Here it is, the most awaited challenge. On June 2nd, the eyes of the whole planet will be focused on the Ridolfi stadium in Florence for a 100m challenge at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea that promises to be exciting. The world champion Fred Kerley and the Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs will compete in the third leg of the Wanda Diamond League for an astonishing match between the winners of the last two top events, the Oregon 2022 World Athletics Championships and the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. With them, in a phenomenal line up, there will also be the Diamond League champion and world bronze medallist Trayvon Bromell.
Kerley is coming back to the Golden Gala after winning the last edition on the track of the Olympic stadium in Rome. On that occasion, the American triumphed in front of the Italian crowd with a 9.92 sprint in the 100m, a few weeks before setting a personal best of 9.76 at the US championships and winning the gold medal at the World Championships in Oregon. This year, in Florence, he will find as opponent the Italian idol Jacobs, who beat him in the Tokyo final in August 2021: in the most important race of his career, the Italian sprinter run in 9.80 (European record), becoming the first Olympic champion in sprint race after the Bolt-era, a success repeated a few days later with the 4x100m relay.
Kerley, who just turned 28, had already run and won at the Golden Gala, but in the 400m race: it was 2018 and he won in 44.33. On the other hand, for Jacobs, the last presence in the meeting, named after the Italian sprint legend, dates back to September 2020, with fourth place in the 100m (10.11). Just a single participation can be counted for Bromell, on the track in Rome in 2016 over the 200m (seventh with 20.80). Bromell boasts a personal best of 9.76 (in Nairobi in September 2021) which, like Kerley, places him in sixth place on the all-time list. Last season, by winning the final in Zurich, he conquered the Diamond League Trophy. Florence will be a key stage for the three sprinters who will meet again in Budapest, at the World Athletics Championships in August to compete for the gold medal. And there will also be the already announced Samuele Ceccarelli, a rising star of Italian sprint, European indoor champion of 60m in Istanbul in March.