Anniversary Games: stars of 2012 with something to prove
Five athletes who will be the main attractions at the Olympic Stadium this weekend – in pictures
The stars of London 2012 will return to the scene of their triumph for the Anniversary Games this weekend.
But it is not just a trip down memory lane for the stars who clinched gold medals in Stratford three years ago, says the BBC. "With just four weeks until the World Championships in Beijing, this weekend's Anniversary Games is an opportunity for the world's best to silence the doubters and send messages of intent to their rivals."
That rings true for five of the biggest stars of 2012 who return to London with a point to prove:
Once the undisputed king of the track the Jamaican has looked like a mere mortal this season with a season's best of 10.12, almost half-a-second shy of his winning time in 2012 and 0.54 off his world record. But the laid-back sprinter appears unconcerned and promised to put on a show in London. "When the world championships comes anyone who knows anything about me knows I always show up," he said.
It's been a tough few months for Farah after his coach Alberto Salazar was forced to deny doping claims. That's led to suggestions that the crowd which once adored him could turn on him. But Steve Cram of the BBC is unconcerned. "There's been much talk about what sort of reception Mo will receive when he competes in the 3,000m on Friday night but I don't understand why there should be a negative reaction." The Olympic 10,000m and 5,000m gold medallist is in good form on the track and should win the 3,000m with ease, despite the unusual distance.
Since London 2012 heptathlete Ennis-Hill has got married and become a mother, and only returned to the heptathlon this season. However, she qualified for next year's Rio Olympics on her first outing in May and will want to prove that she has what it takes to defend her title. She is competing in three different events – the 100m, 200m and long jump in London. "Ennis-Hill is still undecided over whether to compete in the heptathlon at the world championships in Beijing next month: if she can slip under 13 seconds [in the 100m] for the first time since her comeback... it could just nudge her towards the plane," says The Guardian.
The Kenyan Olympic 800m champion, who set a world record in London in 2012 is probably under the most pressure of all the top athletes. Injury problems have seen him slip to eigth in the world rankings and he "has admitted he cannot be certain of rediscovering the form that enabled him to break the world record in such spectacular fashion on the way to winning gold at London 2012", says the Daily Telegraph. He will do well to keep pace with Nijel Amos of Botswana who is also running.
Many thought Rutherford's win in 2012, with the shortest long jump-winning distance at the Olympics for 40 years, was a fluke. "Last year's European and Commonwealth titles helped silence the naysayers – or at least reduce the number of them – as did his new British record of 8.51m," says the Telegraph, which notes he has also found domestic happiness in the last three years. He returns to Stratford as one of the world's leading jumpers and one of the favourites for the world championships.