Athletics World Cup on Sky Sports
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 15/07/18 9:38pm
Eight nations go head to head at the London Stadium over two days of competition as the Athletics World Cup comes to Sky Sports this weekend.
World Cup fever has gripped the nation and while England wait to see if football really is coming home, athletics is on its way back to a familiar site.
The London Stadium was the scene of much triumph and emotion at the 2012 Olympic Games and last year's World Athletics Championship was similarly received.
Premier League football has since docked at Queen Elizabeth Park but the venue is firmly established as a favourite on the athletics circuit and this weekend will see a new-look, high-profile athletics feast so here's the lowdown on what to expect.
Athletics World Cup on Sky Sports
|Saturday||Sky Sports Main Event|
|Sky Sports Mix||all from 7pm|
|Sky Sports Action|
|Sunday||Sky Sports Main Event||from 7pm|
|Sky Sports Mix|
|Sky Sports Main Event||from 8pm|
What is the Athletics World Cup?
Born out of a desire to keep high-profile athletics in London, UK Athletics is harnessing British interest in the sport with a global competition that changes the look and feel while retaining traditions.
"It is different and it's great because it pits nations against nations and people love that," said UK Athletics chairman Richard Bowker.
"It's a very exciting format and the events will be those that are designed to be quick and punchy - it's very much about preserving the integrity of athletics and bringing the best athletes to London in a new way that will engage people."
Richard Bowker, UK Athletics Chairman
There's also a nod to history as female athletes will captain the eight squads to celebrate 100 years since women secured the right to vote in the UK.
The world's top eight athletics nations from the IAAF World Championship will go head to head for the glittering Platinum Trophy as well as $2m in prize money. Hosts Great Britain and Northern Ireland are joined by traditional sprint powerhouses Jamaica and the USA.
European heavyweights France, Germany and Poland are also in attendance while the might of China and South Africa give the event a truly global feel.
How is it going to work?
Separate men's and women's competitions will be held but all athletes will contribute towards a nation's overall total with the opportunity to have entered an athlete for every event.
All track events up to 1500m will be raced, while all the major field disciplines will also be contested. Each day will conclude with two relay races - Saturday will see the women's 4x400m followed by the men's 4x100 and then on Sunday the event concludes with the women's 4x100m and the final event the men's 4x400m.
At the end of two days of competition, the World Cup winners will be crowned.
Follow us @AthleticsOnSky
We'll take you behind the scenes through the day with coverage from the stands and trackside
Who should we be looking out for?
Where to start with this one! There are some high-profile names missing as the season takes its toll but we will get a chance to see a number of the worlds best athletes will be on display.
British hopes will feature Beth Dobbin who has enjoyed a stellar year, Sky Sports Scholar Andrew Pozzi as well Commonwealth hammer gold medallist Nick Miller and former world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene.
European U23 100m champion Ojie Edoburun and European junior triple jump bronze medallist Naomi Ogbeta are among the rising stars to watch for home fans
Jamaica's double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson will compete in both the women's 100m and 4x100m relay while Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce continues her return to the sport following the birth of her first child by featuring in the relay squad.
Commonwealth champion Ronald Levy and 2015 world champion Danielle Williams are also in action while Poland's world record holder and World and Olympic hammer champion Anita Wlodarczyk is one of four Poland medallists from last year's World Athletics Championships heading to London.
World pole vault champion Sam Kendricks is also part of the US team, while China feature Lijiao Gong and Su Bingtian as part of their line-up and South African superstar long jumper Luvo Manyonga is also in action.
Wojciech Nowicki is confirmed for the men's hammer competition but Wlodarczyk's battle with USA's DeAnna Price looks like being one of the events to watch across the whole weekend.
Poland's double European 800m champion Adam Kszczot, France's experienced Jimmy Vicaut, the joint-quickest European in history over 100m and Axel Chapelle are ones to watch in the men's events.
How can I watch?
Orla Chennaoui will present Sky Sports coverage and will be joined by a host of names along the way with guests Goldie Sayers, James Ellington, Jonnie Peacock and Jeanette Kwakye.
Tim Hutchings and Katharine Merry will lead the commentary team with expert opinion from Toni Minichiello.
Both days of competition will be live on Sky Sports Mix, Action and Main Event, starting Saturday at 7pm right through until the end of the day's events. On Sunday coverage is again underway at 7pm on Mix and Action while Main Event will join the coverage at 8pm.
You can get involved too by following us @AthleticsOnSky where we will take you behind the scenes through the day with behind the scenes coverage for up in the stands and trackside.
🏆 The clock is ticking until the inaugural #AthWorldCup on July 14-15.— Athletics World Cup (@AthWorldCup) July 9, 2018
💰 In 5 days the world's best athletes will compete for their respective nations and a $2million prize pot under the @LondonStadium lights.
👉 Join us.
🎟 https://t.co/M7rqEESSr9 pic.twitter.com/hxPr3SnI62
So is athletics coming home too?
The mix of talented youth and experienced veterans means most squads look fairly similar in standard which should make for an exciting two days.
As always the US and Jamaica look strong contenders. The experience of the Jamaican squad and women's team in particular is hard to ignore. The depth of US track and field means that even third and fourth choice athletes and stars of the collegiate system are likely to showcase some of the very best displays during the season.
Of the European nations, Poland look as close to full strength as anyone with gold medal selections in both track and field disciplines while Germany, France, South Africa and China will ensure it's fiercely competitive.
Coverage of the Athletics World Cup is available on July 14/15 beginning at 7pm on Saturday - you can watch on Sky Sports Action and Main Event while it will also be available to all Sky customers on Sky Sports Mix, channel 121
Sunday's climax will be available on the same channels, with Mix and Action covering the event from 7pm and Main Event viewers joining from 8pm