Men’s long jump: Glitterati a gogo
Militiadis Tentoglou and Murali Sreeshankar have both jumped 8m36 this season and are clearly the ones to beat on paper. However, they’ll have to watch out for several stellar opponents, including Thobias Montler, number two at the European Indoor championships (8m27 this year, RP), Maykel Massó, bronze medallist in Tokyo, and Americans Marquis Dendy and Steffin McCarter. Among the French contingent, all eyes will be on Jules Pommery, a brand-new record-holder for French hopes with 8m17.
Women’s pole vault: World’s elite
The pole vault competition will be reminiscent of a remake with confirmation from the best athletes in the world. On the back of the year’s results so far, Sandi Morris will likely lead the way, but the world number two will have to keep an eye on Australian Nina Kennedy, third in Eugene (4m80, SB). Still competing at major athletics meets, Katerina Stefanidi could prove dangerous too, as could Holly Bradshaw, third in Tokyo, and Tina Šutej, third at the World Indoor championships this year. French fans will also need to watch out for world finalist Margot Chevrier, the local of the leg, who will be making her Wanda Diamond League meeting debut.
Women’s javelin: Eugene all over again
The atmosphere may well smack of Eugene on the javelin throwing runway inside the Louis II Stadium. Kelsey-Lee Barber, reigning double world champion and world-leading athlete this year (66m91) is the event favourite. She’s sure to keep a close eye on American Kara Winger (64m26) and Japanese thrower Haruka Kitaguchi (64m32), respectively second and third in the World Championships. Of particular note is the presence of Barbora Špotáková, who holds the world record in the discipline (72m26) and the meeting record (69m45).
Men’s high jump: Barshim and his podium contenders
The top trio from the World championships will be vying for supremacy in Monaco. Mutaz Essa Barshim will be the bookie’s favourite having cleared 2m37 this season. Sanghyeok Woo could well prove a threat after making a jump of 2m35, as could Ukrainian Andriy Protsenko, third in Eugene. Don’t forget Gianmarco Tamberi, who will be competing on home turf with the support of a huge Italian audience around the high jump area… Watch this space!
Women’s 400m hurdles: McLaughlin, queen of the hurdles
Sydney McLaughlin is the undisputed queen of the 400m hurdles. She utterly dominates her discipline, as demonstrated by her world record performance in the finals in Eugene. On the start line she’ll be up against compatriot Britton Wilson, she too a finalist in Eugene, as well as Jamaican Rushell Clayton and Ukrainian Anna Ryzhykova. French hurdler Camille Séri, a member of the Nice athletics club, will make the most of this choice competition to test her form before taking off for the European championships in Munich.
Men’s 1,000m: A bevy of medallists
The 1,000m is a distance seldom run in a professional competition, but in Monaco it could well become a meeting highlight. On the start line will be the reigning Olympic and World champion, Emmanuel Korir, up against Canadian Marco Arop, third in Eugene. Completing the star cast will be Olympic silver medallist in the 800m, Ferguson Rotich, and American Bryce Hoppel, third in this year’s World Indoor championships. This prime opposition should enable Benjamin Robert to secure a personal best (2’19”59, indoors) before flying off to Munich…
Women’s 100m: World final
One of the ‘must see’ races, it boasts no fewer than 5 of the finalists from the last world championships. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the reigning world champion, will be keen to run faster than 10”67, a time she’s already posted three times this season. She’ll be up against compatriot Shericka Jackson, world number two. Vying for the final podium spot will be Americans Aleia Hobbs (10”83 this year, PB) and Melissa Jefferson, US champion (10”82 this year, PB), as well as the inexhaustible athlete from the Ivory Coast, Marie-Josée Ta Lou, third in Doha in 2019.
