The Golden Gala is the most important international athletics meeting in Italy and one of the most awaited events among the sports’events in Rome. The Golden Gala was born in 1980 thanks to the intuition of Primo Nebiolo, then the FIDAL President, who realized how Rome could become the stage for spectacular clashes in the year of the boycott of many countries at the Olympic Games in Moscow and give the chance of a re-match to those athletes who could not take part in the Olympic Games. That night the stars were Pietro Mennea and Sara Simeoni, but above all there were 60000 spectators who packed the Olympic Stadium.

All athletics stars of the last three decades have competed at the Rome Olympic Stadium and historic pages of world athletics have been written, like the magic night of pole vault in 1984 when Sergey Bubka (USSR) and Thierry Vigneron (Fra) engaged a memorable clash in which both set world records in their rise to the sky, until the star from the former Soviet Union vaulted 5.94 before attempting the 6 metres barrier which he would have broken later in his career

The Golden Gala has produced many other world records. In 1987 Moroccan Said Aouita broke the historic 13 minutes barrier in the 5000 metres clocking 12:58.39. This has been the first of many times under the 13 minutes barrier, which have have made the Rome track  the venue with the highest number of sub-13 minutes performances in the world. In 1995 the 5000 metres race produced another world record set by Kenyan Moses Kiptanui, a great 3000 metres steeplechase star who clocked a fabulous 12:55.30 in a rare appearance over the flat distance.

The great middle-distance star Hicham El Guerrouj set two world records in Rome. In 1998 the Moroccan star set a fabulous world record in the 1500 metres with 3:26.00 which is still unbeaten. The following year the runner from Maghreb improved the Mile world record to 3:43.13 when he was pushed to the limit by his young Kenyan rival Ngeny. The last world record in chronological order was set in 2008 when pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva vaulted 5.03 setting one of her many records.

Since 2013, the meeting was dedicated to the Olympic champion and former world record holder of the 200 meters Pietro Mennea, who died in March of that year .

The meeting records
The fabulous tradition of the Golden Gala has been also built on the great performances achieved by the stars who highlighted every edition. From sprint to middle-distance races, from jump events to throws all disciplines have produced prestigious results which contributed to make the history of the meeting over the years. Here follow the meeting records updated to 6th June 2014.

Men's record

100m 9.76 Usain Bolt (JAM) 2012
200m 19.86 Walter Dix (USA) 2010
400m 43.62 Jeremy Wariner (USA) 2006
800m 1:42.79 Wilson Kipketer (DEN) 1999
1500m 3:26.00 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 1998
Mile 3:43.13 Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR) 1999
2000m 4:54.02 Venuste Nyongabo (BUR) 1995
3000m 7:46.06  Jack Buckner (GBR) 1984
5000m 12:46.53  Eliud Kipchoge (KEN) 2004
3000st 7:54.31 Paul Kipsiele Koech (KEN) 2012
110hs 13.01 Allen Johnson (USA) 1999
400hs 47.73 Felix Sanchez (DOM) 2002
HJ 2.41 Mutaz Barshim (QAT) 2014
PV 5.94 Sergey Bubka (URS) 1984
LJ 8.61 Dwight Phillips (USA) 2009
TJ 17.60 Jonathan Edwards (GBR) 1998
SP 21.67 Ulf Timmermann (GDR) 1986
         21.67 Christian Cantwell (USA) 2010
DT 68.78 Piotr Malachowski (POL) 2010
HT 84.88 Sergey Litvinov (URS) 1986
JT 90.34 Andreas Thorkildsen (NOR) 2006
4x100 38.65 Cesar, Perez-Rionda, Garcia, Mayola(CUB)  2000
            38.65 Smellie, Smith, Connaughton, Barnett (CAN) 2011

Women's record

100m 10.75 Marion Jones (USA) 1998
           10.75 Kerron Stewart (JAM) 2009
200m 22.19 Marion Jones (USA) 1999
400m 49.17 Marita Koch (GDR) 1986
800m 1:55.69  Pamela Jelimo (KEN) 2008
1500m 3:56.54 Abeba Aregawi (ETH) 2012
Mile 4:21.38 Paula Ivan (ROM) 1989
3000m 8:23.96 Olga Yegorova (RUS) 2001
5000m 14:32.57  Tirunesh Dibaba  (ETH)  2005
3000st 9:11.58 G.Galkina-Samitova(RUS) 2009
100 hs 12.39 Vera Komisova (URS) 1980
400 hs  52.82 Lashinda Demus (USA) 2010
HJ 2.03  Hestrie Cloete (RSA) 2004
       2.03 Yelena Slesarenko (RUS) 2004
       2.03 Blanka Vlasic (CRO) 2010
       2.03 Chaunté HowardLowe(USA) 2010
PV 5.03  Yelena Isinbaeva (RUS) 2008
LJ 7.23 Marion Jones (USA) 1998
TJ 15.29 Yamilé Aldama (CUB) 2003
SP 21.03 Valerie Adams (NZL) 2012
DT 68.90 Tsvetanka Khristova (BUL) 1986
JT 68.66 Barbora Spotakova (CZE) 2010

The World Record at the Golden Gala

Golden Gala also means world records. Over the years the meeting has been the perfect stage for great athletics stars to break world records. Among the stand-out records there are the world record clash between Bubka and Vigneron in the pole vault, the first sub-13 minutes race for Said Aouita in the 5000 metres, but also the feats of El Guerrouj and Kiptanui in middle distance races and Hattestad in the women’s javelin. Always the excitement to experience history for the Rome’s crowd. Here follows the list with all world records set during the 33-year-old history of the Golden Gala.

PV  Thierry Vigneron   (FRA) 5.83  01/09/1983
PV  Thierry Vigneron   (FRA) 5.91  31/08/1984
PV  Sergey Bubka         (URS) 5.94  31/08/1984
5000       Said Aouita       (MAR) 12:58.39 22/07/1987
5000       Moses Kiptanui  (KEN) 12:55.30 08/06/1995
1500       Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  3:26.00 14/07/1998
Mile Hicham El Guerrouj (MAR)  3:43.13 07/07/1999
JT Trine Hattestad (NOR) 68.22  30/06/2000
PV  Yelena Isinbayeva  (RUS)  5.03  11/07/2008