Rio 2016
Usain Bolt strikes his famous 'Lightning Bolt' pose Photo Credit: Making of Champions/ PaV media

Gradually wounding down into retirement, the legendary Usain Bolt will be making his first appearance in the Diamond League this season when he competes in Monaco on Friday.

Bolt who has brought so much glitz to the sport is now being faced with the prospects of exiting the stage, with the first process of leaving Athletics starting when he competes in the men’s 100m at the Meeting Herculis.

Having competed in Kingston and Ostrava, Bolt is yet to dip under 10s in the 100m this year, and interestingly it is the first time since he came into prominence that he has run back to back races in that distance without clocking under 10s.

In a field that includes South Africa’s Akani Simbine, Chijindu Ujah and fellow Jamaican, Omar McLeod, who is not competing in the Hurdles this time around, Bolt will be hoping that he could run a good time to set the tone for his swansong in London where he will bow out.

No doubt the sport will miss Bolt and the glamour he comes with, but there are other younger ones ready to step up and fill the void when he vacates the scene.

Although Bolt might steal the headlines in Monaco, the meet will not be short of elite stars who would be competing.

World Record (WR) holder Kendra Harrison with a Season’s Best (SB) of 12.28s could be aiming to also run within that time range again, competing in the women’s 100m Hurdles. With Sally Pearson, Jasmin Stowers who has recovered from her horrific fall at the London DL, and the likes of Nia Ali and Sharika Nelvis also in this race, Gail Devers Meeting Record (MR) of 12.42s looks set to go.

Meanwhile, another event that promises to light up the arena is the men’s 400m where Wayde Van Niekerk will be making his second Diamond League appearance this season.

The last time Van Niekerk was in action, he clocked a World Leading time of 43.62s in Lausanne. In Monaco, there’s every chance that he would take another Michael Johnson’s record, this time the MR of 43.96s. Another athlete to watch out for is Botswana’s Isaac Makwala who recently ran 43.92s in the 400m and 19.77s in the 200m all in a day.

Having finished 7th in the 400m in Rabat, Caster Semenya will be returning to her main event when she lines up for the women’s 800m. She remains unbeaten in that event this year and it’s left to be seen if she can match her MR of 1:55.33. Certainly the duo of Francine Niyonsaba and Margaret Wambui will both attempt to get one over her.

 

Field events:
Without a doubt, the men’s Javelin will be the standout event to keep an eye on. Two Germans Thomas Rohler and Johannes Vetter will go head to head in a battle of who would throw the farthest having shown that they can really land the spear in distances over 90m.

Before, the bet would have been solely on Rohler having thrown a PB of 93.90m earlier this year, but with Vetter throwing a WL of 94.44m in Luzern, it is now game on between the two.

In the women’s High Jump, Mariya Lasitskene will undoubtedly be the favourite to win. What most people would be eager to know is if she can surpass Heike Henkel’s MR of 2.04m

While in the men’s Pole Vault, Renaud Lavillenie will be favourite to win especially with both Sam Kendricks and Pawel Wojciechowski not listed to compete.

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