Stunning performances, as usual, at the Monaco Diamond League meeting

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The Herculis Monaco meeting is the meet where athletes put it all together. Traditionally, this meet is the last or second to last prior to European, World or Olympic championships. The cool, crisp air in the Meditteranean, mid-July, and the attentive crowd of Monesque and French citizens makes this a meet not to miss.

The Stade Louis II has seen amazing field events, middle distance races and sprints. There are always some upsets and some people just fly in Monaco! And no matter how well you have competed in past years, the competitors will take you to the final steps!

Check out Justin Lagat's piece on the amazing night of athletics at the Herculis Monaco!

The Monaco Diamond League meeting has always been one of the most exciting athletic events to look forward to watching every year. Today was no different; if not even perhaps a little bit more exciting than ever.

Faithkipyegon .jpgFaith Kipyegon, Herculis Monaco, 9 July 2021, photo by Diamond League AG

Two of the highly anticipated head-to-head competitions were in the 1500m events with Sifan Hassan running against Faith Kipyegon in the women's race while Timothy Cheruiyot was to face off with Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the men's event.

SREE4116.JPGSifan Hassan, Florence DL, 10 June 2021, photo by Diamond League AG

Hassan was intent on making the women's 1500m race a long hard run, but Faith Kipyegon simply wanted to win it! It was a fast race from the beginning that saw only three runners remaining in contention with almost three laps to go. Hassan led closely followed by Kipyegon as Ethiopia's Hailu Freweyni hung behind the two.

Hassan increased the pace at the bell and went with Kipyegon, but with about200m to go Kipyegon moved parallel to her before overtaking and stretching the lead on the home stretch to win the race in a world-leading, national record and a personal best time of 3:51.07. Hassan followed in 3:53.60 ahead of Hailu who registered a new personal best time of 3:56.28.

Despite running behind the pacesetters and acting as a second pacer for the others up to the last stages of the men's race, Timothy Cheruiyot still had a finishing kick reserved to secure the win in a new personal best and a world-leading time of 3:28.28. Mohamed Katir surprised everyone with a second finish in a national record and personal best time of 3:28.76 ahead of Ingebrigtsen in 3:29.25.

Timcheruiyot1500monaco21.jpgTimothy Cheruiyot, 9 July 2021, 1500m in 3:28.28 WL! Herculis Monaco, photo by Diamond League AG

There was drama and confusion in both the men's and women's 3000m steeplechase races! Benjamin Kigen kicked hard with two laps to go in the men's race after the bell wrongly rung. Ethiopia's Lamecha Girma won the race in a world-leading 8:07.75.

GirmaLamechasteeple.jpgGirma Lamecha, 8:07.75 WL, photo by Diamond League AG, 9 July 2021

Beatrice Chepkoech tried a new race tactic in the women's 3000m steeplechase race. Chepkoech allowed Hyvin Kiyeng to stay in front of her this time around, just behind the pacesetter. Kiyeng gladly took the pacing duty until the last two laps remained when she miscounted the laps and went hard for the finish, only to hear the bell being rung as she was about to celebrate. Emma Coburn who was following her seized the moment and quickly closed the gap as Kiyeng tried to recover. The two were shoulder to shoulder on the last water jump when Coburn fell and Kiyeng went for the win. Chepkoech and Winfred Yavi would overtake Coburn to take second and third positions respectively.

kiyeng, coburn.jpgHyvin Kiyeng battles Emma Coburn in a race full of surprises, 9 July 2021, Herculis Monaco, photo by Diamond League AG

Laura Muir disappointed the 800m specialists after she came from behind to register a personal best time of 1:56.73 to win the women's 800m race. The pre-race favorite, Almanza Rose struggled in the end probably as a result of going out too fast at the beginning with a pacesetter who crossed the first 400min 54.80. The second 400m was almost run in 62 seconds.

Muir 1;56! .jpgLaura Muir upsets the 800m types! Muir goes 1:56.73 NR/PB, Reekie, 1:56.93 PB, Grace, 1:57.20 PB! photo by Diamond League AG

Amos Nijel used the men's 800m race with a world-leading time of 1:42.91 to announce his comeback. Almost like in the women's race, the first 400m was a little bit too optimistic as the pacesetter crossed it in 48.96.

nijel amos 800m .jpgNijel Amos reminds everyone that he is an 800m specialist with his 1:42.91 WL! 9 July 2021, photo by Diamond League AG

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