No fewer than 24 sub-10-second performances have been recorded in the 100m in Rome’s Olympic Stadium. That number is expected to grow at the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea on 4 June, the next leg of the IAAF Diamond League.
Carl Lewis was the first man to break that barrier in the Italian capital when winning the 1987 world title. The other 23 sub-10-second performances in Rome have all been achieved at the Golden Gala.
After Frankie Fredericks set a meeting record of 9.97 in 1997, Maurice Greene smashed that mark in 1998 with 9.85. Greene’s meeting record was equalled in 2006 and 2007 by Asafa Powell before Tyson Gay bettered it in 2009 with 9.77 on an evening that had seven sub-10-second performances.
But that 9.77 lasted just three years as a meeting record because in 2012 Usain Bolt clocked 9.76, a time which remains the fastest 100m ever witnessed at the Golden Gala.
There are six men in the 100m field for this year’s Golden Gala with sub-10-second PBs; four of them have bettered that barrier this year.
World leader Justin Gatlin returns to defend his title. A three-time winner in Rome, he has already recorded a PB of 9.74 this year.
US champion Mike Rodgers produced the second-fastest time of his life at last weekend’s IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene, running 9.90. With a string of three consecutive sub-10-second runs behind him, Rodgers will hope to continue that in what will be his fourth appearance in Rome.
Kim Collins, the 2003 world champion, recently became the oldest man to run faster than 10 seconds. The 39-year-old clocked 9.99 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Eugene.
Nesta Carter finished one place behind Collins in Eugene, but has a marginally faster season’s best with 9.98. The Jamaican has fond memories of Italy, having clocked his PB of 9.78 in Rieti in 2010.
Having opened his season with a 10.02 run, France’s 2013 European indoor champion Jimmy Vicaut will be competing in his first IAAF Diamond League meeting of the year.
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