There’s been an intense focus on next year’s Olympics but this is a massive sporting event in its own right, one that normally throws up its share of controversy. So it’s worth paying attention and, let’s face it, you won’t have much choice if one of the Brits wins something. So who are the ones to watch in Daegu and what are their chances?

The Olympic and two-time world champion casts a long shadow – she’s 196cm tall and built like a brick shithouse – over Kiwi sport and looms as one of its big hopes heading toward the London Olympics. After a post-Beijing letdown, Adams has rediscovered her best form in recent months.
What are the odds? Adams will start hot favourite to clinch a third straight world championship, with her stiffest opposition to come from Belarusian Nadzeya Ostapchuk.

USAIN BOLT, Jam: 100m and 200m
The fastest man on the planet needs no introduction – he stole the show in Beijing and again captivated at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Nobody has ever won the 100m-200m double at consecutive World Championships. If Bolt manages this in Daegu, he’ll be everywhere.
What are the odds? He’s so laidback that people assume he must be beatable. He’ll be tested by his countryman Asafa Powell, but if Bolt is at his best, the rest have no chance.

JESSICA ENNIS, GB: heptathlon
The 25-year-old will be one of the faces of next year’s Olympics and is one of the host’s biggest hopes – probably the closest they have to a ‘Cathy Freeman’ figure. Ennis is the reigning world and European champion and, despite an injury-marred start to 2011, has been building impressively.
What are the odds? The heptathlon is harder to predict as it’s not part of the Diamond League, but she looks nailed on. Will be a minor disaster if she gets beaten.

PHILLIPS IDOWU, GB: triple jump
Hailing from Hackney, Idowu is one of the sport’s real eccentrics, his shock-value hairdos ensuring he stands out. He’s also the reigning world and European champion and his form this year has been solid enough to suggest this free spirit has a few hops, skips and jumps left in him yet.
What are the odds? Definitely among the favourites, but Portugal’s Olympic champion Nelson Evora will be in the mix, as will Frenchman Teddy Tamgho.

SALLY PEARSON, Aus: 100m and 100m hurdles
After finishing a disappointing fifth in the hurdles at the last World Championships, Pearson will be desperate to chalk up a major win to go with her Commonwealth title and Olympic silver from Beijing. Although she will also run in the 100m, it’s all about the hurdles for Australia’s top track athlete.
What are the odds? Pearson has been dominant in the second half of the season and will be bitterly disappointed if she is again the bridesmaid in Daegu.

STEVE HOOKER, Aus: pole vault
The Olympic and world champion is the captain of his nation’s Olympics track and field team but has been short of his best form since cruising to Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi last year. Although his focus will be on London, he needs a good showing in Daegu to get back on track.
What are the odds? Unfortunately for Australia, they’re not good. Remarkably, Hooker comes in as an underdog, with Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie dominant so far this year.

, SA: 400m
Pistorius, for those who have been on another planet, had his legs amputated below the knee when he was an infant and runs with the aid of prosthetics ‘blades’. Debate continues to simmer about whether he should be allowed to compete outside the Paralympics.
What are the odds? He’s not going to win anything, but his personal best of 45.07 would have placed him fourth at the 2009 World Championships, just shy of a bronze medal.

Pistorius may lead the way in the controversy stakes this year, but the furore that engulfed Semenya in 2009 will be a hard act to follow. After she streeted the field to win the 800m, questions were raised about her gender, and tests subsequently revealed she has an ‘intersex condition’.
What are the odds? She looked set to dominate the sport after she won in Berlin but the controversy surrounding her appears to have taken a toll. Still, she’s one of the favourites.

, Aus: long jump
The sky’s the limit for this 23-year-old Queenslander, who was a schoolboy champion in 100m, 200m, long jump, high jump, triple jump and shot put. The 2009 World Championships was his first major meet and he came away with a bronze medal. In short, he’s a freak.
What are the odds? Along with Pearson, Watt is Australia’s big hope and has been out in front of his rivals, which include Britain’s Greg Rutherford, most of this year.