International Athletics

Bolt, Van Niekerk, Semenya shine in Monaco

2017-07-21 23:41
Caster Semenya wins gold at Rio 2016 (Getty)

Monaco - Sprint king Usain Bolt and his self-proclaimed successor Wayde van Niekerk stole the limelight at Friday's Diamond League meet in Monaco.

Bolt produced a strong second half in the 100m, easing up over the line in a welcome season's best of 9.95 seconds.

Bolt, winner of eight Olympic and 11 world gold medals, will bring down the curtain on his glittering career at next month's world championships in London, where he will compete in the 100m and 4x100m relay.

But for the moment, it remains entertainment, and Bolt, as he has done consistently throughout his career, played to the sell-out 17 000-capacity crowd at the Louis II Stadium when introduced in warm, balmy weather.

Starting in lane four, Bolt was second slowest out of the blocks, the 100m and 200m world record holder easily matched by American Isiah Young in lane two.

But the afterburners were switched on in his drive phase to see Bolt home safely ahead of Young.

Van Niekerk was also made to work in the 400m, fighting off a late surge from Botswanan rival Isaac Makwala.

The world and Olympic champion, also the world record holder in the event, hared off down the back stretch in lane five and looked dead set for another straightforward victory.

But Makwala, in the lane outside, battled back around the final bend into the home strait.

Van Niekerk, however, dug deep and surged home in a meeting record of 43.73, Makwala setting a personal best of 43.84 in second.

"It was a great performance," said the South African.

"I'm feeling positive about it. My body feels to be in great shape and this win from behind gives me confidence.

"We still are not peaking, we trained hard last week and all should be okay for London and my double (200, 400m).

"I'm ready for the big plan!"

Van Niekerk's team-mate Caster Semenya put in another fine performance in the women's 800m, timing a personal, meet and Diamond League record of 1:55.27 in a race where four national records were set.

Semenya, the current Olympic champion and a two-time world gold medallist, turned the screws in the final 50m to beat out Burundi's Francine Niyonsaba by 0.20, with American Ajee Wilson rounding out the podium.

"I showed my strength, it was a hard fight until the end," said Semenya, whose world golds came in Berlin in 2009 and Daegu in 2011. "The girls surprised me how good they ran.

"I think I can run really fast, we are training for that. Now we must decide, maybe tonight, what I'll do in London, if it's only the 800m, or also the 400m or 1 500m.

"The main thing is to stay healthy and a top result will come."

Kenyan Emmanuel Korir, on his professional debut, set another season's leading best in the men's 800m, scorching around in temperatures of 26 degrees Celsius in 1:43.10.

That best was matched by female team-mate Hellen Obiri, who set a season's leading time of 8:23.14 in the 3 000m as a startling eight of the top 11 racers set personal bests on the fast Monaco track.

Kenya's reigning world silver medallist Elijah Manangoi surprised the field to win the men's 1 500m, out-sprinting Timothy Cheruiyot to win in a season's fastest of 3:28.80. Triple 1 500m world champion Asbel Kiprop finished more than six seconds off the pace in 11th position.

Rio 3 000m steeplechase gold medallist Conseslus Kipruto was a late withdrawal, however, saying he did not want to risk anything before London.

"It is a precautionary measure with my ankle," the Kenyan said. "Running is going well but jumping is risky at this point. But no worries for the world championships, I will be there."

US women continued their domination of the 100m hurdles, world record holder Kendra Harrison (12.51) leading home Sharika Nelvis, with Australia's 2012 Olympic gold medallist Sally Pearson in fourth.

Monaco Diamond League results on Friday:



