Warholm sets meet record, four events see world leads at Monaco Diamond League

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In the penultimate Diamond League race before the Tokyo Olympics begin later this month, four events saw world-leading times and one produced a meet record in Monaco.

Karsten Warholm set the only meet record in the opening race of the meet, the men’s 400m hurdles.

The Norwegian was racing just eight days after breaking the world record. He ran 46.70 seconds in Oslo to lower the longest-standing men’s track world record. American Kevin Young had last set the record when he ran 46.78 for Olympic gold in 1992.

With the potential to now lower his own world record, Warholm won the Monaco race in 47.07 seconds to lower the meet record from 47.10. Brazil’s Alison dos Santos was second in 47.51 seconds and Estonia’s Rasmus Mägi third in 48.83

Warholm’s time on Friday is still the third fastest of the year (11th all-time), with only U.S. Olympic Trials winner Rai Benjamin‘s 46.83 between his times.

Benjamin, the 2019 World silver medalist, and Warholm, the two-time reigning world champion, are both undefeated so far this season, but that will change for one of them come the Olympic final on Aug. 3.

“I had a great race, and I can run very fast times consistently, and I think that’s a good thing going into championships,” Warholm said on the broadcast.

The men’s 1500m in Monaco was blistering and produced the six fastest times in the world this year — and 11 of the top 18 — plus a continental record and a national record.

Ten of the 13 finishers ran personal bests.

2019 World champion Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya led that effort in 3:28.28, with Spain’s Mohamed Katir (3:28.76) and Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen (3:29.25) rounding out the podium.

Fourth-place Stewart McSweyn of Australia broke an Oceania record that had stood for six years with his time of 3:29.51, while Marcin Lewandowski placed sixth and now owns the Polish record of 3:30.42.

The women’s 1500m also had a world-leading time. Faith Kipyegon‘s 3:51.07 was also a Kenyan record. Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands was second in 3:53.60 for the second-best time this year. Ethiopian Freweyni Hailu was third in a personal best 3:56.28.

The men’s 800m featured most of the Olympic favorites and the result was four of the five fastest times in the world this year.

Botswana’s Nijel Amos, who took the Olympic silver nine years ago, won in a world-leading 1:42.91. He was immediately followed by Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir (1:43.04), Canada’s Marco Arop (1:43.26, a personal best) and Kenya’s Ferguson Rotich (1:43.57).

Clayton Murphy, who was seventh, is No. 3 this year with his U.S. Olympic Trials time of 1:43.17.

The sprints in Monaco gave a glimpse at the potential Olympic podiums.

Ronnie Baker handed Olympic gold-medal favorite Trayvon Bromell his first defeat of the season in a deep 100m field.

Baker handily won in 9.91 seconds. Bromell was 0.05 seconds faster than Baker at last month’s U.S. Olympic Trials.

South Africa’s Akani Simbine was second in 9.98, followed by Lamont Jacobs at 9.99. Andre de Grasse, the Olympic bronze medalist from Canada, was fourth (10.00), with Bromell fifth (10.01) and Fred Kerley, third at the U.S. Trials, sixth (10.15).

Meanwhile, Bahamian Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who famously won the Olympic 400m by a dive over Allyson Felix in Rio, may have started a new winning streak in the 200m.

Miller-Uibo had won every 200m she finished since 2017 until Jamaica’s Shericka Jackson beat her by 0.19 seconds at the Gyulai István Memorial in Hungary on Tuesday.

In Monaco, Miller-Uibo gained speed in the final 50 meters to finish in 22.23 seconds and edge out Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josée Ta Lou, the 2017 World silver medalist, by 0.02.

Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the second-fastest woman this year, was third in 22.48.

Baker and pole vaulter Katie Nageotte were the only Americans to score wins on Friday.

Nageotte beat the reigning world and Olympic champions with a height of 4.9 meters.

2019 World champion Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia and 2016 Olympic gold medalist Katerina Stefanidi‘s bests were 4.8.

Shanieka Ricketts of Jamaica won the triple jump contest that came down to the 2019 World gold and silver medalists.

In a format that sees the top three finishers after five rounds move on to a winner-takes-all final round with a single jump, Ricketts went 14.75 meters in the final.

Two-time world champion and world leader Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela and Portugal’s Patricia Mamona both fouled. Rojas had the furthest jump of the competition at 15.12, while Mamona’s 14.66 was a personal best and national record.

