When Do the IAAF World Championships 2015 Start?

Usain Bolt will look to continue his dominance over the rest of the world when he competes at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. (Getty)

Usain Bolt will look to continue his dominance over the rest of the world when he competes at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. (Getty)

Those itching for the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics to begin will be able to get a little preview from Beijing this week. The 2015 IAAF World Championships, which feature some of the best track-and-field stars on the planet, are set to begin Saturday, August 22 and will last for nine days of competition.

For viewers in the United States, the time difference actually means the World Championships officially start Friday, August 21, beginning with the men’s marathon at 7:35 p.m. ET. You can find the complete schedule of events here.

As usual, the most anticipated event is the men’s 100 meter dash. Usain Bolt, the world record holder and one of the most dominant athletes of all-time, is the clear headliner. In the 100, he has won the last two Olympic golds and two of the last three World Championships. He has been slowed this summer by leg injuries, but it’s never a good idea to bet against the blazing Jamaican.

His main competition will likely come from Justin Gatlin. Although the 33-year-old American has yet to beat Bolt at a World Championships (he finished second in 2013 after Bolt was disqualified for a false start), he has dominated the Diamond League this year, ran a personal best 9.74 in May and hasn’t lost in the 100 since September 2013.

The 100-meter final is set to take place on Sunday, August 23 at 9:15 a.m. ET. If that’s not enough, the two rivals are expected to meet again in the 200-meter final (Thursday, August 27 at 8:55 a.m. ET) and 4X100-meter relay (Saturday, August 29 at 9:10 a.m. ET).

Of course, Bolt and Gatlin are far from the only two compelling storylines in Beijing. Mo Farah will look for another gold-medal sweep in the long-distance runs (5,000-meter and 10,000-meter) after doing so at the 2012 Olympics and 2013 World Championships. World-record holder Ashton Eaton will attempt to continue his dominance in the decathlon, but countryman Trey Hardee, the 2011 World champ, presents an interesting challenge after winning the 2015 US Championships. The women’s 200-meter dash is suddenly wide open with Allyson Felix, the defending Olympic champion, opting to focus on the 400-meter.

There is no better indicator of what to expect at the 2016 Olympics than this competition. If you want an early showing of who will be dominating your TV screens a year from now, don’t miss any of the action from Beijing.

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