Meeting Director Jean-Pierre Schoebel, Yelena Isinbayeva, and meeting Vice President Bernard Fautrier in Monaco (Herculis Organisers) © Copyright
General News Monte Carlo

Isinbayeva optimistic for Monaco appearance, fields update - Samsung Diamond League

With just nine days to go, organisers of the Herculis 2012 Meeting, the ninth stop on the Samsung Diamond League series, hosted a press conference today with Olympic Pole Vault champion Yelena Isinbayeva and also provided an event-by-event update of the programme.

Isinbayeva, also the World record holder in the event and a resident of Monaco, made her season’s debut in Sotteville, France, yesterday where she scaled 4.75m. Her goal is only to improve on that in Monaco.

"I want to get higher than 4.85m in Monaco, it is a very good track, fast and soft. I love to compete here and want to do my best!"

"It is a very special competition," she continued. "I have a lot of friends in Monaco and they all come to support me! I especially want to perform well for the Prince!"

Isinbayeva, 30, will be aiming to underscore her position as a legend in the event with a third straight Olympic title in London early next month. Monaco will be her last competition prior to the Olympics.

"To win at the Olympics I will need to go over five metres," she said. I am training very hard and I am focused for London."

Meet organisers also provided a run-down on the rest of the program. Some of the updates:

MEN’s 110m Hurdles: David Oliver won the bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic Games and won another bronze at the 2010 IAAF World Indoor Championships. He will be running along with Aries Merritt, the World Indoor 60m Hurdles champion and more recently the winner of the US Olympic Trials with a personal best and world-leading 12.93.

MEN’s 200m: Dutchman Churandy Martina's personal best time over 100m is 9.93, a national record, achieved in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games final. In addition to this he holds the 200m national record with a time of 19.94, achieved at the New York adidas Grand Prix 2012. He is the first European sprinter this year to go under 20 seconds. Martina also won the 200m title at the European Championships in Helsinki along with a second gold European godl in the 4x100m relay.

MEN’s 800m: With hid victory at the U.S. trials, Nick Symmonds earned the chance to compete for the United States for a second straight Olympic Games and is the first to win five straight US titles.

Marcin Lewandowski won the European 800m title in 2010 and took the silver medal at the IAAF Continental Cup that same summer. His personal best is 1:43.84, achieved in July 2009 in Monaco.

Dane Andreas Bube warmed up to the London Olympics with a solid performance the European Championships where he won the silver medal. This year his personal best is 1.44.99, achieved in Doha’s Samsung Diamond League stop.

MEN’s 1500m: Leo Manzano won 1500m at the US Olympic Trials with a time of 3.35.75, to earn his second trip to the Olympics. In Monaco he’ll face Augustine Choge, the World indoor silver medallist in the 3000m. He he won the 3000m in Doha in 7:30.42, the world’s fastest time this year.

Asbel Kiprop is the reigning Olympic 1500m champion and on his first world title in the event in 2011. This year he lowered his personal best to 3:29.78 in Doha. Also in the field is his compatriot and perennial speedster Silas Kiplagat.

MEN 3000m Steeplechase: Evan Jager is a newcomer to the 3000m steeplechase and already secured his sport for the London Olympics after his 8:17.10 run at the U.S. Trials. In 2009 he set his 3000m personal best in Monaco with 7:41.78. This year he returns in the Steeplechase along with Jukka Keskisalo, who took gold in the event at the 2006 European Championships in Gothenburg with 8:24.89. It was the first Finnish victory in this event in a major international competition for 70 years.

MEN’s High Jump: Kansas State high jumper Erik Kynard soared to new heights in winning the NCAA title for the second straight year with 2.34m and then placed third at the US Outdoor Championships and punched his ticket to the World Championships in Daegu. Kynard finished second at the US Trials this year with 2.28m and will represent the U.S. along with World Champion Jesse Williams. He won the 2012 USA Indoor Championships and won the Adidas Grand Prix New York Diamond League Meeting with a meet record of 2.36m.

WOMEN’s 100m: Former long jumper Tianna Madison earned a trip to the London Olympics after finishing second in the 100m at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Madison, who won the 2005 World Championship in the Long Jump, punctuated her rise to world class status in the sprints with a silver-medal performance at the U.S. Trials, where her time was a personal best 10.96.

WOMEN’s 400m Hurdles: Denisa Rosolová had won numerous Czech national titles in the Long Jump and Heptathlon. In 2012, Rosolová started to compete in the 400m Hurdles and in her first season, she nearly beat Zuzana Hejnová's national record. She won the silver medal at the European Championships and set a personal record with 54.24.

WOMEN’s 3000m: Jennifer Simpson began the 2011 season strong, winning the US indoor 3000m title and the gold at 1500m at the World Championships with a time of 4.05.40. She is also the American record in the Steeplechase with 9.12.50. A few weeks ago, she finished 3rd at the US Trials in the 1500m in 4:05.17 for a place on the Olympic Team But first she will stop at the Herculis to run the women's 3000m before heading to London.

WOMEN’s Pole Vault: Jirina Ptacnikova cleared 4.60m to win European gold in Helsinki, and last winter jumped a national record 4.70m at the Pole Vault Stars meeting in Donetsk. She set another personal record in Prague with 4.72m, and looks to be Yelena Isinbayeva’s primary competition.

WOMEN’s Triple Jump: Yamilé Aldama won Olympic silver in Athens in 2004 and bronze in Beijing in 2008. Now the triple jumper is representing Great Britain and is planning to complete her medal collection in London. In 2012 she won the World indoor title in Istanbul with 14.82m. She already came to Monaco for the three World Athletics Final competitions in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and will come back for her last stop before the Olympics.

Organisers for the IAAF