For the second consecutive year Usain Bolt, the triple Olympic champion, twice World champion and triple World record holder will be the headline attraction of the Compeed Golden Gala, the third leg of the 2012 Samsung Diamond League set for Thursday 31 May at Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
The Jamaican will run the 100m, the same race he won at last year’s edition with a time of 9.91.
“I am looking forward to returning to Rome and to be back on the fast track of the Stadio Olimpico for the Golden Gala,” Bolt said. “I have great memories of last year’s edition. It was my first time running in Italy, and I enjoyed the fantastic crowd at the Stadium.”
47,732 spectators turned out for last year’s edition on 26 May, 2011, on a night that Italian athletics will probably remember for a long time.
“Someone told me it was the biggest crowd for athletics in the last ten years: something that made me really happy. I remember the huge coverage from the media there, the press conference I had two days before the race was one of the biggest I ever had outside the Olympics or World Championships. I didn’t get to see much of the city, maybe I will get to see some more this year.”
Bolt, the World record holder in the event at 9.58, successfully defended his World 200m title last year and ended the year as the world’s fastest in the 100m clocking 9.76.
“I’m training hard, the off season has been good. Everything is going according to plan. The aim is to defend my Olympic titles in London. Rome’s race will be a good early season test and tell me what I need to do on the way to the Olympic Games.”
Rome is the second Samsung Diamond League fixture in which Bolt has confirmed participation. Last week Bolt confirmed that he would contest the 100m at the ExxonMobil Bislett Games in Oslo on 7 June.
Organisers for the IAAF
Samsung Diamond League - 2012 Calendar
Doha, QAT - 11 May
Shanghai, CHN - 19 May
Rome, ITA - 31 May
Eugene, USA - 2 June
Oslo, NOR - 7 June
New York, USA - 9 June
Paris, FRA - 6 July
London, GBR - 13 / 14 July
Monaco, MON - 20 July
Stockholm, SWE - 17 August
Lausanne, SUI - 23 August
Birmingham, GBR - 26 August
Zurich, SUI - 30 August
Brussels, BEL - 7 September