Monaco’s Herculis meeting encompassing 10th Diamond League meet ended with pyrotechnics and impressive fireworks on July 17 but the blazes came earlier in women’s 1500m, in which Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba shattered the 22-year old world record by breasting the tape in 3:50.08 minutes. The earlier record stood in the name of Chinese athlete Yunxia Qu, who had run in 3:50.46 during Chinese National Games in Beijing on September 11, 1993. The men’s 1500m was another signature event at Monaco, where 10 out of 12 runners finished with their lifetime bests. But Kenya’s Asbel Kiprop stole the show by crushing the field in 3:26.69 and becoming third fastest man in 1500m history. Besides Kiprop, 5 runners clocked below 3:30 in the race. Britain’s Mo Farah finished fourth in 3:28.93. In men’s 800m, a little known Bosnian and debutant Amel Tuka shocked such established runners as Nijel Amos, Mo Aman and Ayanleh Souleiman by clocking a world-lead time of 1:42.51. Among other winners at Monaco on Friday, Justin Gatlin was supreme in 100m; Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie took the top spot in men’s javelin after two failures, Croatia’s Sandra Perkovic regained her top status in women’s discus; USA’s Joe Kovac won men’s shot put; Tianna Bartoletta finished second to Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic; Sharika Nelvis won women’s 100m hurdles and there was a familiar fight between USA’s Christian Taylor and Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo.
The biggest news from Monaco DL on Friday was provided by 24-year-old Ethiopian Genzebe Dibaba, who broke the long-standing world record in women’s 1500m. Clocking 3:50.07 minutes, Dibaba went past the Chinese Qu Yunxia’s mark of 3:50.46 set in September 1993 at Beijing. After Dibaba crossed 800m, she still had the company of European champion Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan but with 100m left in the race, she made a strong charge to finish as the fastest woman to run 1500m in athletic history. It was a race, in which six women ran faster than four minutes. Hassan was second with 3:56.05.
Men’s 1500m at Monaco was a non-DL event but it attracted the who’s who of the world. But one man ruled at the race with a brilliant finish. The race belonged to Kenyan Asbel Kiprop, who exhibited sublime form to finish in 3:26.69. Kiprop was head and shoulders above everyone else in a race that saw 10 runners of the top 12 setting lifetime bests. After Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj (3:26.00) and Kenyan Bernard Lagat (3:26.34), Kiprop has become the fastest men in 1500m now. In a sub 3:30 club, five other men joined Kiprop on Friday beginning with2012 Olympic champion Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi with 3:28.75, Morocco’s Abdelaati Iguider with 3:28.79, Britain’s Mo Farah in 3:28.93, New Zealand’s Nick Willis with 3:29.66, and Kenyan newcomer Elijah Manangoi in 3:29.67. It was amazing that even with the 10th place in 3:30.40, USA’s Matt Centrowitz became the fastest North American to run 1500m. At 400m, Kiprop was 5 meters ahead of Mo Farah and that gap continued until the 800m mark. Kiprop hit 1100 in under 2:32 and then he Kenyan charged away to leave everyone far behind.
Sparks flew in men’s 800m, in which debutant Amel Tuka from Bosnia & Herzegovina surprised a field that had well-known names like; Nijel Amos, Mo Aman, Ayanleh Souleiman and many others. But Tuka took them down all to finish at the top with a world-lead of 1:42.51. With 200m to go, Frenchman Pierre-Ambroise Bosse was in the lead, followed by world champion Aman, Souleiman, and the Olympic silver medalist Amos and USA’s Borian Berian. Tuka was sixth at that point. Coming off the final turn, it looked like a race between Amos and Souleiman. As Amos began to pull away from Souleiman midway through the homestretch, Tuka started flying. In the final 10 meters, the Bosnian crossed them all and won in 1:42.51 with Amos second in 1:42.66 and Souleiman third in 1:42.97.
Monaco’s other highlight was the familiar triple-jump fight between Christian Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo. Taylor’s second-round jump of 17.75m gave him the win over PPP, who made it 17.74 in round 5. Head to head, the two triple jumpers are now tied with 4 wins each.
In other results, Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie won men’s Pole Vault; USA’s Candyce McGrone won women’s 200m; Croat Sandra Perkovic regained the top spot in women’s discus; Mariya Kuchina of Russia leapt 2.0m ahead of European champion Spain’s Ruth Beitia in women’s high jump; USA’s Francena McCorory won in 400m; Tianna Bartoletta lost in women’s long jump to Serbia’s Ivana Spanovic; USA’s Sharika Nelvis won women’s 100m hurdles; Bershawn Jackson won men’s 400m hurdles; Habiba Ghribi of Tunisia won women’s steeplechase; Finland’s 2007 World champion Tero Pitkamaki won in men’s javelin and Kenya’s Caleb Ndiku topped men’s 3000m. There were so surprises in Justin Gatlin winning the 100m sprint and USA’s Joe Kovacs winning in men’s shot put.