Woop! The sixth season of the IAAF Diamond League bursts out of the starting blocks in Doha on Friday. Here are 14 reasons why we can’t wait.

1. Consistency rewarded

Track and field has long held its iconic one-off competitions such as Olympic Games and world championships. But the Diamond League, for the first time in the history of the sport, provides a structured, season-long competition that results in athletes being crowned number one in the world in their event.

With each event guaranteed seven competitions and points awarded for top placings, the series puts the pressure on athletes to perform every time they pull their spikes on. That means big performances from the world's best at each and every meet.

2. Equal prize money

Equal prize money is dished out across all 32 events on the Diamond League schedule. That means the competition is as fair as they come, with the noble discus thrower rewarded as handsomely for their efforts as the swaggering sprinter.

Each meeting holds 16 events, with a total purse of $30,000 on offer for each event – $10,000 for the winner, right down to $1000 for eighth place. This equates to a total prize purse of $480,000 at each meeting.

Diamond League ()

You gotta be consistent if you want in this crew

3. Fantasy athletics

We can't all be elite athletes, but with the Fantasy Diamond Race we can at least play the role of meddling team coach. Track and field enthusiasts have embraced the challenge of picking nine athletes for each meeting in a quest to prove that their track and field knowledge is best.

The competition introduces added spice to each meet, and has proved a hot topic of debate among fans around the globe as they chase points in the battle to be crowned Fantasy Diamond Race champion. Prizes are available for each meet, with a grand prize for the ultimate champ.

4. Shock winners

One of the reasons we love athletics is its unpredictability, and over the past five seasons the Diamond League has served up its fair share of surprises. Who could forget Emma Coburn stealing a march on the field to clinch an unlikely win in the women’s steeplechase in Shanghai last year? Or, at that very same Diamond League meet, Egyptian Ihab Abdelrahman El Sayed hurling an African record 89.21m to take victory in the men’s javelin?

One of the greatest shocks in the history of the competition came when Kenyan two-lap titan David Rudisha succumbed to 18-year-old Ethiopian Mohammed Aman in his first competition since setting a world record en route to Olympic 800m gold. You cannot beat that drama!

5. Emergence of stars

The Diamond League has long proved a breeding ground for future stars of the sport. Last season the circuit witnessed French sprint hurdler Pascal Martinot-Lagarde, Kenyan steeplechaser Jairus Birech and Dutch sprinter Dafne Schippers blossom into world-class talent.

It's great to see emerging athletes flourish on the global stage and gain momentum over the course of a season, something you don't get in a major champs. There's no saying who will step up to the plate and make a name for themselves in 2015, but we can't wait to find out!

6. Strength in depth

Having the best in the world face each other on a regular basis has proven hugely damaging to world lists everywhere. Last year in Doha, the women’s 3000m race produced the quickest non-Chinese times in history as Kenyan duo Hellen Obiri (8:20.68) and Mercy Cherono (8:21.14) elevated themselves to number five and six on the all-time lists (if anyone has footage please share!). Meanwhile, four men entered the top ten all time for the men’s 5000m led by Ethiopian Dejen Gebremeskel in Paris 2012.

7. Merrit's magic moment

World records are as infrequent as they are magical, and the Diamond League’s only world record performance is a moment to be cherished. US sprint hurdle sensation Aries Merritt enjoyed a perfect year in 2012, winning the Olympic title and then capping it with an eye-popping 12.80secs in Brussels to slice 0.07 from the previous 110m hurdles mark. 

8. High jump

The 2014 men’s high jump campaign in the Diamond League was a good as the sport gets. The near-mythical 2.40m mark was breached in six of the seven competitions. In total, that height or higher was cleared on nine occasions – Bogdan Bondarenko four times, Mutaz Essa Barshim three times and Ivan Ukhov and Andrei Protsenko once each.

In the previous year, 2.40m was only cleared twice on the Diamond League circuit. The (literal) jump in quality by so many athletes made for athletics that was quite simply magnetic, with Barshim prevailing to win the Diamond Race with victory in the season ender in Brussels. The prospect of more head-to-head-to-head-to-head-to-heads this season has got us salivating. And talking of head-to-heads...

9. Head-to-head battles

One of the chief concepts behind the Diamond League was to create more head-to-head battles, and each year since its inception it has been good to its word. We’ve been gripped by Barshim v Bondarenko, Claye v Taylor, Harting v Malachowski and Pearson v Harper-Nelson to name just a few.

The sheer drama created by mouthwatering confrontations between the world's premier athletes was illustrated perfectly by the no-holds-barred clash between Kirani James and LaShawn Merrit in Eugene last year. Neither athletes would give an inch, with the Grenadian Olympic champion given the verdict in a photo finish.

10. Great cities

From Monte Carlo to New York, London to Paris, and Rome to Shanghai, the Diamond League circuit provides a stellar pan-global tour of some of the world’s greatest cities. It's enough to make Phileas Fogg green with envy.

With the season also taking in iconic athletics hotspots such as Zurich, Brussels and Oslo, there's a perfect blend of timeless track venues and missionary meets across the 14-competition series.

11. The WOW-factor

The Diamond League has produced a clutch of extraordinary moments. Who could forget Yohan Blake’s mindblowing 19.26 200m run in Brussels in 2011 to come within 0.07 of his training partner Usain Bolt’s world record? Carmelita Jeter’s stunning 10.70 100m clocking in Eugene 2011 was another special moment, as was Brimin Kipruto later that season falling 0.01 shy of the world steeplechase record in Monaco. More of these, please!

12. Queen Val

No athlete in the history of the Diamond League boasts more victories than shot put star Valerie Adams. The New Zealand legend has racked up 24 Diamond League wins in total. You have to go all the way back to August 2010 (when Instagram didn't even exist!!) before you find Adams' most recent Diamond League defeat in the competition’s inaugural year.

She swept away all challengers in 2014, winning the Diamond Race at a canter and being rightfully named as the female IAAF World Athlete of the Year.

13. King Renaud

If Adams is the Diamond League queen then its king is pole vaulter extraordinaire Renaud Lavillenie, the only person to have won the Diamond Race in each of its five previous years.

With a combined total of 23 wins (yes, one behind Adams) he boasts stunning consistency. His withdrawal from the season opener in Doha is a blow, but there's no doubting that the men's IAAF World Athlete of the Year for 2014 will be gunning for an unbeaten run in 2015, along with some dizzying vaults. Few will forget his outrageously easy 6.02m clearance at the 2013 London meeting for a Diamond League record.

14. Diamond trophy

A diamond ring may be nice, but the Diamond Trophy that is given to all 32 winners of the Diamond races – along with $40,000 in cash – is a neat incentive. Created by Beyer, one of the world’s leading jewellers, the Diamond Trophy makes for a smart addition to any athlete’s mantelpiece.