Women’s triple jump: Rojas and her pursuers
In Eugene, Yulimar Rojas made short work of her rivals. The Venezuelan, world record holder with 15m74 back in the winter, feels very much at home in Monaco, where she already has two victories to her credit. However, she’ll have to watch out for her closest rivals at the Worlds: Jamaican Shanieka Ricketts (14m89 this year), victorious last year thanks to the Final 3 rule, and Tori Franklin (14m72 this season). Of note is the presence in the competition of Patricia Mamona, Olympic number two, Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk, World Indoor number two (14m54) and Leyanis Perez Hernandez, who took the third step of the podium in Oregon.
Women’s 1,500m: Kipyegon the firm favourite
Faith Kipyegon has got a clear road ahead to snatch another victory. The reigning world champion is absolutely nailing the distance this year with a world-leading performance (3’52”59). However, she’ll have to closely monitor the three Ethiopians who have run sub-4-minute times this year: Freweyni Hailu, fourth in Eugene, Hirut Meshesha, and Axumawit Embaye. France will be represented by Aurore Fleury, who will be returning to the track which saw her excel last year. A great opportunity to rub shoulders with the world’s elite runners and hunt down a new personal best…
110m hurdles: At full pace
A truly inspirational line-up with all the big names in the starting blocks. On the one hand, reigning double world champion and the second best 110m hurdler of all time, Grant Holloway. On the other, the Olympic champion of the discipline, Jamaican Hansle Parchment. Arbitrating this duel will be Trey Cunningham, world number two, and Daniel Roberts, winner of the US Trials and fighting fit despite suffering a fall in the qualifying heats in Eugene. The Blues will be represented by Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, Sasha Zhoya, and Just Kwaou-Mathey, in what is set to be a very intense rehearsal before Munich.
Women’s 800m: Brimming with talent
There will be a fancy cast at the start of the 800m, with the cream of the world’s runners. On the front line, Jamaican Natoya Goule (1’57”90) against Raevyn Rogers, third last year in Tokyo, and Jemma Reekie, fourth at the Olympics. This stellar opposition should enable French athlete Agnès Raharolahy to improve on her personal best set this year (1’59”59).
Women’s 400m: Queen Miller-Uibo
Last time Shaunae Miller-Uibo set foot in Monaco in 2018 in the 400m, she won the race in 48”97, a meeting record. She naturally has her sights on victory once again this year. The finalists in Eugene will be eager to cause an upset though: Sada Williams, third in Eugene, (49”75), Stephenie Ann McPherson (50”15), Candice McLeod (50”05) and Fiordaliza Cofil (50”14). Don’t miss it!
Men’s 3,000m: Aregawi vs Krop
One of the evening’s high points, it promises to be explosive. Lining up for the 3,000m will be the very best of the world’s middle-distance runners. Be sure to watch Berihu Aregawi, world record holder in the 5km road race, and don’t overlook Grant Fisher, winner of the American Trials and Jacob Krop, silver medallist in Eugene in the 5,000m. Two representatives will be running for France: Jimmy Gressier, who’s always enjoyed success in Monaco, and Hugo Hay. The ideal opportunity to work on speed before Munich.
Men’s 200m: The USA out in force
The men’s 200m will be reminiscent of a final at the Trials. On the start line will be the excellent Noah Lyles, demonstrating impressive ease a few days ago to take the world title (19”31, third best performance of all time). On his tail are his fellow podium winners at the Worlds, Kenneth Bednarek (19”77, SB) and the sensation Erriyon Knighton (19”49, PB), as well as Josephus Lyles (19”93). Also worth noting is the presence of Michael Norman, world 400m champion, who’s posted 19”83 this year.
Women’s 3,000m steeplechase: Jeruto, set to confirm
The 3,000m steeplechase is a star event at Monaco, as demonstrated by the world record in the discipline set in 2018 by Beatrice Chepkoech. This year will see the reigning world champion Norah Jeruto clashing with the Olympic champion, Peruth Chemutai… Arbitrating will be Ethiopians Werkuha Getachew and Mekides Abebe, respectively second and third at the Worlds.