MOSCOW (Reuters) - Ethiopia's twice Olympic champion Meseret Defar takes to the track for the first time at these world championships in Wednesday's 5,000 meters heats after deciding not to run the 10,000 earlier in the week.
Defar, the 2007 world champion, starts as favorite for a second title in the absence of her great rival and compatriot Tirunesh Dibaba, who won the 10,000 crown on Sunday before saying she would not run the shorter distance.
Champion from Daegu two years ago, Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya is also absent as she is expecting her first child.
With no evening session, the men's 50km walk will be the only medal to be decided and the hosts will have high hopes of another gold from 2009 world champion and Olympic winner Sergey Kirdyapkin.
(Reporting by Alison Wildey, editing by Ed Osmond)