Monaco Diamond League Event by Event Preview

Posted by: Watch Athletics

Faith Kipyegon returns to Monaco, where she set a Kenyan and Commonwealth record in the 1500 metres clocking 3:51.07 in last year’s edition of the Herculis EBS Meeting. Kipyegon moved up to fourth in the world all-time list, missing Genzebe Dibaba’s world record by just one second. 

Kipyegon set the two fastest times in the world this year clocking 3:52.59 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene last May and 3:52.96 at the the World Championships in the same Hayward Field venue. She could threaten the world record set by Dibaba on the Louis II track with 3:50.07 in 2015. Kipyegon is one of the 12 world champions in Eugene 2022 on the Herculis starting list.

The Herculis meeting has a strong reputation in producing very fast times in middle distance races. Four world records have been broken over the past decade. After Dibaba’s world record in 2015, Beatrice Chepkoech smashed the 3000m steeplechase world record with 8:44.32 in 2018. One year later Sifan Hassan broke the mile record with 4:12.33. Joshua Cheptegei improved Kenenisa Bekele’s 5000m world record clocking 12:35.36. 

Kipyegon will face four sub- four-minute performers, including Hirut Meshesha, winner of two 1500m Diamond League races in Rabat in 3:57.30 and Rome in 4:03.79, Axumawit Embaye, third in Rabat in her lifetime best of 3:58.30 and world indoor silver medallist in the 1500m in Belgrade last March, Jessica Hull from Australia, who set an area record of 3:58.81 at the Olympic Games in Tokyo last year and Winnie Nanyondo from Uganda, who finished fourth in the 800m at the World Championships in Doha 2019 and set a national record of 3:59.56 in Rabat last May. 

Women’s 100 metres: 

World 100m and 200m gold medallists Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce and Shericka Jackson will go head to head in the women’s 100 metres. Both Jamaican sprinters are still in very good shape and come from respective wins in the 100m and 200m in Chorzow and Szekesfehrvar. 

Fraser Pryce won the fifth 100 metres world gold medal in her career in Eugene equalling her world leading time with 10.67 and the silver medal in the 200m in 21.82. The Jamaican 35-year-old sprint legend set a world lead of 10.66 in the Chorzow Diamond League meeting last Saturday and won in Szekesfehrvar in 10.67. Last June she won another Diamond League race in Paris Charlety in 10.67. 

She will target the Herculis meeting record held by Marion Jones with 10.72 since 1998. Fraser Pryce won a total of 14 world medals and nine Olympic medals. 

She will line up against her compatriot Sherika Jackson for a remake of the Eugene world championships finals. 

Jackson won the world silver medal in the 100 metres improving her PB to 10.73 and the 200m gold medal ahead of Fraser Pryce setting a championship record with 21.45. Jackson moved to second in the world all-time list behind Florence Griffith Joyner, who has held the world record with 21.34 since the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988. Jackson has completed a full set of medals across all three sprints at World Championships (gold in the 200m and silver in the 100m in Eugene 2022 and bronze in the 400m in Beijing 2015 and Doha 2019). 

In this year’s edition of the Diamond League Jackson won the 200 metres in Rome in 21.91 and Chorzow in 21.84. She also won her most recent race over this distance in Szekesfehrvar in 22.02 last Monday. She has won eight of her nine 200m races this year. 

Shericka Jackson: “I love competing with Shelly. She brings out the best of me, when we are competing in the 100m. She always brings the A game. I am looking for super exciting times”. 

Last year Jackson won three Olympic medals in Tokyo (gold in the 4x100 relay, bronze in the 100m and 4x400 relay. 

The line-up features three finalists from the World Championships in Eugene: Aleia Hobbs, Marie Josée Ta Lou and Melissa Jefferson. Hobbs was the best US sprinter in Eugene with her fifth place in 10.92 and finished second at the US Championships in a wind-assisted 10.74 and in the Diamond League meeting in Chorzow in 10.94 last Saturday. Jefferson won the US Championships final in a wind-assisted 10.69 and placed eighth at the World Championships in 11.03. 

Ta Lou, a three-time world medallist, finished seventh in the World Championships in Eugene in 10.93. 

The line-up also features Darryl Neita from Great Britain, who placed third at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 11.07 after improving her PB to 10.90 in the semifinal, Tamara Clarke, sixth in the 200m at the World Championships in Eugene in 22.32 after clocking 21.95 in the semifinal, and Twanisha Terry, who improved her PB to 10.82 in Memphis on 30 July. 

