Monaco Diamond League full of Olympic previews; TV, live stream schedule

2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials - Day 3
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The annual Diamond League stop in Monaco has become a crown jewel of the track and field calendar. Friday’s meet has the best international fields of the year thus far.

Olympic previews in several events are the storylines at a venue where a world record on the track fell each of the past three years.

Peacock streams live coverage HERE at 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday. NBCSN broadcast coverage starts at 2, also streaming on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Trayvon Bromell, the Olympic Trials 100m champion and favorite to succeed the retired Usain Bolt as Olympic gold medalist, faces the next four fastest men this year out of all of the Olympic qualifiers.

The women’s 200m pits Olympic 400m champion Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas against two-time Olympic 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Norwegian Karsten Warholm races eight days after breaking the longest-standing men’s track world record in the 400m hurdles.

Here are the entry lists. Here’s the schedule of events (all times Eastern):

1:05 p.m. — Women’s Triple Jump
1:20 — Women’s Javelin
1:20 — Women’s Pole Vault
1:50 — Men’s High Jump
2:03 — Men’s 400m Hurdles
2:18 — Women’s 800m
2:32 — Men’s 1500m
2:43 — Women’s 200m
2:49 — Men’s 3000m Steeplechase
2:50 — Men’s Long Jump
3:06 — Men’s 800m
3:16 — Women’s 1500m
3:28 — Men’s 100m
3:36 — Women’s 3000m Steeplechase

Here are six races to watch

Men’s 400m Hurdles — 2:03 p.m.
Initially a showdown between Warholm and Rai Benjamin, but Benjamin withdrew after Warholm broke the 29-year-old world record in Oslo last Thursday. Field still includes the third- and fourth-fastest men this year, Brazilian Alison Dos Santos and Kyron McMaster of the British Virgin Islands. They could push Warholm to go even faster than the 46.70 he clocked at home in Norway.

Men’s 1500m — 2:32 p.m.
Is there any hope for world champion Timothy Cheruiyot to still be named to the Kenyan Olympic team? He was left off the initial roster after placing fourth at the Kenyan Trials last month, and the Olympic entries deadline has passed. However, if Cheruiyot was entered as an alternate, he can still replace one of the top three men on the Olympic team. And one of those three, Kamar Etyang, is reportedly in jeopardy for not having been drug tested enough. In Monaco, Cheruiyot takes on his primary rival in recent years, 20-year-old Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen.

Women’s 200m — 2:43 p.m.
The three fastest women of this Olympic cycle were set to face off before the withdrawal of U.S. Olympic Trials winner Gabby Thomas. Miller-Uibo went nearly four years without losing a 200m that she finished until being taken down by Jamaican Shericka Jackson in Hungary on Tuesday. Here, the Bahamian takes on Fraser-Pryce, who lowered her personal best at the Jamaican Olympic Trials. They’ll have to challenge if not beat Thomas’ Trials-winning time of 21.61 to unseat the American as Olympic favorite.

Men’s 800m — 3:06 p.m.
This event was blown open when world champion Donavan Brazier faded out of the U.S. Olympic Trials. Enter Rio bronze medalist Clayton Murphy, who won the Olympic Trials with his fastest time in nearly three years and the world’s fastest time for 2021. In Monaco, Murphy takes on the three fastest men of this Olympic cycle other than Brazier: Botswana’s Nijel Amos and Kenyans Emmanuel Korir and Ferguson Rotich. Plus, Brit Elliot Giles, who beat Murphy on Tuesday. The winner is likely the Olympic favorite.

Women’s 1500m — 3:16 p.m.
Ethiopian-born Dutchwoman Sifan Hassan is the world’s fastest woman in this event in this Olympic cycle by 1.96 seconds, but she said last month that she will probably bypass the Olympic 1500m in favor of the 5000m and 10,000m. But the matchup everyone’s anticipating will happen in Monaco. Hassan faces Olympic gold medalist Faith Kipyegon of Kenya. Hassan handed Kipyegon all three of her 1500m defeats since September 2016, including at 2019 Worlds. Kipyegon came back from 2018 childbirth to twice lower her Kenyan record.

Men’s 100m — 3:28 p.m.
Five men figure to fight for the Olympic medals. All of them are in this field, including the three U.S. Olympians — Bromell, Ronnie Baker and Fred Kerley. They’re joined by Akani Simbine, who on Tuesday broke the African record by clocking 9.84 seconds, ranking second in the world this year behind Bromell. The most decorated man in the race is Canadian Andre De Grasse, the Olympic and world bronze medalist with a best of 9.99 in 2021.

