By Simone Proietti, Special to

The fastest woman in the world will be in Rome on 5th June for “Golden Gala Pietro Mennea”, the 4th stage of IAAF Diamond League 2014. This is one of the significant news for Caribbean athletics that has emerged on Tuesday (13 May) morning in Rome, in the Golden Gala press conference, with the release of provisional entry lists (as at 12 May) for the event.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Olympic and world champion, will run 100m to look for her first win in the Italian meeting, after two second places (2009 and 2012) and a false start in 2010. This year she was first over 100m in the opening Diamond League in Doha on 9th May, and, without world events such as Olympics or World Championships, she could obtain important statements in Diamond League. Other Jamaican women ready to participate in Rome are Kerron Stewart, that marked in Golden Gala her PB on 100m with 10.75 during 2009 edition, and Carrie Russell, gold medal with Jamaica 4×100 last year at World Championships in Moscow.

On the men side, Nesta Carter, the Olympic gold and world record holder with Jamaica 4×100, will be one of the tough opponents on 100m for the American Justin Gatlin, one of the few sprinters to defeat Usain Bolt, one year ago just in Rome. Another Jamaican on the blocks will be Kemar Bailey-Cole, that last year improved to 9.93 in the semifinal of Worlds in Moscow.

For 200m, that is also a diamond race in Rome, at the moment the Doha winner Nickel Ashmeade is not expected to be present, same for his countryman Warren Weir, Olympic bronze in London 2012 and silver medalist last year in Moscow. Among the best surely there is Alonso Edward from Panama, second on 200m at the Worlds in Berlin 2009, when Bolt marked his world record of 19.19secs. Against him the US sprinters Isiah Young and Curtis Mitchell will fight for victory, while the Jamaican guy Rasheed Dwyer who will try to improve his 200m PB, 20.15 ran in 2013.

In 400m men’s race, another episode of the recent challenge between Lashawn Merritt and Luguelin Santos will take place in Rome. Santos defeated the American quarter miler a few days ago in Kingston, running in a good 44.82 vs. 44.86. Jamaica will be present with Javere Bell, ready to run faster than his 45.08 obtained in the last season. From Jamaica, Kaliese Spencer and Ristananna Tracey will have good chances in 400m hurdles.

The Italian meeting is also a chance to attend great field events. In the high jump the Bahamian Donald Thomas will face all the best in the world, such as Ivan Ukhov, Mutaz Essa Barshim and Bogdan Bondarenko. In the triple jump, the Cubans Ernesto Revè (17.58 in 2014) and the young talent Lazaro Martinez, are two of the best entries to challenge the US olympic medals Christian Taylor and Will Claye. At last, in Pole Vault race, the Cuban Yarisley Silva, gold medal this year at World Indoors in Sopot, will be one of the favorites for victory.    


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