Track and Field titans Almaz, Genzebe clash in Rome


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

Two of those world record-holders, Genzebe Dibaba and Almaz Ayana, will line up against one another in the 5,000m. Last year Ayana won the 5,000m 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 1,500m 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 medalist Alessia Trost.

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