Medal galore on show at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea!
Golden Gala Pietro Mennea: the athletics history in Rome is ready to add another exciting chapter. The 37th edition of the top Italian International athletics meeting will take place on Thursday 8th June (from 20) at the Olympic Stadium. No less than 119 Olympic, world and European medallists will be again in the spotlight at this year’s edition.
36 Olympic medallists and four entire Olympic podiums of Rio 2016: Seventeeen Olympic gold medallists (10 winners of Rio 2016), 44 world champions (including 11 reigning champions and 20 world indoor champions) and 58 European champions (ten reigning champions and 23 European Indoor champions) were announced today at the official Golden Gala press conference, which was attended by CONI President Giovanni Malagò and by FIDAL President Alfio Giomi. Meeting director Luigi D’Onofrio is still working on the meeting starting list, which features 36 olympic medallists of Rio 2016, including the full podium in four events: the men’s javelin, the women’s high jump, the women’s pole vault and the women’s triple jump.
Three world record holders: Three world record holders are expected to compete at the Golden Gala: US hurdler Aries Merritt (110m hurdles), Ethiopian runners Genzebe Dibaba (1500m) and Almaz Ayana (10000m), who will clash in the women’s 5000m on the distance where Ayana narrowly missed the world record in last year’s edition of the Golden Gala. The list also features three European record holders Dafne Schippers, the fastest European sprinter in history in the 200m with 21.63, who will be in the spotlight at the Olympic Stadium for her first sprint race in Italy as reigning World champion. The blonde-haired 200m World gold medallist will line up in the 100 metres. Jimmy Vicaut from France, 100m European record holder, will start in the men’s 100m. Great Britain’s Laura Muir, European Indoor record holder in the 3000m, will run in the 1500m against Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon and world indoor champion Sifan Hassan.
Gatlin will be looking to win in Rome for the sixth time: Justin Gatlin will chase his fifth consecutive win in Rome (the sixth in his career). He beat Usain Bolt in the 2013 edition and set the meeting record held by the Jamaican star clocking 9.75 two years later. Another sprint star, who is set to run in Rome, is André De Grasse, who won three Olympic medals in Rio: silver in the 200m, bronze in the 100m and in the 4x100 relay. The Canadian sprinter will line up in the 200 metres against Olympic bronze medallist Christophe Lemaitre and Italian rising star Filippo Tortu, reigning 100m world junior silver medallist. Another name to follow will be US 18-year sprint sensation Candace Hill, the first high school student in history able to dip under the 11 second barrier in the 100m with 10.98.
Russian athletes are set to return to Rome, great women’s high jump: Three of the limited group of top russian athletes, who have recently been made eligible by the IAAF to compete to International competitions, are set to return to Rome’s Golden Gala. They are reigning Beijing 2015 world champions Sergey Shubenkov (110m hurdles), Mariya Kuchina (high jump) and 2014 European champion Anzhelika Sidorova (pole vault). Thirty years after the 1987 World Championships in Rome the high jump runway, where Stefka Kostadinova broke the world record with 2.09m, is set to be in the spotlight again when seven 2 metres jumpers will compete in an exciting clash. The line-up will feature Spain’s Ruth Beitia, who won every title at stake in 2016, Croatia’s Blanka Vlasic (one of the most popular star among the Rome’s crowd), US Chaunte Lowe, Lithuania’s Ayrine Palsyte and Italian star Alessia Trost, who clashed against Kuchina in many competitions at youth and junior level.
The gotha of javelin throw: All the best javelin throwers including the whole Olympic podium of Rio de Janeiro are set to highlight one of the competitions with more medallists in the whole programme of 2017. The spotlight will be on Olympic champion Thomas Rohler, who has just become the second best thrower in history with his impressive 93.90m throw in Doha. Rohler will face 2012 Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott and three world champions Julius Yego (2105), Vitezslav Vesely (2013) and Tero Pitkamaki (2007).
The team is growing: Three big companies have announced their committment to Italian athletics and the Golden Gala. Asics Italia represented by Managing Director Luca Bacherotti renewed its deal as FIDAL technical sponsor for the next five years. A new important sponsorship deal for the Golden Gala has been signed up with Bridgestone, the world-leading manufacturer of tires, which will be the title sponsor of the 2017 Palio dei Comuni and was represented by Stefano Parisi, the Managing Director Bridgestone Europe South Region. This year thousands of young athletes are set to take part in the 12x200 maxi-relay event in the Olympic Stadium on 8th June during the afternoon shortly before the start of the meeting. This year the Fidal and the Golden Gala will rely on the support of Uliveto, the sport mineral water, which will be the sponsor of the most important events of athletics calender and was represented by Marketing and Media Director Patrizio Gonzaga.
The Runfest from 3rd to 8th June: The 2017 Golden Gala will be the pinnacle of a week of athletics. The Runfest, the big Italian athletics and running festival created for running, sport and welfare fans, will be held from 3rd June to 8th June at the Foro Italico Park in Rome. With more than 80 hours of activities and tens of thousands of people expected to take part, the Runfest offers a big free programme for every age which includes sport, entertainment, health and culture. Inside the Village Runfest there will be the Food District, which offers a tasty break with the contribution of Casa Atletica Italiana, the Funsport Avenue, to have fun and challenge friends, the Commercial Village for shopping of sports products and the Talk & Exhibition Area with meetings and workshops on different topics. The new addition to this year’s programme is Sport Movies, a true outdoor cinema, where the big classics of sports movies will be on show. The full programme is available on the www.runfest.it