Action from the girls' 5000m race walk (Getty Images) © Copyright

Girls' 5000m race walk preview – IAAF World Youth Championships Cali 2015

If history is any indication, Russia is once again the strong favourite in this event.

Overall Russian race walkers have won six of the eight titles and half of the 24 medals awarded in this event at these championships.

Representing Russia this time around are 16-year-old Olga Eliseeva and Margarita Kolesnichenko, 17, who have 22:18.00 and 22:18.16 bests, respectively, to their credit from the national youth championship in Cheboksary where Eliseeva prevailed.

If anyone can realistically challenge the Russians, it will be Australia, represented by Jemima Montag and Clara Smith.

On paper they’re well back, with 23:06.80 and 23:08.42 season’s bests, respectively. But Montag, 17, clearly has the potential to go considerably faster, given her 22:04.59 performance in a mixed-sex race in Brisbane last month.

Youth Olympic silver medallist Valeria Ortuno of Mexico, who has clocked 23:12.44 this year, could also play a role in the medal chase.

Bob Ramsak for the IAAF