21 July, 2017

Monaco: 5 Things To Look Out For

  • © Philippe Fitte

The Road To The Final reaches Monaco, and for many athletes, this is the last chance to pick up crucial points in their bid to secure a place in the IAAF Diamond League Final at the end of the season. Can the likes of Asbel Kiprop, Julius Yego and Wayde Van Niekerk secure qualification? Here's a breakdown of five key events to look out for at Herculis.

1. Can Yego make it into the top eight? (Javelin M)

With just Monaco left before the Final of the men's javelin, this is the last chance for those javelin throwers who have not yet qualified to secure a position in the top eight and a place in Zürich. Kenyan star Julius Yego is one of those currently stuck outside the top eight, and will need points in Monaco. A finish in the top four or five at Herculis should be enough for Yego to make the Final, though if he finishes any lower, he will want to make sure that he at least beats Neeraj Chopra and Ahmed Bader Magour, who are currently just above him in the qualification standings.

2. Kiprop in need of points (1500 M)

Like Yego, Asbel Kiprop is another Kenyan superstar whose place in the Final could yet be snatched away from him. The three-time Diamond Trophy winner and current holder is currently in 13th place in the qualification standings, two points adrift of a place in the Final. That means that while a good finish should see Kiprop qualify, anything outside the top five or six at Herculis could be fatal, and deny the Kenyan the chance to defend his Diamond Trophy in Zürich next month.

3. Ibargüen and Rojas go head to head again (Triple Jump W)

With nobody having managed to qualify thus far in the women's triple jump, we may see the first few athletes nail down their place in the Final on Friday. Centre stage among them will be Caterine Ibargüen and Yulimar Rojas. While Ibargüen has dominated this tournament since 2013, Rojas is the young Venezuelan pretender to the Colombian's throne. She became only the second person to beat Ibargüen in nearly half a decade when the two met in Rome earlier this season, and the Colombian will be out for revenge in Monaco. Both are expected to reach the Final, but any duels between the two are surely a dry run for the ultimate showdown for the Diamond Trophy.

4. Too close to call among the hurdlers (100m Hurdles)

By the end of Friday evening, we will know the eight Finalists in the women's 100m hurdles, but for the time being, the race for a place in the Final is excruciatingly close. Sharika Nelvis and Christina Manning have already qualified, and one would expect Nia Ali, Kendra Harrison and Jasmin Stowers to follow suit. Below the top six, however, there is everything to play for. Sally Pearson, Isabelle Pedersen and Pamela Dutkiewicz are separated by just two points, and at least one of them is likely to miss out on qualification. It could all come down to who crosses the line first in Monaco.

5. Van Niekerk looks to secure Final spot (400m M)

Wayde Van Niekerk is one of the undisputed stars of the Herculis Meeting this week, and is expected to take victory in the 400m. Doing so would almost certainly secure him a place in the Final and a chance to compete for the Diamond Trophy. The South African currently sits outside the top eight, but he is only one point behind Matthew Hudson-Smith, meaning that victory would surely propel him up the standings and into the Final.