One Month To Monaco
The 2020 Wanda Diamond League season begins in earnest next month, with some of the world's best athletes descending on Monaco for the first competitive meeting of the season on August 14.
With exactly a month to go, here's a reminder of some of the superstars who will take to the track at this year's Meeting Herculis.
The 22-year-old US sprint star returns to Herculis this year as a freshly crowned world champion and undisputed man to beat in the men's 200m.
Lyles made his mark in Monaco for the first time back in 2018, when he set a new meeting record of 19.65, leaving the likes of then world champion Ramil Guliyev gasping in his wake.
Returning to the Stade Louis II last season, he was beaten by the narrowest of margins in the 100m by veteran compatriot Justin Gatlin.
The youngster has since reasserted his status as reigning king of the sprints, taking the 200m world crown in Doha last autumn before his rise to dominance was cut short by the coronavirus this year.
He proved himself to still be in good nick at last week's Weltklasse Zurich Inspiration Games however, clocking 18.95 in what should have been a 200m race, but actually turned out to be 185m.
Dutch middle distance star Hassan enjoyed a whirlwind summer last year, setting record after record before claiming two gold medals (1500m and 10,000m) at the World Championships in Doha.
Yet it was her heroics at Herculis which really made her the star of 2019. In what was undoubtedly the performance of the season, Hassan smashed the women's mile world record with a jaw-dropping new mark of 4:12.33.
Even prior to that race, Hassan had good memories of Monaco. In 2015, the then 21-year-old came a respectable second as Genzebe Dibaba broke the women's 1500m world record, only losing her Ethiopian rival after the bell.
This year, she will line up in the women's 5,000m.
If Colombia's Caterine Ibargüen has been queen of the triple jump for the last decade or more, her Venezuelan rival Yulimar Rojas has been heir apparent since she burst onto the scene several years ago.
In fact, Rojas would say that she now has a substantial claim to the throne, having been crowned world champion in both 2017 and 2019.
She has also inflicted a number of defeats on Ibargüen on the Diamond League circuits, most recently in Monaco last year. After back-to-back second-placed finishes there in 2016, Rojas finally claimed victory at Herculis with 14.98 at the Port Hercule in 2019.
Up in the men's 5000m is Joshua Cheptegei, the newly crowned world and Diamond League champion who is one of a cohort of young athletes currently nailing Uganda firmly onto the track and field map.
Though he didn't actually win a Diamond League meeting until last season, Cheptegei racked up the podium finishes in 2017 to come a respectable third in the qualification standings, before claiming the silver medal at the London World Championships later that year.
Two seasons later, he went a step further, winning the Diamond League title in Zurich before crowning himself world champion in Doha a few weeks later.
Cheptegei will be joined in Monaco by fellow rising Ugandan star Halimah Nakaayi, the 25-year-old who surged to a surprise win over Ajee Wilson in the women's 800m final at last autumn's world championships.
Nakaayi's shock win came after a season in which she also chalked up her first ever victory on the Diamond League circuit, with a non-points-scoring triumph in Oslo.
Long billed as the next big thing in track and field, Armand "Mondo" Duplantis achieved greatness perhaps even sooner than everyone expected when she smashed the men's pole vault world record twice in quick succession earlier this year.
Renaud Lavillenie's longtime best of 6.16m was always going to be in danger when Duplantis hit his peak, but few expected him to clear 6.17m and then 6.18m at the tender age of 20.
That is exactly what Duplantis did last February, just a few weeks before the pandemic hit and his inevitable assault on the Olympic title had to be put on hold.
Having come second to Piotr Lisek last season, Duplantis is yet to win in Monaco, and will be looking to add to a so far modest count of just two career wins on the Diamond League circuit.