Men’s 200 metres: 

Noah Lyles will headline the men’s 200 metres following the World Championships final in Eugene where he won his second consecutive world gold medal in 19.31 breaking the US record set by Michael Johnson in the Olympic final In Atlanta 1996. Lyles has moved to third in the world all-time list behind Usain Bolt (19.19) and Yohan Blake (19.26).  

Lyles also won two more 200 metres in the New York Continental Tour Gold in 19.61 and in the US Championships final in Eugene in 19.67. The 25-year-old sprint star claimed two wins over the 200 metres in Monaco in 2018 in 19.65 and in 2020 in 19.76 and three consecutive Diamond Trophies in the 200m in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Noah will clash against his brother Josephus Lyles, who finished fifth at the US Championships in Eugene in a lifetime best of 19.93. 

Noah Lyles: “I talked a little about my plans after the World Championships in the press conference in Oregon. I was telling people how I did not think that my peak was going to show at Worlds. Give me a month and the world record will be in my sights. Every time I step on the track is to get closer and closer to the world record”. 

World 400m champion Michael Norman will step down in distance to face Lyles and four World Championships finalists in Eugene, including world bronze medallist Erriyon Knighton, Joseph Fahnbulleh from Liberia, Alexander Ogando from Dominican Republic and Aaron Brown from Canada. 

Norman broke the 44 seconds barrier with 43.56 at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene and 43.60 at the US Championships. He went on to win his first 400m title in 44.29 in Eugene and continued his good period of form by winning in Chorzow in 44.11 last Saturday. Norman clocked 19.83 in his only 200m race this year in Walnut last April. 

Michael Norman: “On this pro level, we are relighting this fire. I think this rivalry is really exciting and great for the sport. I am in the best shape of my life in terms of pure strength but I have not sprinted the 200 metres since April. I am exciting to come out here and finally sprint and let loose, because I feel like I have been holding back all year”.   

Knighton won the world bronze medal in 19.80 after clocking 19.77 in the semifinal and continued his great period of form by winning the 200m in Szekesfehrvar in 19.88. Knighton set the fourth fastest time in history with his PB of 19.49 in Baton Rouge last spring. 

Fahnbulleh won two NCAA titles in the 100m and 200m in 10.00 and 19.83 and placed fourth in the World Championships final in Eugene in 19.83. The US-based Liberian sprinter will make his Diamond League debut. 

Ogando placed fifth in the 200m world final in 19.93 and won the gold medal with the mixed 4x400 relay in Eugene. 

Brown reached the finals in both the 100m and 200m and won the gold medal with the 4x100 relay at the World Championships in Eugene. 

Men’s 110 metres hurdles: 

Grant Holloway will be chasing his first Diamond League win this season in the men’s 110 metres hurdles. Holloway won his second consecutive world gold medal in Eugene in 13.03 last July. The US hurdler equalled his world indoor record in the 60 metres hurdles with 7.29 in Belgrade and clocked the second fastest time in history with 12.81 in the semifinals of last year’s US Olympic Trials. Holloway will target the Herculis meeting record held by Aries Merrit with 12.93 since 2012. In first European race since his world title in Eugene Holloway was beaten by Jamaica’s Rasheed Broadbell in a close photo-finish in Szekesfehrvar last Monday. 

The track of the Louis II stadium is known as a very fast track for hurdles races. 

Holloway will renew his rivalry against Trey Cunningham, who will make his Diamond League debut on European soil after winning the world silver medal in Eugene in 13.08. Cunningham also won the NCAA outdoor title in 13.00. The other US hurdler in the line-up is Daniel Roberts, who won the national title in Eugene in 13.03 and finished third in Szekesfehrvar in 13.13. 

Hansle Parchment will make his return after being forced to withdraw from the World Championships final in Eugene due to an injury in the warm-up. Parchment won the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo in 13.04 beating Holloway. 

Grant Holloway: “I grew watching Parchment. He is one of my idols. He has paved the way and it’s up to me to repave it and make it even better for the next person that’s coming up”. 

