This year’s Golden Gala Pietro Mennea, the 2015 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome on 4 June, will feature 18 reigning Olympic medallists and 27 athletes who finished in the top three at the 2013 IAAF World Championships, the organisers announced at a press conference on Tuesday (5).
In addition to the already-announced names, which include Olympic champion Renaud Lavillenie, the stars of the sport who have been added to the meeting include Lavillenie’s compatriot and world triple jump champion Teddy Tamgho.
The third man in history able to jump beyond the 18-metre barrier, with 18.04m in 2013, will face the USA's Olympic silver medallist Will Claye.
The men’s 800m promises to be spectacular with Ethiopia’s world champion Mohammed Aman facing last year’s Diamond Race winner and Olympic silver medallist Nijel Amos from Botswana and Poland’s European champion Adam Kszczot.
The men’s shot put will feature a clash between Germany and the USA, with the previously announced two-time world champion David Storl taking on the top US throwers Christian Cantwell and Joe Kovacs, the latter having recently set a world-leading 22.35m.
The men’s javelin also features a star-studded field with Trinidad and Tobago’s Olympic champion Keshorn Walcott and the Czech Republic’s world champion Vitezslav Vesely.
The magical history of the Rome Olympic Stadium’s high jump fan, where Stefka Kostadinova set the still-standing world record of 2.09m, has attracted back Blanka Vlasic.
The Croatian will take on the likes of Russian pair Mariya Kuchina and Svetlana Shkolina, Spain’s Ruth Beitia, Poland’s Kamila Lichwinko and local Italian star Alessia Trost.
The women’s 100m hurdles will be a star-studded race with the past two Olympic champions Dawn Harper Nelson (2008) and Sally Pearson (2012) as well as world champion Brianna Rollins, the latter a winner in Rome in 2013.
In the women's long jump, Olympic silver medallist Yelena Sokolova will clash against European indoor champion Ivana Spanovic and Russia’s Dariya Klishina.
A loaded men’s 100m sees three-time Rome winner Justin Gatlin up against Nesta Carter, Mike Rodgers and the evergreen Kim Collins while France’s Christophe Lemaitre is in the 200m.
Italian athletics fans will also without doubt be cheering for two domestic stars, European 400m champion Libania Grenot and 20-year-old Federica Del Buono, the European indoor 1500m bronze medallist.
Organisers for the IAAF
2015 IAAF Diamond League calendar
Doha, QAT – 15 May
Shanghai, CHN – 17 May
Eugene, USA – 30 May
Rome, ITA – 4 June
Birmingham, GBR – 7 June
Oslo, NOR – 11 June
New York, USA – 13 June
Paris, FRA – 4 July
Lausanne, SUI – 9 July
Monaco, MON – 17 July
London, GBR – 24-25 July
Stockholm, SWE – 30 July
Zurich, SUI – 3 September
Brussels, BEL – 11 September