Usain Bolt is among 29 London 2012 Olympic Games medallists, including 12 champions and four World record-holders, who have, so far, been confirmed for the IAAF Diamond League meeting in London, the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, on 26-27 July.
The Jamaican superstar will run in the 100m on Friday evening and in the 4x100m on Saturday afternoon in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a meeting being staged one year on from the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games, organisers announced on Wednesday (17).
He will compete at the IAAF Diamond League in London for the first time since 2009, in the last major meeting before IAAF World Championships in Moscow, which will be held between 10-18 August.
Bolt, who repeated his Olympic treble feat from Beijing at last summer’s Games, is excited by the prospect of returning to the stadium where he won three gold medals in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m Relay, the latter event seeing Jamaica break the World record.
“I’m looking forward to coming back to the UK, especially with it being a year since winning three gold medals in the Olympic Stadium. The crowd were amazing at the Games, and I hope they will be out again in their numbers at the end of July.
“I haven’t competed at the London Diamond League since 2009 but it has always been a great meet with lots of Jamaican support; it almost feels like running at home.”
Joining Bolt in the 100m is St Kitts’ 2003 World champion Kim Collins. Despite being 11 years older than the 100m and 200m World record-holder, Collins is determined to prove that he can still mix it with the best sprinters in the world after having missed out on the Olympics.
“My story from London was well documented and to have the opportunity a year on to run in the stadium is something that I’m really grateful for. The support I get from the British crowds every year is incredible and I’m looking forward to hearing that roar when I come out on to the track in July.
“This is my Olympic final, and I’m going to take full advantage of the occasion and show that, even at 37, I’m still a force to be reckoned with.”
In what promises to be one of the most highly anticipated events of the weekend, Australia’s World and Olympic 100m Hurdles champion Sally Pearson will face a field which includes the US pair of 2011 World Championships silver medallist Danielle Carruthers, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Kellie Wells and Great Britain’s Olympic Heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis.
Full set of Olympic medallists
Not to be out done, the men’s 110m Hurdles is also set to be a mouth-watering encounter as the USA’s Aries Merritt, the Olympic champion and World record-holder, goes head-to-head with the two men who finished directly behind him in London: USA’s 2011 World champion Jason Richardson and Jamaica’s Hansle Parchment.
The men’s 400m will also have the full complement of medallists from London 2012, with Grenada’s gold medallist Kirani James taking on Trinidad and Tobago’s Lalonde Gordon and Dominican Republic’s Luguelin Santos.
USA’s 2012 Olympic gold medallist Sanya Richards-Ross headlines the women’s 400m as she continues her rivalry with her predecessor as Olympic Champion, 2012 silver medallist and local London hero Christine Ohuruogu.
Great Britain’s double Olympic champion Mo Farah will run in the 3000m while Farah’s training partner, Olympic 10,000m silver medallist Galen Rupp, will join fellow US athlete and Olympic 1500m silver medallist Leo Manzano in the historic Emsley Carr Mile.
US sprinter Carmelita Jeter, the second-fastest woman ever in the 100m, will star in the women’s 100m after winning 4x100m gold, 100m silver and 200m bronze in last summer’s Games.
In the men’s 400m Hurdles, Puerto Rico’s 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Javier Culson will go head to head with Great Britain’s reigning World champion, Dai Greene. In the field, the two Pole Vault competitions will boast of five of the six Olympic medallists from last summer.
US women’s gold medallist Jenn Suhr will look to continue her impressive start to the season, after becoming only the second woman in history to break the five-metre barrier during the indoor season.
Suhr will go up against Cuba’s Olympic silver medallist Yarisley Silva and Great Britain’s 2013 European indoor champion Holly Bleasdale.
France’s 2012 European and Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie will again face his regular rivals from Germany, Bjorn Otto and Raphael Holzdeppe, who were the silver and bronze medallists both in Helsinki and then in London.
After two successive victories over Australia’s Olympic silver medallist Mitchell Watt already this year, Olympic champion Greg Rutherford will face his him once again in London. Russia’s two-time European indoor Long Jump champion Darya Klishina will do battle against local stars Shara Proctor, Jessica Ennis and 2012 World junior champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
In the throws, two-time Olympic and three-time World champion Valerie Adams, who won the IAAF Diamond Race last year, will headline the Shot Put field.
Organisers for the IAAF
2013 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 10 May
Shanghai, CHN – 18 May
New York, USA – 25 May
Eugene, USA – 1 Jun
Rome, ITA – 6 Jun
Oslo, NOR – 13 Jun
Birmingham, GBR – 30 Jun
Lausanne, SUI – 4 Jul
Paris, FRA – 6 Jul
Monaco, MON – 19 Jul
London, GBR – 26-27 Jul
Stockholm, SWE – 22 Aug
Zürich, SUI – 29 Aug
Brussels, BEL – 6 Sep