News12 Jul 2023

Benjamin and McLaughlin-Levrone join star-studded Monaco cast


Alison Dos Santos, Karsten Warholm and Rai Benjamin

Hot off their victories at the US Championships last week, one-lap stars Rai Benjamin and Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone are among the latest athletes confirmed for the EBS Herculis Meeting – part of the Wanda Diamond League – on 21 July.

Benjamin joins an already loaded 400m hurdles field that includes Olympic champion and world record-holder Karsten Warholm and world champion Alison dos Santos. It will be the first time the trio has clashed outside of a global championships.

In Eugene last weekend, Benjamin won the US title in 46.62 – the second-best time of his career, behind the North American record of 46.12 he set to take Olympic silver in 2021. It was marginally faster than the 46.76 Warholm ran to win the Norwegian title three days prior, but 0.1 shy of Warholm’s world-leading mark from Oslo last month.

Dos Santos is yet to race this year, having been hampered by a knee injury, but the Brazilian will likely put up a strong fight. USA’s CJ Allen and France’s Wilfred Happio are also in the line-up.

McLaughlin-Levrone, who clocked a world-leading 48.74 last weekend to win the US 400m title, will once again focus on the flat event in Monaco, where she’ll face NCAA indoor champion Britton Wilson, NCAA outdoor champion Rhasidat Adeleke, European silver medallist Natalia Kaczmarek, Kenyan record-holder Mary Moraa and US 400m hurdles champion Shamier Little.

More sprint talent has been packed into a women’s 200m race that features the previously announced world champion Shericka Jackson. The Jamaican will be lining up against US champion Gabby Thomas, NCAA champion Julien Alfred, 2019 world champion Dina Asher-Smith, British champion Daryll Neita and USA’s Abby Steiner.

Mondo Duplantis was the first big name confirmed for the Herculis meeting back in April, and the men’s pole vault field has now filled out. World silver medallist Chris Nilsen, world bronze medallist Ernest John Obiena, two-time world champion Sam Kendricks, former world record-holder Renaud Lavillenie, six-metre performer KC Lightfoot and Australia’s in-form Kurtis Marschall will all be in action.

Elsewhere in the jumps, rising Jamaican star Jaydon Hibbert and multiple global champion Christian Taylor have joined a men’s triple jump cast that already included world champion Pedro Pablo Pichardo and Italy’s Andy Diaz.

World indoor champion Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Olympic silver medallist Nicola Olyslagers will join the previously announced world champions Eleanor Patterson and Nafi Thiam in the women’s high jump, while Ivana Vuleta, Jazmin Sawyers and Ackelia Smith have been confirmed for the women’s long jump, where they’ll face world champion Malaika Mihambo and Italy’s Larissa Iapichino, whose participation had already been announced.

Multiple global champion Faith Kipyegon was confirmed to compete in Monaco even before she broke the world 1500m and 5000m records this season. The Kenyan will contest the mile and will take on Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir, rising Ethiopian talent Freweyni Hailu and Germany’s Konstanze Klosterhalfen.

World cross-country champion Jacob Kiplimo, world silver medallist Jacob Krop and world 1500m bronze medallist Mohammed Katir have been added to the men’s 5000m, which features world leader Berihu Aregawi.

Emmanuel Wanyonyi and Marco Arop – the two fastest men in the world this year over 800m – will clash again over two laps of the track alongside the gold and silver medallists from last year’s World Championships: Emmanuel Korir and Djamel Sedjati.

World and Olympic steeplechase champion Soufiane El Bakkali had already been confirmed for the Herculis meeting, and the field has now opened to include Getnet Wale and Abraham Kibiwot – the two men who finished closest to the Moroccan when he won in Rabat earlier this season.

Elsewhere, Olympic gold and silver medallists Jasmine Camacho-Quinn and Kendra Harrison will duel over 100m hurdles. Ferdinand Omanyala, Ackeem Blake, Akani Simbine and Letsile Tebogo all feature in the men’s 100m line-up, while Jakub Vadlejch and Julian Weber will star alongside two-time world champion Anderson Peters in the men’s javelin.