Diamond League: Eyes on Kenyan stars as global champions set to clash in Monaco

Tuesday, July 9th, 2024 23:02 | By
Kenya's Emmanuel Wanyonyi. PHOTO/World Athletics
Kenya's Emmanuel Wanyonyi. PHOTO/World Athletics

Just five days after Faith Kipyegon broke her own record at the Paris Diamond League, eyes will shift to the penultimate Diamond League meeting before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in Monaco on Friday, July 12, 2024.

In 2023, Kipyegon set another of her world records, and this year’s programme includes the men’s 800m and after the world all-time list was subject to serious revision in Paris, Monaco offers a rematch.

Emmanuel Wanyonyi, who became the then third-fastest 800m runner in history at the Kenyan Olympic trials in Nairobi last month, went even faster in Paris with 1:41.58. However, remarkably, that wasn’t enough to win the race, and he was even almost pipped into third. Algeria’s Djamel Sedjati ran 1:41.56 and Gabriel Tual of France clocked 1:41.61 in a race of historic depth, and Sedjati, Wanyonyi, and Tual now, respectively, sit third, fourth, and fifth on the world all-time list, according to World Athletics.

Wanyonyi and the aforementioned rivals will battle against Canada’s Marco Arop, who won world gold ahead of Wanyonyi in Budapest last year. After winning at the Diamond League meeting in Xiamen and at the Canadian Championships, and with his place for the Olympic Games now secured, Arop will be looking for another strong run as he takes on a field that also features world bronze medallist Ben Pattison, Benjamin Robert, and Andreas Kramer, who improved his Swedish record in Paris. The meeting record stands at 1:41.98.

Jebitok in action

Australia’s Jessica Hull was another of the stars of Paris as she set an Oceanian 1500m record of 3:50.83 when finishing second behind Kipyegon’s world record, becoming the fifth-fastest of all time. Hull will take on the 2000m in Monaco against athletes including Ethiopia’s two-time world indoor silver medalist Axumawit Embaye, Kenya’s Edinah Jebitok, and Ciara Mageean, who will be back on the track on which she set her Irish record when finishing second behind Kipyegon’s world mile record last year.

In the men’s 1500m, Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen will also be looking for a pre-Paris boost as he follows his 1500m and 5000m golden doubles at the European Championships and Norwegian Championships by contesting the shorter event back on the Diamond League stage. 

He won the 1500m in Oslo in a world-leading 3:29.74 ahead of Kenya’s Olympic silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot and Azeddine Habz of France at the end of May, and the trio will meet again in Monaco, where they will also face the USA's Yared Nuguse, Norway’s Narve Gilje Nordas, and Niels Laros of the Netherlands, who set a world U20 1000m record in Hengelo on Sunday.

The women’s 5000m features Ethiopia’s Tsigie Gebreselama, who won in Eugene in a world-leading 14:18.76, against her compatriots Marta Alemayo, Likina Amebaw, and Aynadis Mebratu, plus Nadia Battocletti, who set an Italian record of 14:35.29 to win the European title as part of a 5000m and 10,000m double.

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