13 July, 2019

Monaco: What You Missed

  • © Philippe Fitte

From Sifan Hassan's world record to another stunning six-metre monster from a certain Pole on a pole, the ninth IAAF Diamond League meeting of the season was packed full of breathtaking performances. Here is what you missed at Herculis in Monaco on Friday evening.

Four meeting records, five world leads and, of course, one glittering world record in the women's mile. It was a stunning evening at the Stade Louis II in Monaco, and one worth watching again even if you didn't miss it. 

For those who did, we have your back. From Hassan's heroics to Lisek's brilliance via a chaotic men's 400m, here is everything you missed as the Road to the Final hit the Cote d'Azur this weekend. 

Noah Lyles narrowly missed out on victory again in the men's 100m as he came in just a hundredth of a second behind compatriot Justin Gatlin. Lyles remained all smiles despite the defeat, as well he might with 15 points to his name and a place in the Diamond League Final very much in sight. 

The same is now true of women's 200m Diamond Trophy holder Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who came into Monaco without any points at all on the board, and under pressure to deliver against the likes of Elaine Thompson, Dafne Schippers and Marie-Josée Ta Lou. She did so with aplomb, clocking a season's best of 22.09 as she sailed ahead of the rest of the field on the home straight. 

Miller-Uibo's compatriot Steven Gardiner looked equally cool as he strolled to victory in the men's 400m. His unflappability was particularly impressive after the chaos which had preceded his victory. A handful of athletes failed to hear the klaxon after an initial false start, meaning that young Barbadian Jonathan Jones ran a full race on his own, without realising that it would all count for nothing. A terrible shame for Jones, but one from which we are certain he will bounce back. 

Kendra Harrison also recorded her best mark of the season, running 12.43 to win the women's 100m hurdles. Despite two victories so far, Harrison is still yet to qualify in what is a fiercely contested battle to reach the Diamond League final.

It is the same story in the women's 400m hurdles,  where fellow American Sydney McLaughlin ran a world-leading 53.32 to pick up her second victory on the Road to the Final. McLaughlin remains just sixth in the standings, but it would be a brave individual who would bet against her making the final. 

In the field events, Christian Taylor launched his campaign to regain the Diamond Trophy with an impressive meeting record of 17.82m in the men's triple jump. His victory followed a surprise defeat for Caterine Ibargüen - a six-time Diamond Trophy winner like Taylor - in the women's event the night before. 

Diamond Trophy holder Andreas Hofmann booked his place in the final with victory in the men's javelin, but it was pole vaulter Piotr Lisek who really stole the show on the infield. 

Lisek, who cleared the six-metre mark outdoors for the first time on his way to a fabulous victory in Lausanne last week, went a centimetre higher this time around, clearing 6.02m at the first attempt to set a new national record, meeting record and world lead. 

There was yet another meeting record in the men's 800m, as Nijel Amos hurtled down the home straight in the way only he can to clinch victory in 1:41.89 ahead of Kenya's Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich. 

Amos' exploits, though, were not even the most impressive performance in the middle distance races. That accolade, and without doubt the performance of the week, goes to the equally unique Sifan Hassan. 

Performance of the week

Asked about the mile world record in the pre-meeting press conference, Hassan gave a knowing grin and attempted to play down the fact that she was eyeing the mark. As it turned out, she needn't have done so, for the Dutch star exploded around the track to clock a new world record of 4:12.33.