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Usain Bolt to run at IAAF London Diamond League weeks before Rio Olympics

Abhishek Jain
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 16 Dec 2015
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Usain Bolt
Bolt will compete at the 2016 London Anniversary Games, 2 weeks before Rio

Jamaican sprinter and six-time Olympic Gold medalist Usain Bolt has confirmed his participation at the annual 2016 IAAF London Diamond League to be held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on July 22-23, just weeks before the commencement of the 2016 Rio Olympics on August 5th. The sprinter will run in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay categories at the same venue where he won his 100m and 200m Olympic Gold in 2012.

The 29-year old sprinter will be hopeful for a steady warm-up series in order to be in perfect position for the start of the 2016 Summer Games. 

Bolt understands the fact that the British audience has great enthusiasm and appreciation for the track-field events and said, “I am pleased to announce my return to the Olympic stadium in London for the 2016 Anniversary Games. I know the athletics fans in London are very knowledgeable and passionate about track and field and will come out in force and create a great atmosphere like they always do,” Bolt said.

The last and only time Bolt took part in the IAAF Diamond League was way back in 2012 where he clinched the Gold medal in the 100m category. 

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Niels de Vos, the chief executive of British Athletics, has hailed Bolt’s participation at the year’s Anniversary Games and said, “Usain Bolt is a global sporting icon. This will be one of the last opportunities for families to attend the Anniversary Games and see him compete. The London Anniversary Games is one of the very best sporting events in Britain and will be even more special this year as it is staged so close to the Olympic Games.”

Bolt’s biggest threat will come from the United States international Justin Gatlin, who has won the 100m Gold in the last three editions (2013, 2014 and 2015) of the Diamond League. 

In 2012, he became the only athlete in Olympic history to do a double-double at the Summer Games, winning Gold at both 100m and 200m events in two consecutive Olympic Games (Beijing 2008 and London 2012).

However, by looking at Bolt’s history and after analysing his speed on the track, it is safe to say that the audience in the United Kingdom is set to be entranced by the Jamaican sprinter in the Olympic curtain-raiser. 

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Published 16 Dec 2015, 15:15 IST
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