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Kenenisa Bekele still eyes Eliud Kipchoge’s marathon world record, but a duel must wait

Kenenisa Bekele
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LONDON — Kenenisa Bekele made headlines last week by declaring “of course I am the best” long distance runner ever. But the Ethiopian was fifth-best at Sunday’s London Marathon, finishing 74 seconds behind Kenya’s Amos Kipruto.

Bekele, 40, clocked 2:05:53, the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. He was with the lead pack until being dropped in the 21st mile.

But Bekele estimated he could have run 90 to 120 seconds faster had he not missed parts of six weeks of training with hip and joint injuries.

“I expect better even if the preparation is short,” he said. “I know my talent and I know my capacity, but really I couldn’t achieve what I expect.”

Bekele is the second-fastest marathoner in history behind Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge, who broke his own world record by clocking 2:01:09 at the Berlin Marathon last week.

“I am happy when I see Eliud Kipchoge run that time,” Bekele said. “It motivates all athletes who really expect to do the same thing.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Bekele’s best time was within two seconds of Kipchoge’s previous world record (2:01:39). He described breaking Kipchoge’s new mark as the “main goal” for the rest of his career.

“Yes, I hope, one day it will happen, of course,” Bekele said. “With good preparation, I don’t know when, but we will see one more time.”

Nobody has won more London Marathons than Kipchoge, a four-time champion who set the course record (2:02:37) in 2019. But the two-time Olympic marathon champion did not run this year in London, as elite marathoners typically choose to enter one race each spring and fall.

Bekele does not know which race he will enter in the spring. But it will not be against Kipchoge.

“I need to show something first,” Bekele said. “I need to run a fast time. I have to check myself. This is not enough.”

Kipchoge will try to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles at the Paris Games. Bekele, who will be 42 in 2024, has not committed to trying to qualify for the Ethiopian team.

“There’s a long time to go before Paris,” Bekele said. “At this moment I am not decided. I have to show something.”

So who is the greatest long distance runner ever?

Bekele can make a strong case on the track:

Bekele
Four Olympic medals (three gold)
Six World Championship medals (five gold)
Former 5000m and 10,000m world-record holder

Kipchoge
Two Olympic medals
Two World Championship medals (one gold)

But Kipchoge can make a strong case on the pavement:

Bekele
Second-fastest marathoner in history
Two World Marathon Major victories

Kipchoge
Four of the five best marathon times in history
Two-time Olympic marathon champion
12 World Marathon Major victories

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Yalemzerf Yehualaw, Amos Kipruto win London Marathon

Yalemzerf Yehualaw
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Ethiopian Yalemzerf Yehualaw became the youngest female runner to win the London Marathon, while Kenyan Amos Kipruto earned the biggest victory of his career in the men’s race.

Yehualaw, 23, clocked 2:17:26, prevailing by 41 seconds over 2021 London champ Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya.

Yehualaw tripped and fell over a speed bump around the 20-mile mark. She quickly rejoined the lead pack, then pulled away from Jepkosgei by running the 24th mile in a reported 4:43, which converts to 2:03:30 marathon pace; the women’s world record is 2:14:04.

Yehualaw and Jepkosgei were pre-race favorites after world record holder Brigid Kosgei of Kenya withdrew Monday with a right hamstring injury.

On April 24, Yehualaw ran the fastest women’s debut marathon in history, a 2:17:23 to win in Hamburg, Germany.

She has joined the elite tier of female marathoners, a group led by Kenyan Peres Jepchirchir, the reigning Olympic, New York City and Boston champion. Another Ethiopian staked a claim last week when Tigist Assefa won Berlin in 2:15:37, shattering Yehualaw’s national record.

Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, finished Sunday’s race in 3:20:20 at age 65.

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Kipruto, 30, won the men’s race in 2:04:39. He broke free from the leading group in the 25th mile and crossed the finish line 33 seconds ahead of Ethiopian Leul Gebresilase, who said he had hamstring problems.

Kipruto, one of the pre-race favorites, had never won a major marathon but did finish second behind world record holder Eliud Kipchoge in Tokyo (2022) and Berlin (2018) and third at the world championships (2019) and Tokyo (2018).

Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, the second-fastest marathoner in history, was fifth after being dropped in the 21st mile. His 2:05:53 was the fastest-ever marathon by a runner 40 years or older. Bekele ran his personal best at the 2019 Berlin Marathon — 2:01:41 — and has not run within four minutes of that time since.

The major marathon season continues next Sunday with the Chicago Marathon, headlined by a women’s field that includes Kenyan Ruth Chepngetich and American Emily Sisson.

London returns next year to its traditional April place after being pushed to October the last three years due to the pandemic.

MORE: Bekele looks ahead to Kipchoge chase after London Marathon

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