The Wanda Diamond League is back. After 248 days, eight months and a thrilling indoor season, track and field's most prestigious series returns in Doha this Friday for another sparkling, record-breaking year.
Over the next four months, the world's finest athletes will go head to head in a season-long battle to claim the ultimate prize in one of athletics' most demanding competitions.
The battle for the Diamond Trophy is a unique challenge, demanding both season-long consistency and the mentality to win under championship conditions.
Athletes compete for points over the course of 12 series meetings in a bid to reach Wanda Diamond League Final where they have the chance to be crowned Wanda Diamond League champion and earn US$ 30,000 of prize money.
This season's journey begins in Doha this Friday, with several reigning Diamond League champions launching their title defence at the Qatar SC Stadium.
Men's pole vault champion Mondo Duplantis claimed his first Diamond Trophy last season and will want to claim his second career win in Doha and get early points on the board in his bid for a second successive title.
Women's 200m champion Christine Mboma, who became the first Namibian to win the Diamond Trophy last season, will go up against British star Dina Asher-Smith, who won the 100m Diamond Trophy in 2019.
Doha is the first of 12 series meetings, as the circuit crosses four continents on the Road to the Final in Zurich on 7th and 9th September.
WATCH: Best moments of the 2021 Wanda Diamond League season
As in 2021, the season finale will be an action-packed, two-day event in city and stadium at Weltklasse Zürich. Six Diamond League champions will be crowned at a street event on the city's iconic Sechseläutenplatz on September 7th, with the remaining 26 disciplines taking place at the Letzigrund Stadium the following evening.
As well as iconic Diamond League cities such as Monaco, Paris and Rome, the series will also welcome a new addition in 2022.
This year’s edition of Kamila Skolimowska Memorial meeting in Chorzow, Poland will comply with all Wanda Diamond League requirements.
The meeting will host Diamond Disciplines reallocated from previously scheduled meetings in Shanghai and Shenzhen, which cannot take place as planned due to strict travel restrictions and quarantine requirements in China.
2022 will also see changes to the Final 3 format in the throws and horizontal jumps, following consultation with athletes, coaches, broadcasters, meeting organisers and athlete representatives.
The format, which was trialled in the 2020 and 2021 seasons, has been adapted to ensure that the furthest jump or throw in the competition will always be the winning jump. The athletes with the three top marks after five rounds will receive an extra jump or throw in the Final 3, which will have its own slot in the programme and TV broadcast.
With the best athletes competing in the strongest fields, the first half of the 2022 season will also provide the perfect preparation for the 2022 World Athletics Championships in the USA.
The championships will take place at Hayward Field in Eugene, which is also the venue for the Prefontaine Classic on May 28th, the third Wanda Diamond League meeting of the season.
The event is already shaping up to be a star-studded dry run for the World Championships, with Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Timothy Cheruiyot going head to head in the mile, Ryan Crouser heading the men's shot put line-up and Olympic champion Lamont Marcell Jacobs in the blocks for the 100m.
WATCH: Best of Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the Diamond League
Ingebrigtsen broke the Diamond League record in the mile at Eugene last season, and will no doubt fancy himself to attack the 1500m series record of 3:26.69 on his way to the final this season.
Seven series records were broken in Diamond Disciplines in 2021, and more could fall this season as the likes of Ingebrigtsen, Mondo Duplantis and Yulimar Rojas look to take their record-breaking indoor form into the outdoor season.
The greatest athletics series on the planet is back. Four rollercoaster months, 13 sizzling meetings and one sparkling season finale lie ahead. And it should be one hell of a ride.