1. Usain Bolt (JAM) 9.95

2. Isiah Young (USA) 9.98

3. Akani Simbine (RSA) 10.02

4. Chijindu Ujah (GBR) 10.02

5. Su Bingtian (CHN) 10.06

6. Mike Rodgers (USA) 10.06

7. Christopher Belcher (USA) 10.12

8. Yunier Pérez (CUB) 10.20


1. Wayde van Niekerk (RSA) 43.73

2. Isaac Makwala (BOT) 43.84

3. Baboloki Thebe (BOT) 44.26

4. Gil Roberts (USA) 44.57

5. Vernon Norwood (USA) 44.81

6. Luka Janezic (SLO) 44.84

7. Tony McQuay (USA) 46.04

8. Teddy Venel (FRA) 46.36


1. Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir (KEN) 1:43.10

2. Brandon McBride (CAN) 1:44.41

3. Antoine Gakeme (BDI) 1:44.54

4. Pierre-Ambroise Bosse (FRA) 1:44.72

4. Drew Windle (USA) 1:44.72

6. Amel Tuka (BIH) 1:44.94

7. Erik Sowinski (USA) 1:45.12

8. Samir Dahmani (FRA) 1:45.72

9. Elliot Giles (GBR) 1:46.10

10. Bram Som (NED) DNF

11. Andrés Arroyo (PUR) DNS

1 500m

1. Elijah Motonei Manangoi (KEN) 3:28.80

2. Timothy Cheruiyot (KEN) 3:29.10

3. Ronald Kwemoi (KEN) 3:32.34

4. Filip Ingebrigtsen (NOR) 3:32.48

5. Homiyu Tesfaye (GER) 3:33.47

6. Charles Cheboi Simotwo (KEN) 3:33.54

7. Chris O'Hare (GBR) 3:33.61

8. Marcin Lewandowski (POL) 3:34.04

9. Matthew Centrowitz (USA) 3:34.43

10. Nicholas Willis (NZL) 3:34.74

3 000m steeplechase

1. Evan Jager (USA) 8:01.29

2. Jairus Kipchoge (KEN) 8:07.68

3. Stanley Kipkoech Kebenei (USA) 8:08.30

4. Benjamin Kigen (KEN) 8:11.38

5. Amos Kirui (KEN) 8:15.91

6. Andrew Bayer (USA) 8:19.27

7. Hillary Bor (USA) 8:25.88

8. Abraham Kibiwott (KEN) 8:32.39

9. Djilali Bedrani (FRA) 8:33.02

10. Haron Lagat (KEN) 8:36.04


1. Thomas Roehler (GER) 89.17 m

2. Jakub Vadlejch (CZE) 85.43

3. Johannes Vetter (GER) 85.14

4. Ahmed Bader Magour (QAT) 81.61

5. Keshorn Walcott (TRI) 80.15

6. Julius Yego (KEN) 79.36

7. Neeraj Chopra (IND) 78.92

8. Bernhard Seifert (GER) 75.56


1. Piotr Lisek (POL) 5.82 m

2. Jan Kudlicka (CZE) 5.72

2. Kévin Ménaldo (FRA) 5.72

4. Axel Chapelle (FRA) 5.72

5. Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) 5.72

6. Kurtis Marschall (AUS) 5.72

6. Shawn Barber (CAN) 5.72

8. Valentin Lavillenie (FRA) 5.60

9. Thiago Braz da Silva (BRA) 5.60

10. Menno Vloon (NED) 5.60

11. Raphael Holzdeppe (GER) 5.45


100m hurdles

1. Kendra Harrison (USA) 12.51

2. Sharika Nelvis (USA) 12.52

3. Danielle Williams (JAM) 12.58

4. Nia Ali (USA) 12.68

5. Sally Pearson (AUS) 12.68

6. Jasmin Stowers (USA) 12.75

7. Pamela Dutkiewicz (GER) 12.82

8. Isabelle Pedersen (NOR) 13.03


1. Marie-Josee Ta Lou (CIV) 22.25

2. Kyra Jefferson (USA) 22.42

3. Dina Asher-Smith (GBR) 22.89

4. Kimberlyn Duncan (USA) 23.06

5. Finette Agyapong (GBR) 23.22

6. Gloria Hooper (ITA) 23.31

7. Maroussia Paré (FRA) 23.40

8. Fanny Peltier (FRA) 23.73

400m hurdles

1. Cori Carter (USA) 53.36

2. Shamier Little (USA) 54.02

3. Janieve Russell (JAM) 54.38

4. Eilidh Child (GBR) 54.75

5. Wenda Theron Nel (RSA) 55.90

6. Ashley Spencer (USA) 55.92

7. Aurèlie Chaboudez (FRA) 57.32

8. Leah Nugent (USA) 58.07


1. Caster Semenya (RSA) 1:55.27

2. Francine Niyonsaba (BDI) 1:55.47

3. Ajee Wilson (USA) 1:55.61

4. Sifan Hassan (NED) 1:56.81

5. Melissa Bishop (CAN) 1:57.01

6. Lynsey Sharp (GBR) 1:58.01

7. Brenda Martinez (USA) 1:58.43

8. Charlene Lipsey (USA) 2:01.09

9. Margaret Nyairera Wambui (KEN) 2:02.13

10. Laura Roesler (USA) DNF

3 000m

1. Hellen Onsando Obiri (KEN) 8:23.14

2. Beatrice Chepkoech Sitonik (KEN) 8:28.66

3. Laura Muir (GBR) 8:30.64

4. Eilish McColgan (GBR) 8:31.39

5. Lilian Kasait Rengruk (KEN) 8:32.73

6. Shannon Rowbury (USA) 8:33.38

7. Agnes Jebet Tirop (KEN) 8:35.37

8. Shelby Houlihan (USA) 8:37.40

9. Merat Bahta Ogbagaber (ERI) 8:37.50

10. Karoline Bjerkeli Grovdal (NOR) 8:37.58

Triple jump

1. Caterine Ibargüen (COL) 14.86 m

2. Yulimar Rojas (VEN) 14.83

3. Kimberly Williams (JAM) 14.54

4. Patrícia Mamona (POR) 14.18

5. Elena Panturoiu (ROM) 14.16

6. Olga Rypakova (KAZ) 14.12

7. Jeanine Assani Issouf (FRA) 13.82

8. Rouguy Diallo (FRA) 13.76

High jump

1. Maria Kuchina (RUS) 2.05 m

2. Yuliya Levchenko (UKR) 1.97

3. Vashti Cunningham (USA) 1.97

4. Marusa Cernjul (SLO) 1.85

4. Erika Viklund (SWE) 1.85

4. Alessia Trost (ITA) 1.85

7. Oksana Okuneva (UKR) 1.85

8. Inika McPherson (USA) 1.85

9. Ruth Beitia (ESP) 1.80

Read more on:    athletics


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk
Breaking News

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

How much of a runner are you?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.