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© Michael Alesi - Direction de la Communication

The Herculis Meeting in Monaco has been welcoming the world’s elite athletes since 1987. It is the first stage of the Diamond League.

It was in 1987 that the first Herculis International Athletics Meeting, organised by the Monegasque Athletics Federation (FMA), took place. The name Herculis is closely entwined with Monaco’s history: the Ligurian city of Monoïkos was associated with Hercules, the most famous hero in Greek and Roman mythology. Renowned for his strength, his courage and his many legendary feats, the demigod is considered to be the founder of athletic games and, as such, is the patron of athletes.

The Monegasque Athletics Federation, of which Prince Albert II is President, was keen to make Monaco “a major sporting centre” for athletics, a discipline which had previously been absent from the Monegasque calendar. The country has stepped up to the challenge. From Carl Lewis to Yelena Isinbayeva, not forgetting Sergey Bubka and Usain Bolt, every year the Herculis Meeting welcomes the biggest stars of international athletics who compete for first place in some 15 events over the course of a single evening.

One of the 14 meetings that make up the Diamond League since 2010, the competition was previously part of the Golden League circuit from 1998 to 2002. The Herculis Meeting also hosted the World Athletics Final from 2003 to 2005 and is a Pro Athlé Tour event. Moreover, it was judged the best meeting in the world in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2018.

© Charly Gallo - Direction de la Communication
© Charly Gallo - Direction de la Communication

Herculis EBS in Monaco has always favoured great performances by middle-distance athletes.

Indeed, it is the only meeting at any stage of the Diamond League to have provided the backdrop for four current world records: 12’35’’36 in the men’s 5,000 m by Joshua Cheptegei from Uganda in 2020, 3’50’’07 in the women’s 1,500 m by Genzebe Dibaba from Ethiopia in 2015, 4’12’’33 in the women’s mile run by Sifan Hassan from the Netherlands in 2019, and 8’44’’32 in the women’s 3,000 m steeplechase by Beatrice Chepkoech from Kenya in 2018.

The line-up put together by the organisers for the 2021 event, including Kevin Mayer, the decathlon world record holder, was a great one, and there were wins for Ronnie Baker, one of the new American sprinting stars, in the flagship men’s 100 m event, Shaunae Miller in the women’s 200 m and Timothy Cheruiyot in the men’s 1,500 m (best performance in the world in 2021).

With three weeks to go until the start of the athletics events at the Tokyo Games, above all the Monegasque competition offered Olympic medal contenders one of their very last tests before Japan.

© Charly Gallo - Direction de la Communication
© Manuel Vitali - Direction de la Communication

Monaco’s Herculis EBS Meeting has always been held at the Louis II Stadium, a sporting complex that comprises a stadium with a seated capacity of more than 18,000, an athletics track, a multipurpose sports hall and a water sports centre.

It is named after Prince Louis II, who commissioned construction of the previous stadium in the Principality in 1939.

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