Karsten Warholm on his way to winning the 400m hurdles at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco (© Philippe Fitte)
World champions Karsten Warholm, Yulimar Rojas, Tajay Gayle, Anzhelika Sidorova and Kelsey-Lee Barber are among the first stars confirmed for the Meeting Herculis EBS – part of the Wanda Diamond League – in Monaco on 9 July.
Warholm, the two-time world 400m hurdles champion, smashed the meeting record last year with his 47.10 clocking. Nine days later, the Norwegian hurdler went on to record a lifetime best of 46.87 in Stockholm, consolidating his No.2 position on the world all-time list and putting him within 0.09 of Kevin Young’s long-standing world record.
Rojas will also be looking for a back-to-back victory in Monaco, having won there last year. The Venezuelan triple jumper broke the world indoor record last year with 15.43m and recently matched that mark outdoors in Andujar. The two-time world champion, who is now just seven centimetres away from the world record that was set 26 years ago, will face Olympic champion Caterine Ibarguen in Monaco.
Gayle was one of the surprise performers at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019, winning the men’s long jump with a Jamaican record of 8.69m. The 24-year-old, who recently jumped a wind-assisted 8.56m, will take on European champion Miltiadis Tentoglou, who currently leads the world list with 8.60m.
Sidorova, winner of the women’s pole vault in Monaco in 2018, returns to the Herculis meeting where she’ll take on Katie Nageotte. The in-form US vaulter leads the 2021 indoor and outdoor world lists with marks of 4.94m and 4.93m respectively.
Barber, world champion in the women’s javelin, will take on Olympic champion Sara Kolak of Croatia and Maria Andrejczyk, who earlier this year moved to No.2 on the world all-time list with a Polish record of 71.40m.
In the men’s high jump, European indoor champion Maksim Nedasekau will take on 2016 world indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi and world bronze medallist Ilya Ivanyuk.
Other confirmed athletes include Nijel Amos, the meeting record-holder in the men’s 800m, and French steeplechaser Djilali Bedrani.