Highlights: 2022 Monaco Diamond League

Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce set the fourth fastest women’s 100m time in history at the Herculis Meeting Wednesday on a dazzling night of elite athletics in Monaco.

Fans packed into the Stade Louis II for the prestigious Diamond League event on 10th August, and they weren’t disappointed. Meeting records, personal bests and season bests were all smashed in multiple events.

Fraser-Pryce unstoppable

All eyes were on Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in one of the stand-out events of the evening – the women’s 100m. She was unchallenged on her way to the line, the victory never in doubt. The question was the time, and she didn’t disappoint.

Her 10.62 is the fastest time she has run this year, and only 0.02 seconds off her personal best. She already has the third-fastest time in a women’s 100m, and now she has the fourth fastest time too.

As the European season draws to a close, Fraser-Pryce reflected on the year, telling Monaco Life, “It’s been an amazing season. Being able to run 10.6 consistently is remarkable for me, and I haven’t been able to wrap my head around it just yet. I think I will when I have a break.”

Compatriot Shericka Jackson came second in the event, whilst Ivory Coast’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou came third, setting an African record in the process.

“Grant Holloway can only beat Grant Holloway.”

In the night’s other sprinting highlights, Noah Lyles took gold in the men’s 200m and registering a meeting record (19.46), which was nonetheless short of the American’s personal best. Post-race he seemed happy with his race, albeit rather ambivalent towards breaking the meeting record. “I thought I was going to run another 19.3, but I’m satisfied with 19.4 – the second fastest I’ve ever won. I’m happy,” he said. Questioned about the record, he told Monaco Life, he said, “I don’t care about that.” He continued, “My focus is on the world record. Shoot for the stars so if you fall, you land on the moon.”

It was a strong showing from the Americans on the track of the Stade Louis II. Grant Holloway picked up gold with a season best (12.99) in the men’s 100m hurdles. Exuding confidence, he revelead to Monaco Life that he had no doubt about achieving the result. “I was just expecting to win. Continuing to execute at a very high level is what I really want to come out here and do. Every year I’m hitting personal bests. We’ll take this, dissect it and go onto the next one,” he said. Asked who could possibly beat him, he replied, “Grant Holloway can only beat Grant Holloway.”

Photo by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life

Wightman’s dream season continues

British 1,500m runner Jake Wightman took the 1,000m crown at the Stade Louis II, pipping Canada’s Marco Arop on the line. The Scot runner became the first Brit to win a global gold in a middle-distance event since Seb Coe in 1984 with his win in the World Championships in Oregon earlier this summer, and he has now backed that up with gold in Monaco.

An unusual event in itself, the 1,000m is a unique event, a hybrid between the more conventional 800m and 1,500m. As a 1,500m, Wightman came on strong towards the end as the 800m specialists toiled.

He told Monaco Life, “I hoped at some point that Arop would come back to me. That’s the strength of being a 1,500m runner against an 800m runner. I knew I’d be strong in the last 200m. I didn’t really lose hope that I could catch him.”

Following his World Championships gold, he didn’t hit the same lofty heights at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, so he was pleased to return to winning ways in the Principality. “It’s always at big championships that you want to run your best. The Worlds was obviously a big surprise and a massive high. I struggled to come back to the Commonwealth Games and get the same drive. Mentally, I was very tired and I was happy just to pick up a medal there,” he said.

Wins for Miller-Uibo and Clayton

In the women’s 400m, Bahamas’ Shaunae Miller-Uibo lived up to her favourites tag to comfortably take the gold. Coming around the final turn, buoyed by the roar of the crowd, she strode clear before consolidating her lead on the final straight.

She told Monaco Life, “It’s one of our last races of the season and we wanted to have some fun with it. We decided to go out and take it a little bit harder than usual and I think overall it was a great performance. I think we put on a great show for the crowd.”

In the women’s 400m hurdles, Jamaican Rushell Clayton built on her already incredible season. Having set a new personal best this season, she bettered her fastest time once again with a 53.33.

