Author: Joseph Jonathan @aeioseph
In the last few weeks, we’ve had the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, the first Diamond League meeting in Poland, and a Continental Tour stop in Hungary.
For a lot of athletes, the Meeting Herculis Monaco Diamond League is the latest stop in a busy post-Championship season. For some, it’s their first competition back since the World Championships. Whether they’re the former or the latter, everyone knows about the magic in Monaco and the fields are absolutely stacked with Olympic, World Championships, and Commonwealth Games medalists.
We could be on World Record watch for the Women’s 1500m, the Women’s Triple Jump, and dare I say it… maybe even the Women’s 100m and Men’s 200m.
Whether we get any world records or not, Monaco always delivers with thrilling competition in each and every event. Check out the event-by-event preview below.
Long Jump Men
Olympic Champion Miltiadis Tentoglou had to settle for the silver at the World Championships, but he returned to winning ways at last week’s Silesia Diamond League. The three men behind him in Silesia, Steffin McCarter, Maykel Massó, and Marquis Dendy, all jumped the same distance of 8.09m and all three will look to go one better in Monaco.
Keep an eye out for Commonwealth Games silver medalist Murali Sreeshankar, 2019 World Champion Tajay Gayle, and 2021 Diamond League Final winner Thobias Montler.
Pole Vault Women
The Women’s Pole Vault features the World Championships silver and bronze medalists in Sandi Morris and Nina Kennedy. While Morris should be the favorite for the win, Kennedy is coming off winning the Commonwealth Games and has momentum on her side.
Tina Šutej finished just outside the podium at the World Championships and should feature, as well as 2016 Olympic Champion Katerina Stefanidi.
Javelin Throw Women
The Women’s Javelin Throw features all three World Championships medalists. Since the World Championships, gold medalist Kelsey-Lee Barber added the Commonwealth Games gold medal to her tally while bronze medalist Haruka Kitaguchi threw a season’s best of 65.10m at the Silesia Diamond League.
Silver medalist Kara Winger is in her final season as a professional athlete and will be in the mix, as should Liveta Jasiūnaitė and Barbora Špotáková.
Men’s High Jump
Olympic Champion Mutaz Essa Barshim jumped a world-leading 2.37m to win the World Championships in Oregon last month and is the class of the field. Behind him, Sanghyeok Woo equaled his personal best of 2.35m to take the silver medal and looks poised to jump higher. Gianmarco Tamberi, who shared the Olympic gold with Barshim, is rounding into form at the right time for the rest of the Diamond League season.
Commonwealth Games gold medalist Hamish Kerr is a late addition to the field and will look to better his 2.31m personal best. Andriy Protsenko, Shelby McEwen, and JuVaugh Harrison should also be in close contention.
400m Hurdles Women
World Champion and World Record Holder Sydney McLaughlin was previously reported to feature but has since been removed from the entry list. Without McLaughlin, Commonwealth Games gold medalist Janieve Russell is the favorite. Her fellow Jamaican Rushell Clayton should challenge her for the win, and look out for Gianna Woodruff who ran a personal best to make the final at the World Championships.
The Men’s 1000m features both World 800m Champion Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir and World 1500m Champion Jake Wightman.
The 1000m is not often contested outdoors, especially at this level, so this race is quite hard to predict. Bryce Hoppel is the former American Record Holder in the event when he ran 2:16.27 indoors. World Championships 800m bronze medalist Marco Arop and Commonwealth Games 800m gold medalist Wyclife Kinyamal Kisasy should also challenge for the top spot.
Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich and Benjamin Robert should not be counted out as well. And honestly, I have no idea how this race is going to play out so keep your eyes out for Clayton Murphy, Josh Thompson, Luke McCann, Tony Van Diepen, and late addition Hobbs Kessler who is making his Diamond League debut. I just named the entire field, in case you were wondering.
The Women’s 100m will be a duel between World 100m Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and World 200m Champion Shericka Jackson. In the last few days, Fraser-Pryce ran 10.66s in Silesia and 10.67s in Szekesfehervar, Hungary. She is knocking on the door of her 10.60s personal best… and maybe even faster.
Four of the other lanes will be filled by Americans Tamara Clark, Aleia Hobbs, Melissa Jefferson, and Twanisha Terry. Marie-Josée Ta Lou, who finished third behind Fraser-Pryce and Hobbs in Silesia, and Daryll Neita, who won the bronze at the Commonwealth Games in the 100m, complete the line-up.
Triple Jump Women
Yulimar Rojas has been the dominant force in the Women’s Triple Jump and with all due respect to the rest of the field, it’s not even close.
While Rojas should win by a considerable distance, her competitors will be looking to inch closer to the 15m barrier. World Championships silver medalist Shanieka Ricketts just won the Commonwealth Games in a games record of 14.94m. American Keturah Orji and World Championships bronze medalist Tori Franklin come in as the 3rd and 4th-ranked competitors based on season’s bests.
