2021 Monaco Men’s Recap: Timothy Cheruiyot Wins (Again) in 3:28 PB, Nijel Amos Is Back, & Chaos in the Steeple After Bell Is Rung a Lap Early
July 9, 2021
As usual, tonight’s Monaco Diamond League produced two incredibly exciting hours of track & field — mostly for the incredible times and once, notably, for a colossal officiating gaffe. All three distance events produced world-leading marks: an impressive 3:28.28 for Timothy Cheruiyot in the 1500, who won his second Diamond League in a week, a resurgent 1:42.91 for Botswana’s Nijel Amos in the 800, and a hectic 8:07.75 for Lamecha Girma in the steeplechase — which he ran despite an official ringing the bell with two laps to go.
In addition to those victories, there were personal bests galore, another win for Karsten Warholm, and an upset in the men’s 100 as Ronnie Baker (9.91) took down previously undefeated Trayvon Bromell, who was only fifth after stumbling early in the race.
Full recap and analysis of all the men’s events in Monaco below. The womens recap is here: 2021 Monaco Women’s Recap: Kipyegon Runs 3:51.07 to Beat Hassan, Coburn Falls in Sub-9:00 Chase & Muir Runs Huge PB (1:56) to Win 800.
Men’s 1500: Farmer Tim wins a fast race with a pb 3:28.28, putting the pressure on Athletics Kenya
The question of whether Timothy Cheruiyot will compete at the Tokyo Olympics remains unanswered, but if he does, there is no question he will be the favorite. Cheruiyot was the class of the field in a characteristically fast Monaco men’s 1500, winning in a personal best and world-leading 3:28.28 and pulling away from Spaniard Mohamed Katir in the final 75 meters. Cheruiyot was only fourth at the Kenyan trials but since then has won two Diamond Leagues in strong fashion and has made a strong case for Athletics Kenya to reverse course and name him to their Olympic team.
Jakob Ingebrigtsen ran 3:29.25 for third but remains winless (0-12) against Cheruiyot in his career, while Stewart McSweyn ran an Oceania-record 3:29.51 to dip under 3:30 for the first time in his career. McSweyn already had the Australian record and this mark betters that and Nick Willis’ former Oceania record.
Pacemakers Erik Sowinski and Timothy Sein took the field out swiftly, going through the first 400 in 54.20 seconds and 800 in 1:50.75. Cheruiyot and McSweyn tucked in behind the pacers with Samuel Tefera in third. Ingebrigtsen ran more evenly, lagging in sixth place among the racers for the first two laps.
Ingebrigtsen moved up to fourth with 600 to go, flanked by Katir, then moved up on the shoulder of Tefera at the bell. Katir made a strong move past Ingebrigtsen with 300 to go, closing the gap up to Cheruiyot and McSweyn. Katir moved past McSweyn on the curve but could not quite draw even with Cheruiyot. Ingebrigtsen passed McSweyn in the final straight but left it too late to catch Katir or Cheruiyot.
Cheruiyot stepped on the gas with 75 to go and ran away from Katir while Ingebrigtsen held off McSweyn for third. Kenyan champ Charles Simotwo and Marcin Lewandowski of Poland closed hard to pass Tefera, with Simotwo getting a pb of 3:30.30 for fifth and Lewandowski getting a national record of 3:30.42 for sixth.
|1.||Timothy CHERUIYOT||20 NOV 1995||KEN||3:28.28|
|2.||Mohamed KATIR||17 FEB 1998||ESP||3:28.76|
|3.||Jakob INGEBRIGTSEN||19 SEP 2000||NOR||3:29.25|
|4.||Stewart MCSWEYN||01 JUN 1995||AUS||3:29.51|
|5.||Charles Cheboi SIMOTWO||06 MAY 1995||KEN||3:30.30|
|6.||Marcin LEWANDOWSKI||13 JUN 1987||POL||3:30.42|
|7.||Samuel TEFERA||23 OCT 1999||ETH||3:30.71|
|8.||Azeddine HABZ||19 JUL 1993||FRA||3:31.74|
|9.||Melese NBERET||20 JAN 2001||ETH||3:31.82|
|10.||Filip INGEBRIGTSEN||20 APR 1993||NOR||3:32.23|
|11.||Baptiste MISCHLER||23 NOV 1997||FRA||3:32.42|
|12.||Jye EDWARDS||06 MAR 1998||AUS||3:33.23|
|13.||Adam Ali MUSAB||17 APR 1995||QAT||3:35.57|
|Erik SOWINSKI||21 DEC 1989||USA||DNF|
|Timothy SEIN||01 FEB 1988||KEN||DNF|
Quick Take: Cheruiyot should be in Tokyo
Cheruiyot showed in this race and in Stockholm on Sunday that his fourth-place finish at the Kenyan trials was an anomalous result. It was the only time he has finished worse than second in a 1500 in four years. Not only did he better his all-time #7 mark in the event with his pb today, but he crushed one of the Tokyo medal favorites in Ingebrigtsen and avenged that Kenyan trials defeat by crushing Simotwo.