She told Monaco Life. “A personal best is always good. To come out here tonight and get a personal best is amazing and I’m really thankful. My season keeps getting better and better and I’m loving it.

The European season may be winding down, but there was no sign of fatigue at the prestigious meeting in Monaco, to the delight of the thousands of fans in attendance.

Click on play below to see video and interview highlights from the 2022 Monaco Diamond League…

Photo above by Luke Entwistle, Monaco Life




Monaco now offering protection against monkeypox

The Princess Grace Hospital has been stocked with doses of the Jynneos vaccine and is now able to administer them to residents most at risk of contracting monkeypox.

On 23rd July, the World Health Organisation (WHO) activated its highest alert level for the growing monkeypox outbreak, declaring the virus a public health emergency of international concern.

The rare designation means the WHO now views the outbreak as a significant enough threat to global health that a coordinated international response is needed to prevent the virus from spreading further and potentially escalating into a pandemic.

The Principality of Monaco has registered three cases of monkeypox so far, one of whom was a resident, and all “received appropriate follow-up and were cured with no complications to report,” according to the health authorities.

Now, Monaco has attained its share of the Jynneos vaccine, which has been approved for use in the EU since 2013 for protection against smallpox.

The vaccine can also be used to prevent monkeypox due to the similarities between the two diseases. The conditions are caused by the variola virus, meaning the symptoms are similar. Monkeypox is a much milder disease than smallpox, but it can be severe in vulnerable individuals.

JYNNEOS is administered beneath the skin as two doses, four weeks apart.

Vaccination in Monaco is now open to adults who have had contact with a monkeypox patient, or as a preventative measure to adults who are considered vulnerable to contracting the disease. 90% of cases are transmitted sexually.

Early symptoms of monkepox include fever, muscle pain, fatigue, possible swollen glands, and then an extensive rash. Diagnosis is achieved through a biological test (PCR). An infected person can be contagious as soon as the symptoms appear. The good news is most often, monkeypox patients are fully recovered in two to four weeks.

Residents who would like to receive the vaccination are invited to contact the Monegasque Screening Centre located at the Princess Grace Hospital, at +377. to organise an appointment.


Photo by Steven Cornfield on Unsplash





Borrow a Boat continues global expansion with launch into France

The international boat rental company Borrow A Boat has announced that it will make its official launch into France during the upcoming Cannes Yachting Festival.

Founded in 2016, Borrow A Boat has access to 45,000 boats in 65+ countries and is the pioneer of peer-to-peer boat charter. The company says it is on a mission to make boating more accessible, affordable, flexible and inclusive for all, with a marketplace that enables owners to generate extra income from their vessel whilst reducing the high costs of boat ownership, including maintenance costs and marina fees.

The company this week revealed that it will officially launch into the French market at the Cannes Yachting Festival, from 6th to 11th September. It follows a series of successes for the business, including a recent crowdfund raise and expansion into several new countries including the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It has also acquired three competitors, Helm, Barqo and Beds on Board.

“Along with our planned IPO, we felt a launch into France – one of the most popular boating destinations in the world – was the natural next step,” said Founder and CEO of Borrow A Boat Matt Ovenden in a statement.


Photo above by Ivan Ragozin on Unsplash




ASM preview: “My players are ready to bounce back”

Following AS Monaco’s loss against PSV Eindhoven, which sees the side miss out on Champions League football in consecutive seasons, Philippe Clement backed his side to bounce back against Rennes on Saturday.

Last season, Monaco’s misfortune in the Champions League play-offs seeped into the club’s league form. Clement’s job is to ensure the same doesn’t happen this season, and despite the disheartening result in the Netherlands midweek, the Belgian coach feels a positive atmosphere emanating from the group.

Speaking in Thursday’s press conference, Clement said, “On a mental level, I spoke in the dressing room after the match against PSV and again in the debriefing today as normal. I’ve seen a good reaction in the session. The intensity and the quality was there. The players are ready to bounce back against Rennes. We know it’s a big match against a team with a lot of quality. I am certain that my players are present mentally.”