1500m Women – World Record Attempt
Without Gudaf Tsegay and Laura Muir, Olympic and World Champion Faith Kipyegon is in a league of her own. Adelle Tracey and Allie Wilson of the Atlanta Track Club are scheduled to pace through 800m in 2:02 (the pace for Genzebe Dibaba’s WR was 2:04.52), but it is difficult to imagine anyone except Kipyegon going with the pace. Will Kipyegon be able to go for the world record on her own after the pacers drop off?
If anyone does attempt to go with Kipyegon, Ethiopians Hirut Meshesha and Axumawit Embaye are at the top of the list. Further down, look for Union Athletics Club teammates Sinclaire Johnson and Jessica Hull to run close to their personal bests.
Monaco is a good place to break the four-minute barrier for the first time, and Cory Ann McGee, Heather MacLean and Georgia Griffith should all be keen to run under four minutes. Finally, what can Elise Cranny do in a fast 1500m? Cranny is better known as a 5000m and 10000m runner as of late, but she was a 1500m runner in college and could dip under four minutes as well.
110m Hurdles Men
No one in this field has run under 13 seconds this season, and quite a few of them will be looking to run under the mark. World Champion Grant Holloway narrowly lost on Monday in Szekesfehervar, Hungary to Jamaican Rasheed Broadbell, but Holloway still comes to Monaco as the favorite. Broadbell will not be in Monaco, but Holloway will have another Jamaican to battle with in Olympic Champion Hansle Parchment. Parchment is eager to put in a strong performance after not starting both the World Championship final due to an injury, and the Commonwealth Games final out of an abundance of caution.
United States Champion Daniel Roberts is also looking for redemption after crashing out of the World Championships in the semi-finals, and World Championships silver medalist Trey Cunningham will be wanting to break his 13.00s personal best and dip under the 13-second barrier.
While the Women’s 800m is a non-Diamond League scoring event, it should still be a must-watch affair. Natoya Goule comes in with the fastest time of the season at 1:57.88, which she ran to place a close fourth at the Commonwealth Games.
Watch out for the Americans in the field, including Sage Hurta (who was second in Silesia) and Olivia Baker. 2019 World Champion Halimah Nakaayi is also in the field, as well as Jemma Reekie, Linden Hall, and Agnès Raharolahy.
And since Monaco is all about breaking time barriers, can Abbey Caldwell break two minutes? The Australian just won the bronze medal in the 1500m at the Commonwealth Games.
Though Olympic and World Champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo has made it known this will be her last season fully focusing on the 400m, she is still the favorite for the Diamond League trophy.
Alongside Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas, the 400m has become a strong event for the Caribbean nations. Commonwealth Games gold medalist Sada Williams of Barbados, Fiordaliza Cofil of the Dominican Republic, and Jamaicans Candice McLeod and Stephanie Ann McPherson all look to compete strongly for the top positions.
When the 3000m was contested at the Stockholm Diamond League, Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu was the surprise victor in 7:29.48.
This time around, Lobalu will be firmly in the sights of a deep field including the likes of Berihu Aregawi, Nicholas Kipkorir, Jacob Krop, and Stewart McSweyn.
The United States will have four men in the field with Grant Fisher, Joe Klecker, William “Woody” Kincaid, and Paul Chelimo. Alongside the aforementioned Kipkorir and Krop, the Kenyans are also fielding Bethwell Birgen, Daniel Simiu Ebenyo, and Cornelius Kemboi. With five Kenyas and four Americans in the field, I suggest we take the top three finishers from each country and score them in a head-to-head team competition.
The Men’s 200m was set to be a rerun of the World Championships final with six of the eight finalists originally set to compete. Unfortunately, World Championships bronze medalist Kenneth “Kenny” Bednarek pulled out due to an injury he sustained in Szekesfehervar, Hungary on Monday. Even without Bednarek, this race is going to be a spectacle.
Will World Champion Noah Lyles run away with the win again like he did in Oregon? Can silver medalist Erriyon Knighton respond and put together another sub-19.5s performance? What can World 400m Champion Michael Norman do in the half-lap distance? Can Joseph Fahnbulleh of Liberia upset the pre-race favorites? So many questions for this one, and this field will surely deliver the answers in less than twenty seconds.
3000m Steeplechase Women
The Women’s 3000m Steeplechase is headlined by World Championships silver medalist Werkuha Getachew, who has run some fifteen seconds faster this season than anyone else in the field.
Should Getachew lag behind her personal best, Olympic silver medalist Courtney Frerichs and 2017 World Champion Emma Coburn will be ready to run fast and contend for the win. The top two finishers from the Commonwealth Games also feature, with gold medalist Jackline Chepkoech poised to lower her personal best, and silver medalist Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bird who surely has eyes set on the British record of 9:15.64.