Monaco to host mega clashes on Friday
The start of Tokyo Olympic Games is less than four weeks away but track and field fans will get a sneak preview of the Games this Friday with the staging of the Herculis Wanda Diamond League in Monaco.
There will be at least three mega clashes but it's the women's 200 metres which is expected to take centre stage as three of the likely medal prospects are down for action here. Topping the field is world leader Gabrielle Thomas of the United States, the second-fastest woman in history in the event after her 21.61 seconds clocking to win at the United States Trials. Also in the field are Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the second- fastest female ever in the 100 metres, who threw down the gauntlet in the 200 metres at the Jamaica Trials with a personal best 21.79 and Shaunae Miller-Uibo of the Bahamas with a season's best 22.03 and a personal best is 21.74.
While both Fraser-Pryce and Thomas will be doubling in Tokyo, Miller who has stepped down from the 400 metres to the half-lap event could be the one to beat in Tokyo and she will want to send a clear message to her rivals on Friday with something very special.
The likes of Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah , the Olympic Games 200m defending champion, and Great Britain's Dina Asher-Smith, the Doha World champion in the event, will be watching the event with keen interest as this will definitely be one of the top track and field events at the Games.
After smashing a 29-year-old record in the men's 400 metres hurdles at home in Oslo a week ago with his new mark of 46.70 seconds, Norway's Kirsten Warholm will come face to face with American Rai Benjamin who came close to the old record after winning at the USA Trials in 46.83 seconds. With both set for a battle royal, there could be another world record here as both have the potential to go much faster.
Jamaica's Tajay Gayle, the surprise gold medallist in the men's long jump at the Doha World Championships with an impressive 8.69 metres, will be involved in a titanic clash. Fresh off his wind-aided 8.55 metres jump in Stockholm, he will come up against Miltiadis Tentoglou of Greece, the world leader with 8.60 metres and Cuba's Juan Miguel Echevarria who was second to Gayle in Stockholm on Sunday. Gayle could produce something very special if he is able to get things right early as he has been plagued by foul jumps in his early rounds.