The eyes of the globe will be on Budapest for nine days as the World Athletics Championships takes place in the Hungarian city, beginning tomorrow.
Athletics Ireland has selected 24 athletes to travel, the largest ever sent to these championships, with each athlete having their own individual goals and targets.
Having not medalled at this prestigious event since Robert Heffernan won gold in the 50km Walk back in Moscow in 2013, there is reasons for optimism that this year will see that change.
Here Balls.ie looks at five of Ireland's key athletes who are on the plane and takes a look at their chances.
Irish athletes to watch at the World Athletics Championships
Ciara Mageean - Women's 1500m
Arguably Ireland's top medal hope Mageean will toe-the-line full of confidence. A European and Commonwealth silver medallist last year, finishing behind Laura Muir on both occassions, the 31-year-old from Down has taken a leap forward since then.
In September last year she broke Sonia O'Sullivan's national 1500m record clocking 3.56.63 in Brussels before this year reclaiming her national 800m record and more recently obliterating O'Sullivan's long-standing national mile record, running 4.14.58 in Monaco to become the fifth fastest female miler in the world all-time.
✨ MAGEEAN SMASHES NATIONAL MILE RECORD ✨
Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) has smashed Sonia O'Sullivan's national mile record to finish a superb second at the Diamond League in Monaco this evening 🤩
⏱ 4.14.58 NR
🔗 https://t.co/A5jHPIswkX#IrishAthletics pic.twitter.com/eQNkVJkY8S
— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) July 21, 2023
Kenya's Faith Kipyegon broke the world record earlier this season (3.49.11) and is the firm favourite to take gold. Behind her it looks to be quiet open.
There are three strong Ethiopians, as well as Muir, Australians Linden Hall and Jessica Hull and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, who previously won this title in 2019 and took bronze in the event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Mageean appears to be a stronger athlete this year compared to last and will fancy her chances if she is in contention in the closing stages as she possesses a lightning finishing kick.
- Women's 1500m Final - Tuesday August 22nd @ 8:30pm
Rhasidat Adeleke - Women's 400m
2023 has been a sensational year for Rhasidat Adeleke who recently signed a deal with Nike and made the decision to turn professional.
Back in June she clocked a national record of 49.20 for the 400m to become Ireland's first ever NCAA sprint champion.
Adeleke comes into these championships as fourth fastest in the world last year and her prospects of medalling received a boost last week when it was confirmed that world leader Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone would not be racing in Budapest due to injury.
The 20-year-old from Tallaght missed the recent National Senior Track and Field Championships in Santry and looked off her best at the Monaco Diamond League the week before but will be hoping to return to her best and peak in Budapest.
Her goal will be to make a final and then anything can happen.
- Women's 400m Final - Wednesday August 23rd @ 8:35pm
Andrew Coscoran - Men's 1500m
Coscoran is another athlete who is in the form of his life this season. The Balbriggan man has broke his national record twice this summer, running 3.30.42 in Poland last month, a seismic step forward.
Nine men amongst the entries have broken 3.30 for the metric mile in 2023, with Coscoran holding the 11th fastest time in the world this year.
An Olympic and World semi-finallist in the past two years, the Star of the Sea AC and Dublin Track Club member will feel that he is good enough to make his first major global final.
Norway's Jakob Ingebrigsten looks the man to beat for gold.
- Men's 1500m Final - Wednesday August 23d @ 8:15pm
Sarah Lavin - Women's 100m Hurdles
Sarah Lavin is now within touching distance of Derval O'Rourke's national record in the event after clocking 12.67 (just 0.02 off O'Rourke's best) in Bern, Switzerland earlier this month.
In still conditions, another big PB for @sarahlavin_ of 12.67 - just off @DervalORourke's Irish 100m hurdles record of 12.65.
Another Swiss record of 12.47 for Ditaji Kambundji out front - her second of the night. pic.twitter.com/xY8sKSimLQ
— Cathal Dennehy (@Cathal_Dennehy) August 4, 2023
Lavin also won her first major European medal earlier this summer, bronze at the European Games in Poland.
A semi-finallist in Oregon last year, Lavin will hope to make the final in Budapest.
The task at hand will be far from easy, with a 12.5 or possibly even a 12.4 time needed to make it.
You get the sense however that Lavin believes something big is there, it's just a case as to whether she can unleash it when it matters most.
Taking down that impressive national record would however be a massive box ticked.
- Women's 100m Hurdles Final - Thursday August 24th @ 8:25pm
Brian Fay - Men's 5000m
Another member of Feidhlim Kelly's Dublin Track Club group is Brian Fay. The 24-year-old has returned from the University of Washington and had a summer to remember taking the Irish record in the event down to 13.01.40 in Belgium last month.
Fay will have his eyes set on making the final of the event on the final day of the championships on Sunday week.
- Men's 5000m Final - Sunday August 27th @ 7:10pm
Other Irish athletes to watch include Kate O'Connor who will become our first multi-eventer to represent Ireland at this event, the Mixed 4x400m Relay team who will expect to make the final, Sarah Healy and Sophie O'Sullivan who join Mageean in the 1500m renewing their rivalry and European 800m bronze medallist Mark English who despite being off his best this season is capable of producing strong performances on the big stage.
The World Athletics Championships take place at the newly constructed National Athletics Centre in Budapest from August 19th to 27th.