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Men's 1500m, Women's 400m Highlight Action at Osaka Athletics

The men's 1,500 meters title is one of five gold medals up for grabs Wednesday at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka, Japan. VOA's David Byrd is there and has this preview of the action.

Bernard Lagat, of the United States, is running in his first world championship since becoming an American citizen. The Kenyan-born Lagat, a two-time Olympic medalist, has the second-fastest time ever in the event (3:26.34). However, he did not compete in 2005 in Helsinki because of his citizenship change.

The women's 100-meters hurdles title will feature three Americans - defending champion Michelle Perry, U.S. national champion Ginny Powell and Lolo Jones. After the semifinal, Jones said the race will come down to technique.

"Did you see how tight that semifinal was? Put us all in the mix, basically it is going to whoever does not make a mistake wins," she said. "It is going to be like the women's 100 [meters] last night [Monday]."

Ana Guevara of Mexico looks to win another world title, in the women's 400-meters. Guevara says the absence of American Sanya Richards, who failed to qualify for the event, leaves the race wide open.

"Without Sanya Richards in the finals, she keeps the coin in the air," said Geuvara. "So the coin is still in the air, so we will see what happens in the finals -- which side of the coin touches the track.

Also Wednesday, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Stefan Holm of Sweden defends his title in the men's high jump. German Franka Dietzsch goes for her third world championship in the women's discus.