Jamaican sprint superstar and 2013 World Athlete of the Year Usain Bolt will return to race in Ostrava once again, the 53rd Ostrava Golden Spike meeting organisers announced on Tuesday (14).
The historic IAAF World Challenge meeting will be staged on 17 June and it will be Bolt’s seventh appearance since 2006 at the Czech Republic’s leading athletics event.
He competed in Ostrava three times in the 100m, twice over 200m and had one memorable appearance in the 300m in 2010 when, despite dreadful conditions, he almost added the world best over that distance to his list of accolades and ran 30.97.
His event at the 2014 edition of the Ostrava meeting will be decided later, possibly in March.
“I am happy to come back to the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava," he said. "I have competed in Ostrava many times since I was a teenager. I always enjoy the meeting and the energy from the enthusiastic fans which creates a great atmosphere.
“Ostrava is a fast track when the weather is good. I ran 9.77 in the 100m in 2009 and 19.83 for 200m in 2008. I look forward to good weather and good performances in 2014," said Bolt.
His compatriot and fellow 2013 World Athlete of the Year Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who, like Bolt, was also a triple gold medallist in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, also confirmed she will be in Ostrava.
Fraser-Pryce has already decided her event; it will be the 200m, the distance at which she was the fastest woman in the world in 2013 with the 22.13 she ran on home soil in Kingston.
“I’m really looking forward to competing in the 200m. I’m hoping for a warm summer evening to give the fans a fast time and something to cheer for," said the Jamaican.
Her target is the meeting record of 22.07 set by legendary Czech runner Jarmila Kratochvilova in 1981. Fraser-Pryce’s personal best is 22.09 from when she finished second in the London 2012 Olympic Games final.
Another name on the list of stars going to Ostrava is France’s Olympic pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie, the holder of the Ostrava meeting record at 5.90m which he cleared in 2012.
The traditional hammer competitions the day before the main meeting will be graced by the presence Poland’s two 2013 IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge winners, the reigning world champion Pawel Fajdek and Moscow silver medallist Anita Wlodarczyk.
In a repeat of the battle for the medals at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, Fadjek will face the two men who finished immediately behind him in Moscow: Hungary’s Olympic champion Krisztian Pars and Czech Republic’s Lukas Melich.
Organisers for the IAAF