ROME, Sporting Alert – The IAAF Diamond League series shifts to Rome, Italy on Thursday 2 June and you can follow live results updates and live blogging updates from the main events.
Thursday’s meeting will be the fifth stop in the series and a number of event leaders and close contenders will be in action, as they seek to win their respective categories at the end of the 2016 campaign.
Among the highlighted athletes down to compete at the meeting are Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson, USA’s English Gardner, Ethiopia’s Almaz Ayana, Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia, Caster Semenya of South Africa, Poland’s Piotr Malachowski, Ameer Webb of USA and Alonso Edward of Panama.
American Justin Gatlin will also be in action, but his event, the men’s 100 metres will not be a scoring event in Rome.
Instead, the double IAAF World Championships silver medallist behind Usain Bolt from Beijing 2015, who has won all his races thus far on the season, will be targeting the world-leading time of 9.91 seconds.
The women’s race will see an on form Gardner seeking to backup her impressive 10.81 secs performance from the Prefontaine Classic over the weekend, against world 200m silver medalist Thompson, who beat the American star at the Jamaica International Invitational in Kingston, early last month.
In the women’s 800m, 2009 world champion Semenya has been untouched so far this season and the South African will start as the favourite to add to her winning form, which includes running a world-leading 1:56.64 in Rabat on 22 May.
Elsewhere at the Diamond League meeting in Rome, a tasty women’s triple jump field has been assembled, with two-time world champion and event leader Ibarguen going head-to-head with world indoor champion Yulimar Rojas of Venezuela and Kazakhstan Olympic champion Olga Rypakova.
Three-time European champion and Olympic bronze medallist Olha Saladukha of Ukraine and Jamaican duo Kimberly Williams and Shanieka Thomas are also listed to compete in the event.
Ethiopian star Almaz Ayana will be the highlighted athlete in the women’s 5000m, and rightfully so after she posted 14:16.31 at the Rabat Diamond League.
In other events, Malachowski will seek to extend his good run in the men’s discus throw against Jamaica’s Fedrick Dacres, Robert Harting of Germany, Victor Hogan of South Africa and Philip Milanov of Belgium.
Webb of USA who is in good form this season, will go head-to-head with Edward, who is seeking to win successive Diamond League half lap overall crown, while world champion Wayde Van Niekerk of South Africa headline the list of starters in the men’s 400m.