ake Wightman will take on Kenya’s Emmanuel Korir over 1,000m in an intriguing clash between the new middle-distance world champions at a prestigious Monaco Diamond League tonight – and thinks it’s his ideal distance.
Wightman won a shock world gold medal in the 1500m in Oregon last month, while Korir claimed the 800m title and the pair lead the pack in what is a rarely contested event.
“Ideally I would have said 1km – if I could choose any championship distance,” Wightman said. “I still love running 800m and obviously 1500m. Hopefully the strength of the 1500m will still come into play as these guys are not used to it.
“It will feel fast. It’s exciting, it’s a fun event to see how fast we can race the fastest track, the fastest stadium in the world.
The majority of Britain’s best-known names, including Olympic and world medalists Laura Muir and Keely Hodgkinson, are skipping one of athletics’ most illustrious competitions to focus on next week’s European Championships in Munich, which will take place soon after the Commonwealth Games.
However, the card is littered with international stars, with Wightman and Korir just two of twelve world champions set to compete.
Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon could be aiming for the 1500m world record after clocking the fourth fastest time in history at Stade Louis II last year, while Jamaican sprint pair Shericka Jackson and Shelley-Ann Fraser-Pryce are will meet on 100 m.
Potentially, the race of the night will take place when men’s 200m and 400m world champions Noah Lyles and Michael Norman go head-to-head over the shortest distance for the first time since 2019.
“Every time I get on the track now it’s to get closer and closer to the world record,” said Lyles, whose 19.31 to win gold in Oregon made him the third man the fastest of all time.