Kenyans among stars set to compete in Rome


Kenya's Julius Yego in the javelin (AFP/IAAF/Getty Images)
Kenya's Julius Yego in the javelin (AFP/IAAF/Getty Images)

Organisers of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea have announced that 36 medallists from last year’s Olympic Games will compete at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome in June 8.

The all-star cast includes the full set of medallists from four events in Rio as well as three world record-holders.

Two of those world record-holders, Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana, will line up against one another in the 5000m. Last year Ayana won the 5000m in the Italian capital with 14:12.59, the second-fastest time in history.

The men’s javelin field includes five winners of global titles: Olympic champion Thomas Rohler, world champion Julius Yego, 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott, 2013 world champion Vitezslav Vesely and 2007 world champion Tero Pitkamaki.

The women’s 1500m looks set to be a three-way battle between Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, world indoor champion Sifan Hassan and double European indoor champion Laura Muir.

In the 100m, world 200m champion Dafne Schippers will take on world U20 champion Candace Hill, while world record-holder Aries Merritt faces world champion Sergey Shubenkov in the 110m hurdles.

The women’s high jump field is worthy of a World Championships final as it contains the likes of Olympic champion Ruth Beitia, world champion Maria Lasitskene (nee Kuchina), two-time world champion Blanka Vlasic, 2012 world indoor champion Chaunte Lowe, European indoor champion Airine Palsyte and 2015 European indoor silver medallist Alessia Trost.

The men’s 200m pits Olympic silver medallist Andre De Grasse against Olympic bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre and world U20 100m silver medallist Filippo Tortu, while USA’s Justin Gatlin will contest the 100m.

More top names will be announced in the weeks leading up to the meeting on 8 June.

Organisers for the IAAF

2017 IAAF Diamond League calendar:

5 May – Doha, QAT

13 May – Shanghai, CHN

27 May – Eugene, USA

8 Jun – Rome, ITA

15 Jun – Oslo, NOR

18 Jun – Stockholm, SWE

1 Jul – Paris, FRA

6 Jul – Lausanne, SUI

9 Jul – London, GBR

16 Jul – Rabat, MAR

21 Jul – Monaco, MON

20 Aug – Birmingham, GBR

24 Aug – Zurich, SUI

1 Sep – Brussels, BEL

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