Cheruiyot is the reigning world champ and won this race today looking just as good as that 2019 Worlds final, going wire-to-wire and finishing strong. Athletics Kenya would be making a mistake if they did not give him a discretionary spot on their Olympic team, and if they don’t, Cheruiyot must hope Kenyan trials runner-up Kamar Etyang cannot compete because he did not log the requisite number of out-of-competition tests.
Quick Take: This was deep and fast, as usual
In total, the race included 10 personal bests among 13 finishers, plus three national records and world leader. The world indoor record holder in the event (Tefera) was only seventh with a personal best of 3:30.71, while the 2019 world bronze medalist (Lewandowski) was sixth with his personal-best mark. Four men broke 3:30 and seven broke 3:31. The Monaco 1500 magic continues.
Quick Take: Where did Mo Katir come from?
Perhaps the most surprising mark today was the second-place finish and 3:28.76 Spanish record from Moroccan-born Mo Katir. That mark makes him the tenth-fastest performer of all time in the 1500. Katir ran a Spanish record in the 5k (12:50.79) in Florence in June, but before 2021, his World Athletics profile shows PRs of 3:36.59 and 13:50.19 (from 2018) in the 1500 and 5k. The ASICS athlete burst onto the scene this year and will run only the 5,000 in Tokyo, as Spain did not name him to their 1500 team.
Quick Take: Questions about Ingebrigtsen abound
To be fair to Jakob Ingebrigtsen, the guy ran 3:29.25 today, a half-second off his own European record, and he missed several days of training in the past week as a result of the illness that kept him out of the Oslo Diamond League. He still ran very well and rarely has an off day. Our questions are about his closing speed and which event he should run in Tokyo — the 1500 or the 5000. Ingebrigtsen tends to run his 1500s evenly, lagging well behind Cheruiyot over the first two laps and then closing the gap, but the strategy doesn’t seem to work, as he can never seem to get around the Kenyan. Today he never closed the gap, and at Monaco in 2020 Cheruiyot held him off. Will he be able to beat Cheruiyot in a fast race? Is he fast enough to kick hard in a slow race (his 800 pb is 1:46.44, compared to Cheruiyot’s 1:43.11)? Will he medal at all? Should he just run the 5000, in which he won his only race this year in a European-record 12:48.45 in Florence? The men’s 1500 and 5000 overlap in Tokyo, so he likely cannot do both. He finished fourth in the 1500 in 2019 and fifth in the 5k, so the Norwegian super-talent is still seeking that first global medal.
Men’s steeple: Girma runs 8:07 after the bell rings a lap early
Want to make a steeplechase more interesting? Ring the bell a lap early and prepare for chaos.
That’s exactly what happened today in Monaco. With two laps to go, Kenya’s Benjamin Kigen led, followed by 2019 Worlds silver medalist Lamecha Girma of Ethiopia and Kenya’s Abraham Kibiwot. Then an official rang the bell, and while a look at the clock — 5:58.7 — would have told them two laps remained, Kigen launched into his kick, opening up a 15-meter gap only to hear the bell sound again as he approached the finish line.
A look of horrific realization spread across Kigen’s face as he realized he still had a lap to go after just running a 59. After hurdling the first barrier on the actual last lap, Kigen slowed to little more than a jog and was passed by Girma, who had also kicked (not quite as hard) but was not moving particularly fast himself.
Girma was still clear of the field entering the home straight, but Kibiwot found a second wind coming off the final barrier, closing a 10-meter gap to mere inches by the finish line as Girma edged Kibiwott for the win, 8:07.75 to 8:07.81 — the two fastest times of the year. Kigen, totally exhausted, came home in seventh in 8:15.09 thanks to a 77.4 final lap (Girma closed in 68.5, Kibiwot in 66.0).