French rising star Sasha Zhoya will make his debut in Monaco on the track where Pascal Martinot Lagarde set the French record with 12.95  in 2014. Zhoya won the European Under 20 gold medal in Tallin in 13.06 and the world under 20 title in Nairobi breaking the world under 20 record with 12.72m with under 20 hurdles. This year Zhoya won his first French  title in Caen in 13.17 with senior hurdles and clocked 13.47 in the semifinal of the World Championships in Eugene. 

The line-up is rounded out by Pascal Martinot Lagarde, European champion in Berlin 2018 and world indoor silver medallist in Belgrade 2022, and Just Kwaou Mathey, who finished third in 13.27 in the Paris Diamond League meeting last June. 

Men’s 1000 metres: 

World and Olympic 800 metres champion Emmanuel Korir will clash against world 1500m gold medallist Jake Wightman, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Wycliffe Kinyamal and this year’s world 800m bronze medallist Marco Arop over a neutral distance in the men’s 1000 metres. 

Korir won the world gold medal in Eugene in a seasonal best of 1:43.71 and won his first 800m Diamond League race of the season in Chorzow in 1:45.72. 

Wightman broke the 3:30 barrier for the first time in his career in the 1500 metres in Monaco in 2020 with 3:29.47 becoming the second fastest British runner in history over this distance. The Scottish athlete improved his PB to 3:29.23 to win the 1500m world title in Eugene. He also won the bronze medal at last week’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 3:30.53. 

Women’s 400 metres: 

Double Olympic 400 metres champion and world gold medallist Shaunae Miller Uibo will clash against Sada Williams from Barbados, who won the 400m world bronze medal in her PB of 49.75, and Olympic 200 metres bronze medallist Gabby Thomas. 

Miller Uibo won her first world 400m title in Eugene in a world leading time of 49.11. The Bahamian star returns to the Monaco track where she set the meeting record with 48.97 in 2018. 

The line-up will be rounded out by Stephanie Ann McPherson, Fiordaliza Cofil and Candice McLeod, who finished fifth, sixth and seventh in the World Championships final in Eugene, Junelle Bromfield from Jamaica, fifth at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last week. 

Men’s high jump: 

Mutaz Barshim followed his Olympic gold medal in Tokyo with his third consecutive world outdoor title in Eugene with a clean-sheet until the world leading mark of 2.37m. Barshim will reunite with his close friend Gianmarco Tamberi in a re-match of last year’s epic Olympic final, where they shared the same height of 2.37m after clearing all heights in their first attempt. 

Tamberi won in Monaco in 2016 setting the Italian record of 2.39m a few minutes before suffering a serious ankle injury, which sidelined him from the Olympic Games in Tokyo where he was one of the biggest favourites. The Italian 30-year-old star became the first Italian athlete in history to win the Diamond Trophy in Zurich with 2.34m in 2021. This year he won the world indoor bronze medal in Belgrade in 2021 sharing the same height with Hamish Kerr. At the World Championships in Eugene Tamberi placed fourth with his seasonal best of 2.33 losing the bronze medal to Andiy Protsenko on countback. Tamberi feels at home in Monaco and will be keen to produce a good performance in front of the Italian fans, who traditionally attend the Herculis meeting. After Eugene Tamberi was tested positive to covid but he returned to winning way by taking the victory in Szekesfehrvar with 2.24m. 

Gianmarco Tamberi: “It’s very important for me tomorrow to jump and prove to myself that I am ready for the European Championships. To go out there and compete is the only thing I can do, to push myself and get some confidence”

The line-up features the top six finishers of the World Championships final in Eugene, including world indoor gold medallist Woo Sanghyeok from South Korea and Andy Protsenko from the Ukraine, who won silver and bronze medals at the World Championships in Eugene with 2.35m and 2.33m, Shelby McEwen from the USA (fifth with 2.30m), Django Lovett from Canada (sixth with 2.27m) and Ju’Vaughn Harrison (ninth with 2.27m).  

Women’s triple jump: 

Yulimar Rojas won her third world outdoor gold medal with 15.47m in Eugene adding this victory to her collection which features the Olympic gold medal and three world indoor titles. The Venezuelan triple jump star set the world outdoor record with 15.67m in the Olympic final in Tokyo last year and the world indoor record with 15.74m in Belgrade 2022. Rojas feels at home in Monaco and has won twice in her career at this meeting in 2019 with 14.98m and 2020 with 14.27m and jumped 15.12m last year, but she lost in the Final 3 showdown. Her goal is to break the Herculis meeting record set by Catherine Ibarguen in 2014 with 15.31m.  

