Sifan Hassan wins the 1500m at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Lausanne (© Victah Sailer)
The 2015 IAAF Diamond League is about to reach its climax, with 13 of the 14 meetings having taken place.
Last Thursday, Zurich staged the first of two finals and there was the coronation of 16 Diamond Race champions. On Friday night (11), the remaining 16 will take their place on the podium in Brussels.
Dominant Diamond Race leaders
Friday‘s Diamond Race action will kick off with the women's discus.
With five victories and a 15-point lead, Sandra Perkovic has been dominant in this year's competition. She needs only to compete in Brussels to claim a fourth consecutive Diamond Trophy.
The same is essentially true of Sifan Hassan in the women's 1500m and Caterine Ibargüen in the women's triple jump.
Both women hold leads of eight points or more and participation alone is required for them to win the Diamond Race in their respective disciplines.
In the men's shot put, David Storl and Joe Kovacs are equal on 14 points and have three victories each.
Whoever finishes ahead of the other in Brussels will take the Diamond Trophy and the US $40,000 winner-takes-all cheque, a duel made all the juicier by the fact that Kovacs relieved Storl of his world title in Beijing barely two weeks ago.
Renaud Lavillenie is looking for port-Beijing redemption.
The only athlete to have won the Diamond Race in every year since it was inaugurated in 2010, Lavillenie needs only to win in Brussels to secure a sixth Diamond Trophy.
However, the French world record holder and 2012 Olympic champion only holds a three-point lead over Greece’s Konstantinos Filippidis.
Perhaps the most brilliant double act of the season in any discipline has come in the men's triple jump.
Christian Taylor and Pedro Pablo Pichardo have delivered a wonderful, season-long battle fro supremacy during 2015. It was Taylor who claimed the major prize when they faced each other in Beijing, but Pichardo still has a two-point lead in the Diamond Race.
In the women's 200m, meanwhile, one of the heroines of Beijing will be out to rekindle the old fire in the Diamond Race.
Allyson Felix hasn't had her hands on a Diamond Trophy since she claimed two of them in 2010 but the 400m world champion could change that on Friday.
She leads the women’s 200m Diamond Race, but only by a single point, with Jeneba Tarmoh hot on her heels and 200m world champion Dafne Schippers is also in reach.
Nowhere are the margins closer, however, than in the women's 100m hurdles.
After six rounds of Diamond League competition, three athletes have shared the spoils exactly among themselves. Jasmin Stowers, Dawn Harper-Nelson and Sharika Nelvis all have two victories and ten points under their belt.
The Diamond Trophy will simply go to whichever of them crosses the line first in Brussels.
Six is the magic number
In six of the Diamond Race events to grace Brussels this year, the winner is close to taking the crown. Bershawn Jackson is five points ahead in the men's 400m hurdles, while Justin Gatlin, Ruth Beitia, Virginia Nyambura, Francena McCorory, Nijel Amos and Vítezslav Veselý all hold leads of six points.
Amos looks highly likely to claim his second consecutive Diamond Trophy in the men's 800m, having missed out on the chance to claim gold in Beijing. His six-point lead could be enough, particularly in the absence of David Rudisha.
Beitia's consistence over the season has been outstanding and, despite a thoroughly competitive field, few would doubt that she could rise to the occasion in the high jump and claim Diamond Race glory.
Likewise, Gatlin, McCorory, Nyambura and Vesely, all of whom have the quality to claim the minimum requirement of a third place in the Belgian capital and transform their six point lead into a Diamond Trophy in the sixth year of the IAAF Diamond League.
The final Diamond Race event of the evening will be arguably the most gripping.
In the men's 5000m, there has been a different winner in each of the six rounds so far, and five of them – Ben True, Thomas Longosiwa, Caleb Ndiku, Yomif Kejelcha, Hagos Gebrhiwet – will be present in Brussels.
With none of them having reached eight points, however, it is not just these five who can claim the Diamond Trophy.
In theory, any of the athletes on the startlist could win the Diamond Race in Brussels, even those who are currently without any points.
It is by far the most open Diamond Race of the season.
As a final flourish, with some of the most even Diamond Races, some potentially epic duels, and some of the most dominant athletes, the 2015 season finale should be a night of the superlatives in Brussels.