Bolt confirms Rome 100m return as he continues London 2012 build-up
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
January 24 - Usain Bolt (pictured) has confirmed that he will be returning to compete in the Diamond League meeting in Rome this year.
The International Association of Athletics Federation's (IAAF) 2011 World Athlete of the Year will run the 100 metres at the Compeed Golden Gala, the third leg of the 2012 Samsung Diamond League, in the Italian capital's Olympic Stadium on May 31.
The Jamaican triple Olympic champion has already announced his participation in the Bislett Games in Oslo, which are part of the new Diamond League series, on June 7 where he also plans to run the 100m.
Bolt, who lost his world 100m title last year after false-starting in Daegu, but finished the season by recording the fastest time of the year, 9.76sec, won in Rome last May with 9.91.
"I am looking forward to returning to Rome and to be back on the fast track of the Stadio Olimpico for the Golden Gala," Bolt said.
"I have great memories of last year's edition.
"It was my first time running in Italy, and I enjoyed the fantastic crowd at the stadium."
A total of 47,732 spectators turned out for last year's edition on May 26.
"Someone told me it was the biggest crowd for athletics [in Rome] in the last 10 years: something that made me really happy," Bolt added.
"I remember the huge coverage from the media there, the press conference I had two days before the race was one of the biggest I ever had outside the Olympics or World Championships.
"I didn't get to see much of the city, maybe I will get to see some more this year."
Bolt, the world record holder in the 100m event at 9.58, successfully defended his world 200m title last year and anchored the Jamaican 4x100m relay team to victory in a world record of 37.04.
"I'm training hard, the off season has been good," Bolt said.
"Everything is going according to plan.
"The aim is to defend my Olympic titles in London.
"Rome's race will be a good early season test and tell me what I need to do on the way to the Olympic Games."
January 2012: Bolt to run 100m at Oslo Diamond League meet as he prepares for London 2012