WHILST Usain Bolt is expected to be the star of the next seven days, this year's World Athletics Championships in Moscow will in many events provide a new beginning.
There were not so many retirements at the top end after London last year but the global injury toll has been significant in the lead up to this year's main event, with many Olympic medallists not coming to Moscow.
High profilers like David Rudisha and Jessica Ennis are out, alongside a stack of podium finishers from last year's premier track and field contest. It opens the way for a new breed to step up, take advantage of the opportunity and make a name for themselves.
And of course some cash - for the World Championships in Athletics these days are far cry from the amateur days when the stars were only allowed a few dollars in expenses each day and competed solely for the medals on offer.
Each event, male and female, at the Worlds provides equal reward for those fortunate enough to finish in the top eight - $60,000 for first down to $4000 for each man or woman in eighth spot. In other words, the newest event - the women's 3000m steeple is treated on equal footing with the men's 100m.
For the relays the winning teams split $80,000 between them.
This equality is important because while the Diamond League Meets also treat all events and both genders equally in prizemoney, that's where it often ends - for logically in promotional terms when it comes to appearance money on the one- day meeting circuit, it's the big names and usually those in the higher profile events who attract the big dollars.
But that said and injury aside, with the possible exception of the two marathons, the world's best have been consistent supporters of the world championship concept since it was inaugurated in Helsinki in 1983.
Held every four years until 1993, the championships have since been a biennial affair and this week celebrate their 14th incarnation.
The format is identical to the athletics competition at the Olympics with the same event list and virtually the same entry conditions essentially allowing a maximum of three qualified athletes a country in each event, but uniquely with an additional spot available if a team has a defending champion or the reigning Diamond League titleholder.
But this works mostly in favour of the bigger nations. Although Sally Pearson is the defending champion, since Australia has no other qualified athlete in the 100 metres hurdles she is alone on the entry list alongside four Americans as the US has a stack of qualifiers and Dawn Harper won the Diamond League title in 2012.
This opportunity impacts most in the distance races where the often-used team tactics of the Africans can be implemented to the fullest as those with four can afford to spare a man or woman to run the closest opposition off their feet or by surging whenever they want.
It all makes for a magnificent eight days of competition, which got under way last evening (Saturday) under the watchful eye of President Putin himself. Perhaps not surprising as this is a major occasion - the first occasion since the Moscow Olympics when a full major international has been held in the Russian capital and of course even then the attendance sheet was hardly full of ticks.