Over the past decade, the Wanda Diamond League meeting in Monaco has established a reputation as the best place in the world in which to attempt a middle distance world record.
In that time, four of those records have fallen at Herculis EBS meeting. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba established a world 1500m record of 3:50.07 in 2015 and Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkoech sparked a series of world record-breaking performances in the Stade Louis II stadium when she demolished the 3000m steeplechase world record there in 2018.
Olympic gold medallist Sifan Hassan then cracked the mile record in 2019 and fellow Olympic champion Joshua Cheptegei improved the 5000m record in 2020.
Last year, world and Olympic 1500m champion Faith Kipyegon came closest to extending that streak when she set her personal best time, an Kenyan record of 3:51.07, the fourth fastest time in history, and just one second outside Dibaba’s mark.
Kipyegon returns today, having dominated the World Championships final in Oregon to win her second world title. And with two 3:52 clockings already to her name this year, if she maintains such supreme form, the 1500m record will surely be in danger again this week.
She will have a strong field to help her to a fast time, with another five sub-four-minute runners in attendance, including the Ethiopian pair of Hirut Meshesha (the winner in Rabat and Rome) and Axumawit Embaye.
Kipyegon is one of 12 newly-minted world champions on the starting lists for Monaco, and elsewhere the focus will be more on racing rather than records.
In the women’s 100m and the men’s 200m and 1000m, world champions will collide.
The Jamaican pair of Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Shericka Jackson will extend their rivalry in Monaco, fresh from respective victories in the 100m and 200m in Silesia at the weekend, where world champion Fraser-Pryce set a world-leading time of 10.66 to win the short sprint.
World 400m champion Michael Norman will step down in distance to take on two-time world champion Noah Lyles in a stacked 200m field, which includes the top five men from the
World Championships final last month and seven sub-20 second sprinters, among them the world silver medallist Kenny Bednarek and the US wunderkind Erriyon Knighton.
World 800m champion Emmanuel Korir and world 1500m champion Jake Wightman will meet in the middle over 1000m to decide some bragging rights, along with new Commonwealth 800m champion Wycliffe Kinyamal and world bronze medallist Marco Arop.
Other world champions on the track in Monaco include two-time Olympic champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo, in an intriguing match-up with USA’s Olympic 200m bronze medallist Gabby Thomas and the new Commonwealth Games champion Sada Williams over one lap.
Olympic bronze medallist Raevyn Rogers heads the women’s 800m field, while Olympic champion Peruth Chemutai will face a tough test in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, with world bronze medallist Mekides Abebe and new Commonwealth Games champion Jackline Chepkoech on the starting line.
In the men’s 3000m, world 5000m silver medallist Jacob Krop looks a likely favourite in a big field with a range of contenders including world leader Dominic Lokinyomo Lobalu.