Monaco has it all. Great fields, tons of cash, beautiful beaches and COMEDY . They rang the bell a lap early in the steeple pic.twitter.com/pTqiO6hhkJ— LetsRun.com (@letsrundotcom) July 9, 2021
|1.||Lamecha GIRMA||26 NOV 2000||ETH||8:07.75|
|2.||Abraham KIBIWOT||06 APR 1996||KEN||8:07.81|
|3.||Djilali BEDRANI||01 OCT 1993||FRA||8:11.17|
|4.||Mehdi BELHADJ||10 JUN 1995||FRA||8:12.43|
|5.||Hillary BOR||22 NOV 1989||USA||8:14.69|
|6.||Ahmed ABDELWAHED||26 MAY 1996||ITA||8:14.86|
|7.||Benjamin KIGEN||05 JUL 1993||KEN||8:15.09|
|8.||Bikila Tadese TAKELE||03 AUG 2002||ETH||8:15.12|
|9.||Benard KETER||25 MAY 1992||USA||8:18.53|
|10.||Alexis PHELUT||03 MAR 1998||FRA||8:20.51|
|11.||Daniel ARCE||22 APR 1992||ESP||8:20.91|
|12.||Mark PEARCE||19 JAN 1996||GBR||8:34.03|
|Amos KIRUI||09 FEB 1998||KEN||DNF|
Quick Take: This was a farce
We’ve all seen races where an athlete miscounts the laps and kicks too early (Hyvin Kiyeng did it in the women’s steeple tonight). But when they do, it’s their own mistake — it doesn’t hurt anyone else in the field. What the finish line official did tonight is totally unacceptable. It made one of the biggest track meets of the year feel like a middle school meet. Yes, it’s ultimately up to the runners to run the correct distance, but distance runners are like Pavlov’s dogs: ring a bell and they will start to kick. The leaders tonight — especially Kigen — got totally screwed over.
Quick Take: The race for Olympic gold remains wide-open
Previous world leader Soufiane El Bakkali didn’t run here, and while he’s probably the slight Olympic favorite, the race tonight showed some of his rivals in Tokyo are quite fit. Despite kicking a lap early, Kigen looked very good (of course, it’s easier to look good when you kick a lap early) and Kibiwot showed impressive fortitude in the home straight to run 8:07 — worth more considering he also got caught up in the kicking. Both those men should contend in Tokyo.
One man who won’t: Girma. Despite taking silver at Worlds in 2019, running 7:27 indoors and running a world-leading 8:07 tonight, he won’t be on the Ethiopian team as he didn’t run the Ethiopian Olympic trials in Hengelo last month. If anyone knows why he missed that race, please let us know.
Quick Take: Hillary Bor misses opportunity
After winning the Olympic Trials last month, Hillary Bor spoke about trying to run 8:05 in Monaco but came up well short of that tonight, running 8:14.69 for 5th (he simply appeared tired at the end of the race rather than being fooled by the bell, as his last three laps were 64.8-67.0-67.7). Two of the guys who beat Bor tonight (Kibiwot and third-placer Djilali Bedrani of France) were guys who he beat convincingly in Gateshead in May. He will need to be much better if he is to challenge for a medal in Tokyo.
Bor’s training parter Benard Keter did manage a pb of 8:18.53 in ninth, but he likely will have wanted to have run faster as well.
Men’s 800: Amos wins with a world leader
With two 1:41 clockings on his CV, Botswana’s Nijel Amos has run two of the 15 fastest 800s in history. He’ll now enter the Olympics as the favorite as in his first appearance on the circuit in 2021, he dug deep and prevailed over a stacked field in Monaco tonight, winning in a world-leading 1:42.91 as former NCAA star Emmanuel Korir was second in 1:43.04 with Marco Arop of Canada, who led until the final 45 meters, third in 1:43.26.
The top three men were the only three brave enough to go with the quick opening pace set by the rabbit (48.96). On the backstretch, Arop kept things hot and he hit 600 leading in 1:15.69. With 50 meters remaining, the top three were three abreast before Amos edged ahead for the win.
