The 37th Herculis EBS athletics meeting will light up the track at the Stade Louis-II on Friday 21 July, with a top-class programme and some thrilling duels in prospect...
New records to come?
The 36th Herculis lived up to its promise in every way!
Starting with the 100m, won by Jamaica's five-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in a lightning fast time of 10″62, smashing the previous Monaco record of 10″72 set by American Marion
Jones in 1998.
Another of the best performances in the world that year saw Jake Wightman post a time of 2’13″88, also beating the previous record time for the Monegasque meeting.
In the men's 200m, the world's third-fastest man of all time (19″31) had announced he would be going for the record held by Usain Bolt with his equally legendary 19″19. But the US champion had to be content with merely beating his own PB at the meeting, with a creditable 19″45.
How it all began…
The origins of the Herculis EBS go back to the mid-1980s, and its destiny closedly intertwined with the construction of the Stade Louis II.
It was in 1984 that the Monaco Athletics Federation (FMA) was created. In its early days, Prince Albert II, then hereditary Prince, was also the President of the Federation. The same year, it was officially affiliated with the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations, now World Athletics). Until then athletics in the Principality was restricted to a club, AS Monaco, associated with France and with no national identity of its own.
In May 1985, just months after its official opening by Prince Rainier III, the Stade Louis II hosted the very first FMA event, a two-day match between Germany, France, the USA, and Italy. The following year, another match was organised involving France, Poland, and Italy.
While these matches were a success for the FMA, there were issues. Spectators wanted to see the biggest stars competing, but they were reluctant to take part.
After many meetings, a decision was taken:
there would be no more matches, but one major meeting. The Herculis was born!
In September 1987, around 80 athletes of all nationalities answered the Principality's call. The programme included traditional events (100 metres, 110 metre hurdles, pole vault, etc) and the "World One-Hour Challenge". In association with the sports daily L’Equipe, the FMA organised a race in which the athletes covered the longest distance possible over one hour, with a world record there to be set. The format was never repeated in the Principality.
It was in 1989 that the meeting really took off, hosting the world final of the Grand Prix IAAF Mobil, bringing together the world's top athletes.
18,000 spectators, 350 journalists and 30 national TV channels came to watch, and the legend was forged.
Since its creation 36 years ago, the Monegasque world athletics meeting has gone from strength to strength, attracting elite athletes and big crowds. Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, Marie-José Pérec, to name but a few, have all made their mark on the track at the Louis-II.
The Herculis has been voted the world's best meeting seven times (1998, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2020), and has been a member of the prestigious elite Diamond League since 2010. It has seen countless world records set.
On your marks! Set? Come and experience the thrill of top-class athletics in Monaco!