Vitezslav Vesely breaks through 88m barrier at the 2012 Diamond League meeting in Oslo (Mark Shearman) © Copyright
Following the announcement of Usain Bolt and Yelena Isinbayeva, several other athletes have also confirmed their participation on the track of the Stade Louis II. A quick run-down, event-by-event:
Men’s 400m: Olympic Champion in 2008 and World Champion in 2009, LaShawn Merritt is unbeaten this season with a world leading 44.12 from the U.S. Olympic Trials.
Martyn Rooney, Britain's number one 400m runner, won the Monaco Herculis Meeting in 2008. Last Saturday he secured his spot for the London Olympics in the men's 400m, after finishing 45.93 in the final of the Aviva UK Athletics Olympic Trials.
Kevin Borlee improved his brother’s 400m national record in the prelims of the Belgian Championships with a European leading 44.56, to currently rank the fourth fastest in 2012. His brother Jonathan won the 200m with 20.32, just 0.01 behind his PB. Lets see if one of them has a chance of breaking the European record (44.33) in Monaco!!
Women’s 400m Hurdles: Last year Zuzana Hejnová won the 400m hurdles at European Team Championship with new national record of 53.87 and later improved it to 53.29. Hejnova is a two-time Diamond League Meeting Winner - Lets hope for a third win this year!
Women’s 800m: Caster Semenya finished second at last year’s World Championships in Daegu with 1:56.35. This year, Semenya dreams of winning Olympic gold in London and dedicating her medal to her nation's hero, Nelson Mandela.
Alysia Montaño won the 800m with a time of 1:59.08 at the US Olympic Trials to nail her spot for the London Olympics and will try to achieve her goal as well. "I don't want to go to the Games for the Olympic experience, I want a spot on the podium. I want to win!" Herculis 2012 will be for both the last stop on their way to achieve their goal.
Men’s 800m: Andrew Osagie, the World indoor 800m bronze medallist, is currently the UK’s 800m champion. He won the men’s final at the UK Trials and qualified for the Olympics.
Men’s 1500m: New Zealander Nick Willis broke his own 1500m national record, clocking 3:31.79 at the Herculis last year, finishing second behind Silas Kiplagat. They both return to Monaco this year with Kiplagat targeting a third consecutive win!!
Men’s Long Jump: Mauro Vinicius Da Silva won the men's Long Jump with 8.28m, his personal best, at World Indoor Championships in March in Istanbul. His opponent at Herculis, Australian Mitchell Watt, set an Oceania record of 8.54m at the Stockholm Samsung Diamond League in July last year, prior to claiming the silver medal at the World championships in Daegu just over a month later. Britain's Greg Rutherford dominated the field in Birmingham for the UK 2012 Trials, claiming first place with a best jump of 8.12m to seal his spot for London. He will be joining them in Monaco on the 20th of July!!
Men’s High Jump: Robbie Grabarz started this year with a personal best in the indoor season of 2.34m in January, which took him to No. 4 in the world! Grabarz has booked his place in Team GB's Olympic squad after winning his event at the trials in Birmingham, with a height of 2.28m.
Women’s Triple Jump: Olga Rypakova came second in the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul with 14.63. In the Samsung Diamond League so far, she won in Doha and New York and took second in Rome; this year she will try to win the Herculis in Monaco.
Women’s Discus: Olympic gold medalist in Beijing, Stephanie Brown Trafton, set a U.S. record earlier this year with a distance of 67.74m in Wailuku.
Women’s Pole Vault: Vanessa Boslak won her sixth national title last weekend in the French Championshipz. Monika Pyrek did her season's best performance with 4.50m meters in the Samsung Diamond League in New York. Martina Strutz, silver medalist at the World Championships, jumped her personal best of 4.80m, which is the current German National record. Fabiana Murer won the World title in Daegu with 4.85m, setting a new South American record. She won at the New York Samsung Diamond League with 4.77m, a world leading performance! Unbeaten this year in the Diamond League!
Men's Javelin Throw: Vítezslav Veselý came close to a major medal with a fourth place finish at the 2011 World Championships. He had his second best ever throw at the Shanghai 2012 Diamond League meet, winning with a mark of 85.40m. Then the Czech javelin thrower produced a big personal best and world-leading throw of 88.11m at the Samsung Diamond League in Oslo. This week in Helsinki, he won the European title with 83.72m. Great season for Vesely!
They will all come to the Monaco Samsung Diamond League Meeting to show the world they are ready for London Olympics!
Organisers for the IAAF