The chase pack included previous world leader Clayton Murphy, who hit 400 in an unofficial 50.8 and 600 in 1:17.5. Coming into the final turn, Murphy was well-positioned to finish as best of the rest as he was running with British champ Elliot Giles but for the second time in four days, he had very little over the final 150 as he had to settle for a 7th-place showing in 1:44.41. Ferguson Rotich earned best of the rest honors in 4th in 1:43.57. American Bryce Hoppel, who was 4th at Worlds in 2019, was surprisingly last in 1:47.74.
|1.||Nijel AMOS||15 MAR 1994||BOT||1:42.91|
|2.||Emmanuel Kipkurui KORIR||15 JUN 1995||KEN||1:43.04|
|3.||Marco AROP||20 SEP 1998||CAN||1:43.26|
|4.||Ferguson Cheruiyot ROTICH||30 NOV 1989||KEN||1:43.57|
|5.||Elliot GILES||26 MAY 1994||GBR||1:44.07|
|6.||Patryk DOBEK||13 FEB 1994||POL||1:44.28|
|7.||Clayton MURPHY||26 FEB 1995||USA||1:44.41|
|8.||Amel TUKA||09 JAN 1991||BIH||1:44.85|
|9.||Gabriel TUAL||09 APR 1998||FRA||1:45.08|
|10.||Benjamin ROBERT||04 JAN 1998||FRA||1:46.75|
|11.||Bryce HOPPEL||05 SEP 1997||USA||1:47.74|
|Patryk SIERADZKI||06 OCT 1998||POL||DNF|
Quick Take: Amos has to be considered the favorite but…
Nijel Amos has run faster than anyone else in the world that is currently competing in the 800 and he’s run faster than everyone this year as well, so he’s the Olympic favorite. However, his championship record is far from stellar. Yes, he won Olympic silver at age 18 in 2012. But since then he’s come up short of a medal, although he missed Worlds in both 2013 and 2019.
He revealed after today’s race, he had an injury before the Doha DL.
I’ve been working really hard in training, I’ve been doing good stuff, I just haven’t been racing. I had an injury when I was supposed to race Doha, but coming back from injury and running 1:42 today shows that things are going in the right direction towards the Olympics and that’s really where I want to be in a good position.
I just want to get better being comfortable in the race, just don’t panic and be in my own zone. For me it’s always about focusing on myself in the race. I missed the World Championships, last year I was in good shape, so I just want the opportunity to line up in a major championship and hope to do better and get on the podium. I have an Olympic medal already, so I’d definitely love to get something better in Tokyo.
Men’s 100: Baker hands Bromell first defeat of 2021
In a race that contained many of the top contenders for the Olympics, US Olympic Trials runner-up Ronnie Baker handed Trials champion and world leader Trayvon Bromell his first defeat of 2021, clocking 9.91 as Bromell could only manage fifth in 10.01.
Bromell stumbled slightly out of the blocks, and that was the difference here as Baker started well and was in control for the entire race, earning his second DL victory in six days. Akani Simbine of South Africa, who ran an African record of 9.84 in Hungary on Tuesday, was second in 9.98 as American-born Italian Marcell Jacobs took third in 9.99.
Final, Wind: +0.3
|1.||Ronnie BAKER||15 OCT 1993||USA||9.91|
|2.||Akani SIMBINE||21 SEP 1993||RSA||9.98|
|3.||Lamont Marcell JACOBS||26 SEP 1994||ITA||9.99|
|4.||André DE GRASSE||10 NOV 1994||CAN||10.00|
|5.||Trayvon BROMELL||10 JUL 1995||USA||10.01|
|6.||Fred KERLEY||07 MAY 1995||USA||10.15|
|7.||Filippo TORTU||15 JUN 1998||ITA||10.17|
|Jimmy VICAUT||27 FEB 1992||FRA||DQ|
Quick Take: The 100 just got more interesting
Considering his early stumble, Bromell is still the Olympic favorite in the 100, but this result did at least inject some uncertainty heading into Tokyo. We’ll get a chance to see how he responds quickly as Bromell will run the 100 again in Gateshead on Tuesday (Baker isn’t entered there, though).
Men’s 400m Hurdles: Karsten Warholm breaks meet record in first race since world record
This race was initially billed as a Karsten Warholm-Rai Benjamin showdown and world record attempt. Then, Warholm got what they both wanted eight days ago in Oslo, the world record, as he ran 46.70 to take down Kevin Young’s 46.78 mark from 1992.
Benjamin then pulled out of Monaco to focus on the Olympics and Warholm was left to race Alison dos Santos, the South American record holder who was second in Oslo. Once the gun got off, Warholm did what he does best, getting out hard. He opened up a lead on dos Santos and never gave it up.
