Monaco Diamond League Preview: Jess Hull World Record Attempt, 1500m Jakob-Yared Showdown, Big 3 in 400m Hurdles

A loaded men's 1500, world record attempt from Jess Hull, a great men's 800 field and the big 3 in the men's 400 hurdler headlines a stacked Diamond League Monaco

The Monaco Diamond League Meet on Friday (2-4 pm ET) is absolutely loaded. Jakob Ingebrigtsen headlines the men’s 1500 vs Yared Nuguse, Neil Gourley, Narve Nordas, and Niels Laros, Jess Hull goes for the 2000m world record, we’ve got an absolutely loaded men’s 800, plus the big 3 squaring off in the men’s 400m hurdles.

We break it down below.

Men’s 1500: Jakob Ingebrigtsen vs. Yared vs Tim

The last time that Jakob Ingebrigtsen raced on the circuit it was a barn burner. After his first loss in a paced race in ages at the Pre Classic Jakob flew across the world to step on the track just five days later for a rematch of the 2021 Olympic final versus Timothy Cheruiyot and it did not disappoint. Cheruiyot pushed Jakob to the line, hunting him down and making Jakob dive for a .03 victory.

Both men will be on the starting line this Friday and look to answer questions about their fitness as we approach the Olympics. Jakob has said that this year he will be getting better every meet. Will that be the case and will he be back to pulling away from world-class fields the final 200 like we are used to? Will Cheruiyot show that Oslo was not a fluke and throw his hat in the ring for medal contention? He only finished third at the Kenyan trials in his last race.

American star Yared Nuguse, who is fresh off a defeat to Cole Hocker at the U.S. Olympic Trials, is in the field. Nuguse has been one of the few people who has been able to stick with Ingebrigtsen and has thrived in time trial settings. This will be a good benchmark to see where Nuguse is. Has he taken a step back or is Hocker just that good that both will be medal contenders in Paris?

British Champ Neil Gourley, who has had a great 2024 so far, will be looking to step up from his 9th place finish at last year’s worlds. The field is stacked and includes Kenyan Brian Komen who has already won a Diamond League this year, Oli Hoare who has not raced in the past month after running 3:31.08 in Oslo, Brit Elliot Giles, and Frenchman Azeddine Habz.

We also have recent u20 1000 record holder Niels Laros and world finalist Narve Nordås who has started his 2024 season extremely slow and will be looking to turn that around here.

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The focus as always will be in Jakob, but who can challenge him and cement their status as an Olympic contender?

Womens 2k: World Record Watch for Jess Hull

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We knew that Jess Hull was good…she has made the last two global 1500 m finals and was fourth at World Indoors. We did not however see any indication that Hull had the potential to be an all-time great. However, if you have been under a rock that past week let us give you an update. Faith Kipyegon broke her own 1500 m world record at Diamond League Paris. An equally big story was the fact that Jess Hull was right behind her every step of the way and was rewarded massively with over a five-second PB of 3:50.83 which is good for #5 ALL-TIME.

Hull will not be facing Kipyegon this week, but she will be chasing the women’s 2000m world record.  The women’s 2k world record is 5:21.56 which is held by Francine Niyonsaba from 2021. That’s 64.31 laps, coming through the 1600 in 4:17.24. The season Niyonsaba ran the world record she ran 8:19.09 over 3k. Hull has run slightly slower for 3k running 8:24.39. However, she ran that indoors in a championship setting, finishing only fourth at world indoors. Hull has taken a massive step up with her run this past weekend and looks primed to take down that record on Friday. She is #5 all-time in the 1500 while Niyonsaba is only #17 all-time in the 800 and #7 all-time in the 3k.  Hull has three pacers lined up so she will likely need to only run the last lap solo making this record more than attainable if she has a good day.

Mens: 800 Clash of the Titans with Arop and Hoppel Joining the Fray

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Just days ago we had one of the greatest 800s of all time in Paris with three men running 1:41.61 or quicker, running the 3rd, 4th, and 5th quickest times in history. In Monaco two of those men will be racing again, plus the undefeated reigning world champion, and the U.S. champion. To make it simple this has the potential to be another all-time great.

The ever-so-slight favorite Djamel Sedjati is coming off a historic victory in Paris where he ran 1:41.56. After being disqualified for a lane violation in the world championship final (where he would have finished 6th), Sedjati has been red hot in 2024. He has been undefeated on the year beating lots of big names and has dropped his PB nearly a second and a half after previously never breaking 1:43 in his career.