It is not only the mental repercussions of the match that Clement must deal with. Given that the tie went to extra-time, there is also an element of physical exhaustion to manage, although Clement saw no reason to be concerned. “Physically, it’s clear that it was a big match with extra time at the end. They managed well. The session today wasn’t long, but the intensity was there,” he said.

There are two teams, two narratives in every fixture and heading into only the second fixture of the Ligue 1 season on Saturday Rennes already have a point to prove. Last year the Breton club only narrowly missed out on the Champions League spots, and it was in fact Monaco who dealt an important blow to their European aspirations by beating them 3-2 on their home turf in the closing stages of the campaign. However, their season got off to a bad start, losing 1-0 to Lorient in the Breton derby.

Regardless of that result, Clement is still wary of a side that possesses an impressive attacking arsenal. He told Monaco Life, “I’m expecting an interesting match for everyone and for both sets of fans and also for the neutrals with two teams that play offensively to create opportunities. They have a lot of attacking strength. I don’t know if the signing is completed yet, but there is (Arnaud) Kalimuendo, (Martin) Terrier, (Gaëtan) Laborde, (Benjamin) Bourigeaud, (Serhou) Guirassy, (Kamaldeen) Sulemana, (Jérémy) Doku and then in midfield, there is also (Flavien) Tait. There is a lot of attacking strength.”

Philippe Clement during Thursday’s press conference, photo by Monaco Life

Prior to Clement’s conference, Malang Sarr was presented as a new Monaco player, and whilst the game against Rennes may come too early for the Chelsea loanee, Clement said that he believes the player is eligible to play the fixture. “He trained today and his tests were really good, but he must also create automisms with his team-mates. That’s important,” he said.

Monaco may be further reinforced in the defensive area. Clemented revealed that Benoît Badiashile completed the entire training session on Thursday and therefore could be part of the group. However, Monaco will likely be without Jean Lucas (illness) and Myron Boadu (foot). The latter completed an individual training session on Thursday. Ruben Aguilar is also potentially a doubt having “felt something” towards the end of the session.

A win against a potential rival for Champions League qualification next season will do wonders in dispelling some of the disappointment surrounding Tuesday’s result, whilst also confirming their good start to the league after last weekend’s victory against Strasbourg. Although this new season is only in its infancy, such a match could be significant in deciding whether or not Monaco can better their third-place finish last season and avoid those dreaded Champions League play-offs next season.




Photo above by Monaco Life




EU and Moderna strike new deal over Covid vaccine

The European Commission and vaccine manufacturer Moderna have reached an agreement that will ensure EU nations will have access to Covid vaccines, including approved variant-adapted versions, for the late summer and winter periods.

As the Omicron wave of the pandemic wanes in Monaco, governments are already looking ahead to the autumn and winter months in search of stable and reliable vaccine sources to make sure their populations, as well as those of their global partners, are well covered in case of another resurgence.

Through a deal struck this week between the European Commission and Moderna, the maker of the Spikevax jab, EU countries will be sure to have enough doses to cover those who need and want them.

The agreement alters the original contractual delivery schedules, holding off on delivering vaccines in summer for the autumn and winter periods when it is more likely a need will arise.

The deal also stipulates that Member States can choose variant-adapted versions that have been authorised by the EU if requested. The terms state that an additional 15 million doses of the Omicron-carrying jab be available if approved.

“Increasing Covid-19 vaccination and booster rates will be crucial as we plan ahead for the autumn and winter months,” said Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides. “To best ensure our common preparedness, Member States must have the necessary tools. This includes vaccines adapted to variants, as and when they are authorised by the European Medicines Agency. This agreement will ensure that Member States will have access to the vaccine doses they need at the right time to protect our citizens.”

The European Union has been a big investor in developing Covid vaccines since 2020 when the pandemic was at its apex. Today, the EU has exported more than 2.4 billion doses to 168 countries. Member States have shared 478 million through the COVAX programme, giving developing nations a chance to inoculate their populations.




Photo source: Shutterstock