2011 Rome Compeed Golden Gala: Bolt in the house! by Alfons Juck, note by Larry Eder

Usain Bolt, Doing his Pose, 2009 Greece, photo by PhotoRun.net

One of biggest draws in our sport, Usain Bolt, is opening his season at the 2011 Rome Golden Gala, to be held Thursday, May 26. The Rome Compeed Golden Gala has some tremendous competitions on Thursday and RBR will be there! I am at the airport, as we speak, heading to Dusseldorf tonight and Rome tomorrow! RBR will tweet the meet live and also follow up with several good stories that will come out of the Rome Compeed Golden Gala!


ROMA (ITA): World´s most popular athlete Usain Bolt arrived to Rome on Monday and will compete for first time this season on Thursday at the third leg of Samsund Diamond League. He will have on Tuesday a press conference. On his twitter he wrote: "Thanks for all the best wishes my fans I will make u proud on thursday. Wish me all the best first run in like 10 month but I think I am ready." His Jamaican rival Asafa Powell was expected in Italy on Tuesday.



ROMA (ITA): World record holder David Rudisha is still not fit and pulled out of the Compeed Golden Gala this Thursday. He has not fully recovered his full fitness from the slight injury he suffered from just some weeks ago at the beginning of May, which forced him to withdraw from the opening leg of the Samsung Diamond League in Doha. However, the Rome's 800 meters field are still a world-class race which features the clash between World champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi from South Africa and Kenyans Asbel Kiprop, Boaz Lalang and David Mutua. Informs DL website. Another withdrawal is the Italian European indoor champion Antonietta Di Martino in high jump due to a small foot injury. The Italian record holder was to open her summer season at Olympic Stadium. World champion Blanka Vlasic will still measure her with Russian Svetlana Shkolina who cleared two meters indoors and Ruth Beitia with Emma Green (returning from injury) among others.



PALENCIA (ESP): Reigning steeple world champion Marta Dominguez gave at the Hospital Rio Carrión de Palencia birth to her first child, a boy named Javier. The birth was without complications and mother and son are healthy and ok. Spanish media are informing. She plans to return to the track in 2012 with the aim to compete at London Olympic Games.



SAO PAULO (BRA): Reigning world and olympic winner at 400 m hurdles Jamaican Melaine Walker is the top star added to the fields at last Brazilian Tour meeting, the 27th Grande Premio Brasil Caixa de Atletismom in Olympic Stadium Joao Havelange in Rio de Janeiro (IAAF World Challenge), the site of 2016 Olympics. She will face US Sheena Tosta and Jamaican Nickiesha Wilson. World medalist from Berlin Alonso Edward of Panama runs the 200 m. More local stars will be added with Fabiana Murer in pole vault and Jadel Gregorio in triple jump. In the women 200 m US Porscha Lucas and Shareese Woods are facing Jamaican Simone Facey. In the high jump US Dusty Jonas comes as top favorite and in the long jump Jamaican Alain Bailey, US Trevell Quinley and Cuban Wilfredo Martinez with Tyrone Smith of Bermudas.



HENGELO (NED): Olympic finalist Churandy Martina will have his first race after announcing that he will represent Netherlands in future at FBK Games on May 29 in Hengelo (IAAF World Challenge). In the 100 m he will face some European rivals. For example Norway´s Jaisuma Saidy Ndure, Brits Craig Pickering and Christian Malcolm. Also in the race former World Champion Kim Collins and olympic medalist Richard Thompson of Trinidad. US will be represented by Kansas Relays winner Ivory Williams and Rae Edwards. Jamaica by Mario Forsythe, member of Racers TC.



DAKAR (SEN): The Meeting de Dakar on Saturday (IAAF World Challenge) will have 800 m world champion Caster Semenya as main headliner. Also in the field 200 m olympic winner Shawn Crawford of USA, African Champions Amantle Montsho from Botswana in women 400 m and Kabelo Kgosiemang in the high jump. Fresh world record holder Betty Heidler of Germany will compete in hammer throw which will be part of IAAF HT Challenge.



PARIS (FRA): French 400m athlete Leslie Dhjone severely injured himself during his first competition of the season the French interclub championships. The European indoor champion might have ruptured his patellar tendon while competing in the long jump. Dhjone was immediately transferred to the hospital where he is undergoing more examinations writes Eurosport. He will be out as it was later confirmed for 6 months and will so miss also the World Championships in Daegu. He will undergo a surgery on Wednesday.







BERLIN (GER): More bad luck for German high jump star Ariane Friedrich who got bitten by a cat and needs surgery on her hand. Friedrich is to be released from the hospital on Monday.


LAUSANNE (SUI): The IOC has officially launched its selection process for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics with Rome the only city that has so far definitely committed itself to bidding. Hiroshima has officially abandoned its plans to try to host the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, leaving the way clear for Tokyo to be officially confirmed as Japan's candidate. The IOC have written to 205 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) inviting them to submit the name of an applicant city by September 1 2011. The election of the Host City for the 2020 Olympic Games is due to take place on September 7, 2013, during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires reports Insidethegames.biz.


AMSTERDAM (NED): Jolanda Keizer has withdrawn from the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis due to pain in her left foot. Keizer was hopeful to make her long awaited return to competition but has decided she will postpone her comeback until the IAAF combined events challenge in Kladno in June.