2023 world champion Marco Arop would usually be the headliner as he has also looked great this year as he is undefeated as well. Arop was 5-0 against Sedjati last year so he does have his number, but Sedjati was always close behind always being within half a second. The winner between the two will likely head to Paris the Olympic favorite.

Frenchman Gabriel Tual had the race of his life on home soil running 1:41.61 for third narrowly missing out on the win. Tual has been for the most part extremely consistent this year winning lots of races including Euro’s, but this marks a massive step up for him as he had never broken 1:44 before this year, and just dipped under for the first time at French nationals running 1:43.99. His latest run has vaulted him into a different stratosphere and he will be in contention for the win not only in Monaco but also in Paris if he can keep this up.

Another runner who came out of nowhere to run a monster time in Paris was unknown Kenyan Aaron Cheminingwa who did not even make the Kenyan team but ran 1:42.08 to drop a massive PB.

Last but not least we have world indoor champion Bryce Hoppel. Hoppel coming off a U.S. trial where he dominated winning by almost a full second and his only loss this year has been to Sedjati by .06 earlier this year in Stockholm. If Hoppel can run with the big dogs here he might turn this big four into a big five. This race is going to be amazing though. It is essentially the Olympic final a month early minus Emmanuel Wanyonyi who was originally in the field but now is not on the start list.

Men’s 400 Hurdles: Big 3 Square Off

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It is not often that we see Rai Benjamin, Alison dos Santos, and Karsten Warholm face each other. It has happened only five times in history, and all at either the Olympic, world, or Diamond League final. What has never happened is a face-off between the three in the regular season. Yet that is what is going to happen this Friday in Monaco as Rai Benjamin was a late add to the field. Below are the results of the trio’s previous meetings.

Event Date Rai Benjamin Alison dos Santos Karsten Warholm
IAAF World Championship 30 Sep 2019 2nd / 47.66 7th / 48.28 1st / 47.42
The XXXII Olympic Games 03 Aug 2021 2nd / 46.17 3rd / 46.72 1st / 45.94
World Athletics Championships 19 Jul 2022 2nd / 46.89 1st / 46.29 7th / 48.42
World Athletics Championships, Budapest 2023 23 Aug 2023 3rd / 47.56 5th / 48.10 1st / 46.89
Prefontaine Classic 16 Sep 2023 1st / 46.39 4th / 47.44 2nd / 46.53

Three of the meetings between the trio (2021 Olympics, 2022 Worlds, 2023 Pre Classic) have produced the top four times in history. Since 2021 it has taken under 47 seconds to win one of these races and there is no reason to think that will not be the case again here. These are the three fastest men in history and the three quickest men in 2024.

Karsten Warholm has historically gotten the better of the pair every time they have raced but things are starting to change on that front. After winning the world championship last year he has not looked as dominant as he usually is in the regular season. He has already lost twice this year, once to Alexander Doom in the 400 at world indoors and again in his marquee event to Dos Santos on home soil in Oslo by a narrow .07 margin. Warholm bounced back well winning Euro’s but this will be a big test to see if he is still the top dog.

dos Santos has had a practically perfect year on the other hand. He has raced four Diamond Leagues and has four wins including his victory over Warholm. He was world champion in 2022 but took a big step back last season with injury where he finished 5th at worlds and only won two out of his seven races. We know that he has the talent to be an Olympic champion but the question is if he can continue to put together consistent results to do so. A win over Warholm and Benjamin would make him the surefire Olympic favorite.

Benjamin has also had an undefeated season after a poor third-place showing at Worlds last year and looks sharp as ever running 46 seconds in both of his finals this year. Benjamin has not raced a ton this year, only once before the U.S. trials where he destroyed the field and ran the world lead in the process. A win here would put him on the right track to upgrading his 2021 silver to gold.

The bottom line is that this could be a race for the ages. It is not often that we have the top three in the world, let alone history racing a month out from the Olympics but that is what we will get to see Friday. 

Best of The Rest

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The men’s 400 features world leader Christopher Morales-Williams, and the 110 hurdles has Grant Holloway who is always a threat to break the world record every time he touches the track. The women’s 100 has an entire field of women who have all run quicker than 11 seconds including world indoor 60 champ Julien Alfred and world champion Dina Asher-Smith. One of the most anticipated races on the docket was supposed to be a 200 showdown between Letsile Tebogo and Noah Lyles, but Lyles has since pulled out and Tebogo will likely be racing against the clock.

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