The only question was how fast would it be. The answer? 47.08, breaking his meet record of 47.10 from last year. Warholm was significantly slower than his 46.70 world record, but he has reset the bar on what a good time is. Only five men besides himself have ever run faster.
|1.||Karsten WARHOLM||28 FEB 1996||NOR||47.08|
|2.||Alison DOS SANTOS||03 JUN 2000||BRA||47.51|
|3.||Rasmus MÄGI||04 MAY 1992||EST||48.83|
|4.||Constantin PREIS||16 MAY 1998||GER||49.49|
|5.||Wilfried HAPPIO||22 SEP 1998||FRA||49.66|
|6.||Chris MCALISTER||03 DEC 1995||GBR||49.98|
|Aldrich BAILEY JR||06 FEB 1994||USA||DNF|
Karsten Warholm runs 47.08 to win the men's 400m hurdles in Monaco. That's his 15th win in the row.— Jonathan Gault (@jgault13) July 9, 2021
Of the 16 fastest times in history, Karsten Warholm owns half of them.
47.12 (16) pic.twitter.com/mWEXCfSDAJ
Men’s high jump: Akimenko wins in jump-off
Mikhail Akimenko of Russia, the 2019 Worlds runner-up competing as an Authorized Neutral Athlete, had an identical card to Canada’s Django Lovett as both men were clean through 2.29 meters before missing all three attempts at 2.32. As a result, they went to a jump-off, and on his fourth attempt at 2.32, Akimenko finally made it while Lovett missed, handing Akimenko the win.
|1.||Mikhail AKIMENKO||06 DEC 1995||ANA||2.32|
|2.||Django LOVETT||06 JUL 1992||CAN||2.29|
|3.||Maksim NEDASEKAU||21 JAN 1998||BLR||2.25|
|4.||Ilya IVANYUK||09 MAR 1993||ANA||2.25|
|4.||Andriy PROTSENKO||20 MAY 1988||UKR||2.25|
|6.||Brandon STARC||24 NOV 1993||AUS||2.21|
|7.||Gianmarco TAMBERI||01 JUN 1992||ITA||2.21|
|8.||Marco FASSINOTTI||29 APR 1989||ITA||2.21|
Men’s long jump: Tentoglou wins thanks to Final 3
It was not a great day for long jump marks as the wind was very minimal, but it made for a tight competition. Jamaican Tajay Gayle, the reigning world champion and #10 all-time performer, had the best jump of the day with a seasonal best 8.29 meters, but fouled his jump in the all-important sixth round. Swede Thobias Montler jumped a pb of 8.27 in the second round but also fouled in the sixth round, giving the victory to world leader Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece, who delivered his best jump of the day in (8.24 meters) in that final round. World all-time #11 performer (8.68 meters) Juan Miguel Echevarría of Cuba, who has also jumped a windy 8.92 in his career, did not jump here despite being on the start list.
|1.||Miltiadis TENTOGLOU||18 MAR 1998||GRE||8.24||+0.2|
|2.||Tajay GAYLE||02 AUG 1996||JAM||8.29||+0.2|
|3.||Thobias MONTLER||15 FEB 1996||SWE||8.27||+0.4|
|4.||Marquis DENDY||17 NOV 1992||USA||7.99||-0.1|
|5.||Ruswahl SAMAAI||25 SEP 1991||RSA||7.95||-0.1|
|6.||Filippo RANDAZZO||27 APR 1996||ITA||7.92||+0.1|
|7.||Kevin MAYER||10 FEB 1992||FRA||7.35||-0.2|
Talk about Monaco on our world-famous fan forum / messageboard.
- Official 2021 Monaco DL Discussion Thread
- FAITH KIPYEGON 3:51.07!!!!
- HE’S BACK. Timothy Cheruiyot 3:28.28 FTW. Spanish and Aussie records fall!!!
- Jakob needs a kick!
- Chaos in men’s steeple. Bell rung a lap early. Girma still wins it in 8:07 WL. Why in the hell isn’t he going to the Olympics?
- Emma Coburn pulls an Evan Jager – Wipes out on last water jump, denied a sub-9
- Nijel amos is back 1:42.91!!!
- Karsten Warholm 47.08 in Monaco
- Barbora Špotáková won the javelin in Monaco at 40 today. Is she the oldest DL winner ever?
- Katir is the most obvious doper of all time
- IMO Katir is clean, here’s why I think that