Monaco will reunite the entire podium of the World Championships in Eugene, including silver and bronze medallists Shanieka Ricketts and Tori Frankin. Ricketts followed her second place in Eugene with a Commonwealth Games gold medal with 14.94m in Birmingham last week. The other global medallist in the field are Patricia Mamona from Portugal, Olympic silver medallist in Tokyo, Maryna Beck Romanchuk, who placed second in the World Indoor Championships in Belgrade last March. 

Seven of the top eight finishers in Eugene will compete in Monaco. The line up features Layannis Perez from Cuba (fourth with 14.70m), Thea Lafond from Dominica (fifth with 14.56m), US Keturah Orji (sixth with 14.49m).  

Women’s pole vault: 

US star Sandi Morris will chase her fourth Diamond League win this summer after her previous victories in Birmingham (4.73m), Rabat (4.65m) and Rome (4.81m). Morris also won the US Championships with 4.82m and her third consecutive world outdoor silver medal in Eugene, losing to Katie Nageotte on countback. 

Morris will renew her rivalry against Nina Kennedy from Australia, who won the world bronze medal with a seasonal best of 4.80m. 

The other Eugene World Championships finalists are world indoor bronze medallist Tina Sutej (fouth with 4.70m), former Olympic and world champion Ekaterini Stefanidi from Greece (fifth with 4.60m), 2021 European Indoor champion Angelica Moser from Switzerland (eighth with 4.60m). Roberta Bruni will chase another top-three spot after finishing second in Rome with 4.60m. France’s Margot Chevrier, who finished 11th in the World Championships final I Eugene, will make her Diamond League debut. 

Men’s long jump: 

Olympic champion and world silver medal Miltiadis Tentoglou from Greece will lead the men’s long jump line-up. Tentoglou will target his fifth Diamond League win this season after his previous victories in Rabat (8.27m), Oslo (8.10m), Stockolm (8.31m) and Chorzow (8.13m). 

The Greek jumper will face four Eugene world championships finalists: Maykel Massò from Cuba (fourth), Steffin McCarter (fifth), Marquis Dendy (sixth) and india’s Commonwealth Games silver medallist Murali Sreeshankar (seventh). Italian rising star Mattia Furlani will make his debut in the Diamond League after winning two European Under 18 gold medals in Jerusalem in the long jump with his PB of 8.04m and in the high jump.  

Women’s javelin throw: 

Kelsey Lee Barber from Australia won her second world title in the women’s javelin throw in Eugene and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Monaco will be a re-match of the World Championships final  in Eugene between Barber and the other two medallists Kara Winger and Karuka Kitaguchi, who won two Diamond League competitions this year in Paris and Chorzow. 

Women’s 3000 metres steeplechase: 

Ethiopia’s Werkuha Getachew will chase another sub-9 time after winning the world silver medal at the World Championships in Eugene in a national record of 8:54.61.Getachew also boasts a 800m PB of 1:56.67. She will take on Kenya’s Jackline Chepkoech, who won the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, 2017 world champion Emma Coburn and Olympic silver medallist Courtney Frerichs. 

Men’s 3000 metres: 

World 5000m silver medallist Jacob Krop will clash against last year’s Diamond League final winner Berihu Aregawi. Krop set the second fastest time in the world this year with his PB of 12:46.79 in Rome and won the Commonwealth Games bronze medal in Birmingham last week. Aregawi won the 5000m at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene in his pB of 12:50.05. Another name to watch is Dominic Lobalu from Sud Sudan, who the 3000m in Stockolm in 7:29.48 beating Jacob Kiplimo.  

Women’s 400 metres hurdles: 

Janieve Russell will start as the favourite in the women’s 400 metres hurdles one week after winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal in Birmingham. The Jamaican hurdler also finished second to Sydney McLaughlin in Szekesfehrvar last Monday.

Russell will take on her compatriot Rushell Clayton, who won the world bronze medal in Doha 2019 and clocked 53.63 in the World Championships semifinal in Eugene, Anna Ryzhykova and Viktoriya Tkachuk, who finished fifth and sixth in the Olympic final in Tokyo, Gianna Woodruff from Panama, seventh in the World Championships final in Eugene, and Ayomide Folorunso, who broke the Italian record with 54.34 in the World Championships in Eugene. 

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