DUBLIN (IRE): Legendary miler and "Chairman of the Boards" at the Millrose Games Eamonn Coghlan has been nominated by Irish Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny for a seat in Ireland's upper parliamentary chamber, the Seanad. The former 5000 meters world champion and three-time Olympian was appointed for his work as Director of the Crumlin Children's Medical & Research Foundation reports The Irish Times.


LONDON (GBR): Jo Pavey will take on Paula Radcliffe at the Bupa London 10,000m on May 30th. Fresh from her promising marathon debut in London last month, the 37-year-old Pavey will challenge the world record holder in a race that incorporates the first UK national 10km road championships. Pavey finished 19th at the Virgin London Marathon on 17 April in 2:28.24. Mo Farah faces a formidable challenge as he defends the men's title at this annual road race held on the route of the London 2012 Olympic marathons writes run247.com. The race will be held on the central loop of the 2012 Olympic Marathon, starting and finishing in St. James's Park.


SUNDERLAND (GBR): Sunderland City prepares an elite mile race on June 26. The start at Fawcett Street and finish at the Stadium of Light. Men and women will run for 1500 GBP first price. The Elite Mile Races will provide a curtain raiser for the redspottedhanky.com Sunderland City 10K starting at 10:30am.


DAEGU (ROK): The Daegu organizing committee said that they are "confident" of hosting a successful World Championships this summer. "We're striving to make it one of the greatest athletics games in history," said Moon Dong-hoo, the vice president of Daegu Organizing Committee. There are now less than 100 days to go until the World Championships, and the newly upgraded Daegu Stadium is "fully ready" to host the global event, according to Moon. The vice president, however, admitted that ticket sales need to be improved. He noted that about 47 percent of the total tickets are still up for sale. Samsung Electronics, the country's biggest company, is stepping up to help boost ticket sales by offering their promotional campaign writes The Korea Herald.


MADRID (ESP): Ramil Guliyev, one of Europe's top sprinters, is set to miss this summer's World Championships and next year's Olympics Games in London after a nasty little tug-of-war contest has broken out between Turkey and his native Azerbaijan. Guliyev ran a European junior 200m record of 20.04, when winning at the 2009 World University Games in an Azerbaijan vest, and was also the continent's fastest man over the distance that year. He spent several months training in Turkey last summer after signing a deal to compete for the Istanbul-based club Fenerbahce. At the end of last year Guliyev decided to fly a different flag and he became a citizen of his adopted country on April 5. Potentially, the next major championship where you could see Guliyev on his blocks will be the 2014 European Outdoor Championships.


MONTE CARLO (MON): IAAF approved the 50 000 m track walk record 3:35:27.2 of Yohan Diniz from Reims (March 12). Also world junior record 84.47 in javelin throw by Zigismunds Sirmais of Latvia at European Cup Winter Throwing in March in Sofia was ratified. The superb jumping evening of Sweden´s Angelica Bengtsson is also ok for record purposes and her jumps 452, 453, 458 and 463 all were improvements of world junior record in Stockholm on February 20 at the XL Galan.


SYDNEY (AUS): Australian 10.000m record holder Ben St Lawrence struggles to believe the transformation he has undergone in the past five years. In that time he has turned from an overweight party boy who could barely run 10 kilometers, into the fastest Australian ever over the distance. St Lawrence returned to Sydney this week from a successful US tour during which he smashed the national 10.000m record by five seconds, clocking 27:24.95 at Stanford University and prompting him to dream of an Olympic final. The Australian athlete also added he thinks he can still perform well at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 where he could do the marathon.


MELBOURNE (AUS): Australian coach John Bell has accused former marathon runner and dual Commonwealth champion Robert de Castella, a former Australian of the Year, of not paying for his "full time" work at the sporting legend's charity. John Bell, who now works with Paralympic athletes, claimed he and de Castella had a "handshake agreement" that his work would lead to full-time employment, which was not honoured. Robert de Castella has also announced he will be the ambassador for the Chervron City to Surf event on August 28th which includes a marathon and half marathon.







IZMIR (TUR, May 22): Adding to Turkish Clubs League is top female high jump mark by Bulgarian European 2006 medalist Venelina Veneva. She cleared 195 cm what is the best mark in the world in the outdoor season.


SAO PAULO (BRA, May 20): New South American 5000 m record by Brazilian Simone Alves 15:18.85 at a local meet.


GERMISTON (RSA, May 22): South African road 10 km titles for Lucky Mohale (29:00) ahead of Stephen Mokoka (29:16). Irvette Van Blerk was more clear women race winner (34:03).


BONDOUFLE (FRA, May 22): European indoor pole vault champion Renaud Lavillenie tested his shape before Rome DL meet at Clubs meet with 11.04 in the 100 m and 720 in the long jump.


KINGSTON (JAM, May 21): Additions to JAAA All-Comers meet are fast 100 m race won by Oshane Bailey in 10.21 (+1.3) ahead of Nicholas Watson who clocked PB 10.23 and Sheldon Mitchell 10.24. In the 200 m Michael Mason achieved 20.41 (+0.8) and in the 400 m Edino Steele 46.09. Young talent Ristannana Tracey improved to 51.95 in the 400 m.


BREMEN (GER, May 22): High jumper Eike Onnen is back in good shape. At national meet he was able to went over solid 228 cm.

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