Czech Barbora Spotakova took advantage of that format in women’s javelin, throwing 63.08 meters in the final. World leader Maria Andrejczyk of Poland had the meet’s furthest throw with 63.63 in the first round. German Christin Hussong was third.

The women’s 800m podium finishers all ran personal bests, with Great Britain’s Laura Muir taking her first Diamond League win at this distance since 2018.

Muir’s time of 1:56.73 was just ahead of countrywoman Jemma Reekie‘s 1:56.96 and American Kate Grace‘s 1:57.20.

Ethiopia’s Lamecha Girma, the 2019 World silver medalist, and Kenyan Abraham Kibiwot were the two fastest this year in the men’s 3000m steeplechase in a close 8:07.75 and 8:07.81, respectively. Frenchman Djilali Bedrani was third in 8:11.17.

U.S. Olympic qualifiers Hillary Bor and Benard Keter ran season’s bests to come fifth and ninth.

The women’s steeplechase saw the Great Britain record drop for the first time in nine years when Elizabeth Bird finished seventh in 9:22.80.

Kenyans Hyvin Kiyeng and Beatrice Chepkoech were top two in season’s best times of 9:03.82 and 9:04.94, respectively, followed by Bahrain’s Winfred Yavi in 9:05.45.

Russian Mikhail Akimenko won the men’s high jump with a height of 2.32 meters, ahead of Canada’s Django Lovett and Belarussian Maksim Nedasekau.

Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece won the final field event, men’s long jump, with a distance of 8.24 meters in the final round, though runner-up Tajay Gayle of Jamaica had the meet’s furthest jump at 8.29 meters in the fifth round. Thobias Montler, who like Gayle fouled in the final, was third with a personal best jump of 8.27 from the second round.

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Mo Farah likely to retire this year

Mo Farah
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British track legend Mo Farah will likely retire by the end of this year.

“I’m not going to go to the Olympics, and I think 2023 will probably be my last year,” the 39-year-old Farah said, according to multiple British media reports.

Farah, who swept the 5000m and 10,000m golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, was announced Tuesday as part of the field for the London Marathon on April 23.

Last May, Farah reportedly said he believed his career on the track was over, but not the roads.

London might not be his last marathon. Farah also said that if, toward the end of this year, he was capable of being picked to run for Britain again, he would “never turn that down,” according to Tuesday’s reports.

It’s not clear if Farah was referencing the world track and field championships, which include a marathon and are in Budapest in August. Or selection for the 2024 British Olympic marathon team.

The fastest British male marathoner last year ran 2:10:46, ranking outside the top 300 in the world. Farah broke 2:10 in all five marathons that he’s finished, but he hasn’t run one since October 2019 (aside from pacing the 2020 London Marathon).

Farah withdrew four days before the last London Marathon on Oct. 2, citing a right hip injury.

Farah switched from the track to the marathon after the 2017 World Championships and won the 2018 Chicago Marathon in a then-European record time of 2:05:11. Belgium’s Bashir Abdi now holds the record at 2:03:36.

Farah’s best London Marathon finish in four starts was third place in 2018.

Farah returned to the track in a failed bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, then shifted back to the roads.

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Kendall Gretsch wins six gold medals at Para Nordic Ski Worlds

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Kendall Gretsch, who won Paralympic titles at the last Summer and Winter Games, added another six gold medals at the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in Sweden last week.

Gretsch, 30, earned seven total medals in seven days between biathlon and cross-country skiing.

Gretsch won gold medals in three different sports across the last three Paralympics: biathlon and cross-country skiing in 2018 (two years after taking up the sports), triathlon in 2021 and biathlon in 2022.

She plans to shift her focus back to triathlon after this winter for 2024 Paris Games qualification.

Gretsch, born with spina bifida, was the 2014 USA Triathlon Female Para Triathlete of the Year. Though triathlon was added to the Paralympics for the 2016 Rio Games, her classification was not added until Tokyo.

Also at last week’s worlds, six-time Paralympian Aaron Pike earned his first Paralympic or world championships gold medal in his decade-plus career, winning a 12.5km biathlon event.

Oksana Masters, who won seven medals in seven events at last year’s Paralympics to break the career U.S. Winter Paralympics medals record, missed worlds due to hand surgery.

The U.S. also picked up five medals at last week’s World Para Alpine Skiing Championships in Spain — three silvers for five-time Paralympian Laurie Stephens and two bronzes for 17-year-old Saylor O’Brien.

Stephens now has 18 career medals from world championships, plus seven at the Paralympics.

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