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Wednesday, 26 July 2017 14:37

Winner & Losers: Some Final Thoughts on Monaco DL, by Stuart Weir

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Evan Jager, USATF 2017 Evan Jager, USATF 2017
From our friends at RunBlogRun, here are some deep thoughts from Stuart Weir on the Monaco DL, and how it adds to the excitement of the buildup to the London 2017 World Championships, August 4-13.
Winners and Losers
If an athlete wins gold at the World Championships, no one will remember a bad Diamond League performance. And projecting forward it is important not to rule someone out of World Championship contention on the back of a poor result in Lausanne or Monaco.
Now ignoring the caveat, what can we learn about London from what happened in Monaco?
Kori Carter (USA, women's 400H) is in the form of her life. She ran a sub 53 PR in the US Trials and then won the race in Monaco.
Mariya Lasitskene (Russian high jumper but competing as a neutral in London) cleared 2.05 in Monaco and looks untouchable.
Hellen Obiri (Kenya, 5000m) is another athlete in the form of her life, winning the 3000m in Monaco and races everywhere else you can mention.
Wayde Van Niekerk (South Africa 400 - or anything from 100 to 800!) won in Monaco and talked without arrogance about when, rather than if, he would go sub 43.
Renaud Lavillenie (France, pole vault) is one of my favourite athletes. He is the only one you can compare to Bolt for the way he can reduce an arena to silent concentration when he is about to jump. In Monaco he failed at 5.82 and the days when he was always threatening six metres have been few and far-between recently.
Asbel Kiprop (Kenya 1500) came to Monaco in July 2016 not having lost a 1500m race for a year. He was beaten that night, finished out of the medals in Rio and since then little has gone right. In Monaco this week he finished 11th.
Of course, both might turn it around in the next two weeks - but for both the customary swagger and sense of being in control looks to have vanished.
There are so many races in London that I can't wait for:
Can Mo Farah retain his 5000m and 10000m titles?
Can Elaine Thompson dominate the 100m and the 200m like she did in Rio?
The men's 100m
Can Christian Taylor not only retain his world title but also get beyond Jonathan Edwards' 22 year old world record?
To that list I am adding the women's 800m. Can either Francine Niyonsaba or Ajee' Wilson who pushed Caster Semanya so hard in Monaco actually beat her in London?
If Only
Skarika Nelvis (USA, 100H) looks to be in the form of her life. She won the Diamond League race in Lausanne and lost to Kendra Harrison in Monaco only by a hundredth of a second in a photo finish. But Nelvis failed to make the US team for London.
But with all this happening, I think I am going to enjoy the IAAF World Championships in London next month.
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