Kiprop shows sub-3:30 form in Monaco

Asbel Kiprop, Silke Spiegelburg, Aries Merritt and US 4x100m team produce world-leading marks at the Samsung Diamond League in Monaco

Asbel Kiprop

Reigning Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop produced one of four world-leading marks at the Herculis Meeting in Monaco.

In the best quality 1500m race of the season, Kiprop produced a final lap of 53.43 to pull clear from his London-bound team-mate Nixon Chepseba. In a race which saw seven of the first eight athletes set PBs, Asbel Kiprop clocked the world’s fastest time since 2004 with 3:28.88 to move to fifth on the world all-time rankings while Chepseba produced his second sub-3:30 performance of the season with 3:29.77.

After pushing the pace in Crystal Palace last week, Nick Willis was rewarded for opting with more conservative tactics and the Olympic silver medallist set an Australasian record of 3:30.35 in third.

In what was a profitable evening for the Kenyans, Abraham Rotich broke the Kenyan junior 800m record for the second time in a fortnight. The 19-year-old won in 1:43.13 ahead of Leonard Kosencha in 1:43.40. The first four athletes set PBs and the top five broke the 1:44-barrier.

Andrew Osagie finalised his pre-London racing programme with a 1:44.48 PB to move into the UK all-time top-ten.

Recently-crowned world junior steeplechase champion Conseslus Kipruto handed Paul Kipsiele Koech his first defeat on the European circuit this year. The 17-year-old posted a PB of 8:03.49 to move to second on the world junior all-time rankings with Koech second in 8:03.90.

In just his fifth race in the event and his first outside of the United States, Evan Jager smashed the US record. The 23-year-old, who won the US Trials in 8:17.40, moved through into third place to lower the record from 8:08.82 to 8:06.81.

Mercy Cherono hasn’t been selected for the Kenyan Olympic team but she took victory in the 3000m in 8:38.51.

Brit hopes Grabarz and Bleasdale on song

European champion Robbie Grabarz suffered a blip in his Olympic preparations at Crystal Palace last weekend and the Belgrave Harrier found himself in trouble at 2.26m tonight, but in better conditions Grabarz cleared this height at his third attempt before a first-time clearance at 2.30m and another clutch third-time clearance at 2.33m.

This performances equates to his equal third-best of his career and he was only beaten by world champion Jesse Williams on countback.

UK record-holder Holly Bleasdale finished third in the pole vault with 4.62m and while the world indoor bronze medallist must be satisfied with her performance, the same can’t be said for world record-holder Yelena Isinbayeva who no-heighted in what is, in effect, her home meeting.

The Russian has only competed once this year, clearing 4.75m in Sotteville, but even so, Isinbayeva chose to come in at a height only five centimetres below her season’s best. None of her attempts were particularly close either.

Silke Spiegelburg won the competition and in doing so, she set a world-lead and broke the German record with 4.82m.

Merritt, Okagbare, Ibargüen repeat Crystal Palace form

US champion Aries Merritt has been the in-form hurdler in recent weeks, and the world indoor champion produced a 12.93 performance for the third time this year. World champion Jason Richardson was the runner-up in 13.07 while European champion Sergey Shubenkov equalled his Russian record of 13.09.

Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare continued to weaken USA and Jamaica’s sprinting stranglehold by taking her second high-profile victory in the space of the week. The 23-year-old improved her PB from 10.99 to 10.96 to defeat former world long jump champion Tianna Madison who also eclipsed the 11 second barrier.

Caterine Ibargüen from Colombia achieved a consistent series in the triple jump with five valid jumps between 14.72m and 14.85m. Even her shortest mark would have been sufficient to defeat Kimberly Williams by 22cm.

US with world sprint relay lead

The Jamaicans might start as the favourites for the Olympic 4x100m title but despite a catalogue of relay errors in the past decade, the United States will be a threat if they reproduce the form they showed tonight. Their quartet of Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey set a world-lead of 37.61 while their B team also broke the 38-second barrier.

The USA team dropped the baton in the women’s relay but their B team, who were just one of two teams to finish, were still rewarded with a swift 42.24 winning time.

Best of the rest

Yelena Kofanova missed out on selection for the Russian Olympic team but the former European under-23 champion made up for it to some extent with victory in the 800m in 1:58.41.

African champion Francine Niyonsaba displayed outrageous inexperience on her first race on the European circuit but the Burundian highlighted her vast potential with a PB of 1:58.68.

Zuzana Hejnova from Czech Republic finished strongly to win the 400m hurdles in 54.12 ahead of world champion Lashinda Demus, second in 54.26, and Olympic champion Melaine Walker, third in 54.44.

Jonathan Borlee prevailed in the 400m in 44.74 while some of the Olympic medal contenders faltered. World champion Kirani James came through for second in 44.76 although he still doesn’t look in the sort of form he was in last year. Reigning Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt pulled up on the top bend with a hamstring injury.

Nickel Ashmeade from Jamaica prevailed in the 200m in 20.02 from European champion Churandy Martina (20.07).

Two-time European champion Sandra Perkovic won the discus with her first throw of the competition of 65.29m.

Reigning Olympic champion Irving Saladino set a season’s best of 8.16m to win the long jump while Oleksandr Pyatnytsya won the javelin with 82.85m.

One Response to “Kiprop shows sub-3:30 form in Monaco”

  1. Frank Messina says:

    Paris said very interesting things. Marilyn Okoro's performance confirmed that Van Commenée is inadequate to the task; Holly Bleansdale will enter the final, but the medals are not very close; Andrew Osagie performed another PB, but the top ones are too far; Robbie Grabarz is back and the medals are tangible; Chris Tomlinson's seesawing continues, but we do not know whether he will be up or down come the qualification; Martyn Rooney posted a SW (Season Worst) and now the final is a mirage. Serious problems also for the mile relay: one can just rely upon the Green(e)s for the final, but getting a medal is another story.

Leave a Reply