This is the first article by Stuart Weir on the Monaco Diamond League meeting.

The why and what of Herculis.

The prospect of a rare appearance of Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone at a European Diamond League was an added highlight to an already stellar program at the Herculis Monaco Diamond League. Then came the announcement: “Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone has made the difficult decision to withdraw from today’s Monaco Wanda Diamond League. She deeply regrets not being able to compete in today’s Monaco competition due to a knee issue, as advised by her doctors. She is grateful for the support and understanding from her fans, sponsors, and event organizers, especially HSH the Prince Albert II of Monaco and the meeting organizers of Herculis EBS Wanda Diamond League”.

Larissa Iapichino, photo by Diamond League AG

The Principality of Monaco, since you asked, is a sovereign state on the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded on the other three sides by France but with Italy just a few miles away. The current ruler is Prince Albert II – why he is the prince and not the king is just one of life’s mysteries.  He is present tonight as he is every year, lending his support to the event. 

Simon Koech, steeplechase, photo by Diamond League AG

In 2021 the population was  38,682 residents, of whom 9,486 are Monégasque nationals.  Monaco is widely recognized as one of the most expensive and wealthiest places in the world, also renowned for low taxes. The event takes its name from the Greek God Herculis, who is supposed to have visited the region. The Herculis event is well established on the world circuit.  2023 is its 37th year.

The loss of McLaughlin-Levrone was a great disappointment. That said when your winners’ list included: 

Faith Kipyegon with a World Record – again

Karsten Warholm with a WL

Shericka Jackson

And the program included:

A WL of 1:43.22 in the 600 by Wyclife KINYAMAL 

A 100m race with the top two under 10 seconds

A men’s 3000 steeplechases in which 8 runners registered a PR

A rare defeat for Mondo Duplantis

A women’s 400 race in which Sada Williams ran 50.00 and came 5th!

A women’s sprint hurdles race with a USA 1-2-3-4 all in the 12.30s

there is not a lot to complain about.