms to break into a cold sweat. Less than two minutes later, we bring our them together in heart-felt applause and shout “Ya Bish!” These are just a few moments to look forward to during this year’s revelry.

Don’t divert your attention too far from the track in London over the next ten days, there’s sure to be dark horses and podium success. Here, we’ve named a few to keep tabs on. As for the rest, well… that’s when tuning in to our coverage comes in quite handy.