Justin Lagat gives us the low down on the Monaco Diamond League Meeting! Some impressive fields in the distance! The big questions are just how fast will Asbel Kiprop run and can Genzebe Dibaba run over 5000 meters. And then, the 800 meter battle with David Rudisha! What fun!
Asbel Kiprop, a fast 1,500 meters? He promises so on Facebook!
photo by PhotoRun.net
Monaco Diamond League 800m,1500m, 3000m SC and 5000m Previews, by Justin Lagat
The Herculis meeting this time round has assembled the finest of athletes ever assembled in the middle and long distance events in any other meeting this year.
In the women 5000m, Genzebe Dibaba, who started this year on a high note by setting three world records in the 1500m, 3000m and 2 miles indoor events, all of them within the month of February, will be lining up. She is a younger sister to Tirunesh Dibaba and most people believe that she is apt to be as great as her sister who has just moved up to road running. Mercy Cherono will be another star to feature in this event having just won the 3000m events at the New York Adidas Grand Prix and at the Lausanne Diamond League races. Sally Kipyego, the Olympic and World Silver medalist in the 10,000m will be one of the stars lining up in the women 5000m race in the Monaco Diamond League. In March, she set the women’s record in the New York City half marathon then run one of the fastest times ever for the women 10,000m to win the Payton Jordan invitational in May. A great battle for sure will ensue here.
The men’s 3000m steeplechase event will be amazing too. Jairus Birech and Conseslus Kipruto not only come from the same village in Nandi County, but they most of the time, train in the same group in Mosoriot. They also probably have one goal in common; and that is to beat the world and Olympic Champion, Ezekiel Kemboi. On the other hand, Kemboi had told local reporters earlier on at the start of this year that he was considering going for the world record. Monaco is always a fast track and if he is intent on that record, then the best place for him to try it will be at the Monaco Diamond League.
Both Birech and Kemboi have won in the recent Diamond league races this year. Kemboi won at the Doha League, where Jairus had finished in fourth place. But then, Jairus soon got into a better shape and won in Rome, Oslo and Lausanne meetings. Conseslus Kipruto placed second behind Birech at the Lausanne meeting, but given that he was the Diamond League winner last season, he definitely is a contender here too.
Perhaps the most anticipated race in Monaco would be the men’s 1500m. Asbel Kiprop will be attempting the world record here. He is intent on it and has even sacrificed some of his other ambitions to solely focus on this meeting. He will be facing other strong competitors that include Silas Kiplagat, Souleiman Ayanleh, James Magut and Aman Wote, among others. Currently, Kiplagat leads at the league standings with 8 points, followed by Souleiman with 7 while Kiprop has 5. But, the latter did not concentrate his points in one single event since he also has 4 points in the 800m event.
While running a PB of 2:27.72 in the same meeting last year where Mo Farah had run a European Record in second place, Asbel Kiprop’s pace makers had crossed the first 400m in 52.95, 800m in 1:50.40, and then Kiprop himself crossed the 1200m mark in 2:45.91. It will be interesting watching those marks against the clock as he runs again this Friday. He promised his fans a great race via a FaceBook post before the meeting last year, and, true to his word, he did not disappoint. This time round, he has promised a world record.
The men’s 800m event will also be great. David Rudisha will finally meet again with Aman Mohammed and Nijel Amos after the two beat him at the Prefontaine Classic meeting in Eugene early last month. Now, like a wounded lion that has recovered and is back to revenge on his attackers, Rudisha will be there to stamp his authority again in the distance and to remind them that he is still the king of the 800m.