14 MAR 2013 General News

Bolt keeps his promise and returns to Ostrava - IAAF World Challenge

Another victory for Usain Bolt in Ostrava (graf.cz)Another victory for Usain Bolt in Ostrava (graf.cz) © Copyright

Usain Bolt will keep his promise to return to the Ostrava Golden Spike meeting in Czech Republic and will compete in a special 4x100m race at the IAAF World Challenge meeting on 27 June, organisers announced on Thursday (14).

It will be the Jamaican sprint legend’s seventh outing at the event, and he has been present every year since 2008.

He has competed before capacity crowds in the City Stadium three times in the 100m, twice in the 200m and once over 300m. But the 4x100m, with colleagues from his Racers Track Club, offers a new challenge.

"I'm looking forward to running the 4x100m in Ostrava this year. It will be my seventh time to compete in the Golden Spike meeting and my first time to run the relay there. The meeting is only a few days after the Jamaican Championships and the relay fits nicely into my competition programme," said the 2012 World Athlete of the Year.

Also confirmed to run the relay is his club mate and 2011 IAAF World Championships 100m gold medallist Yohan Blake.

"Racers athletes always return to Ostrava to compete, they like the crowds which are close and the friendly atmosphere,” said the pair’s coach Glen Mills.

"This year, due to the fact that Ostrava is going to be after our Trials, the best option is to run the relay. I think our team, with Usain and Yohan, could produce a fast time and I will select the remaining runners of our team at a later stage," he added.

The Ostrava meeting record is 38.59 and was achieved by an international squad last year that comprised hurdler Jeff Porter, St Kitts’ former 100m World champion Kim Collins, and the American sprinters Darvis Patton and Wallace Spearmon.

However, Racers clocked 37.46 in London in 2009 for what is the unofficial club world best.

Other London 2012 Olympic Games champions already confirmed for the 52nd Golden Spike meeting are New Zealand’s Valerie Adams Russia’s Ivan Ukhov, Hungary’s Krisztian Pars hammer, as well as Trinidad and Tobago’s Keshorn Walcott.

The domestic Czech elite will also be well represented with the reigning European champion, both indoors and outdoors, Pavel Maslak, high jumper Jaroslav Baba, javelin thrower Vitezslav Vesely, and a 400m Hurdles duel between 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Zuzana Hejnova and Denisa Rosolova.

The City Stadium is undergoing a huge reconstruction and this year’s event should see a new tribune down the back straight, new video screens and a faster track.

Organisers for the IAAF