The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, has confirmed that he will compete in the 200m on the night of Friday 22 July at the London Anniversary Games this summer.
The world record holder will face Britain’s European 200m champion Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge), Zharnel Hughes (Patrick Dawson), who finished fifth in the 200m at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing last summer, and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver), the second fastest Brit of all time with a personal best of 19.95, also expected to compete.
The trio are the second, third and fourth fastest British 200m runners ever and will be aiming to become the first British athlete to beat Bolt, in a race which is expected to be the fastest 200m race ever held in the UK with all eight athletes potentially running under 20 seconds.
In 2015, Bolt successfully defended his 100m, 200m and 4x100m titles at the Beijing World Championships and is the two-time Olympic Champion at 100m, 200m and 4x100m.
This will be his eighth appearance at the London leg of the prestigious IAAF Diamond League, after first appearing in 2005 aged 18. He has twice competed in the 100m under the floodlights on the Friday night of the London Anniversary Games, winning in both 2013 and 2015 with world class times of 9.85 and 9.87.
The 29 year old also holds the meeting record for 200m after running 19.76 at Crystal Palace in 2008 and is looking forward to testing himself over the distance ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Bolt said: “The London Anniversary Games will be one of my last races before Rio and running in the 200m will hopefully set me up for a successful Olympic Games. Great Britain has some very good young sprinters and I’m looking forward to running against them and returning to the Olympic Stadium. I always get great support in the UK and I expect the stadium to be packed for a great Friday night of athletics.”
Gemili, who has a best 200m time of 19.98, ran his first 200m since winning the 2014 European title on Saturday and finished second in a time of 20.91.
He is now looking forward to returning to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to face Bolt in front of a home crowd.
Gemili said: “The London Anniversary Games is always an amazing event. I can’t wait to run in the Olympic Stadium again as the atmosphere in front of a home crowd is always special. The British fans are the best in the world and with this being the last event before the Olympics, I’m sure they will get behind us like always and inspire us to produce some great performances.”
Zharnel Hughes is also looking forward to competing against one of the greatest athletes of all time at the end of July.
He said: “This year’s London Anniversary Games will be fantastic – with Rio just on the horizon it is effectively the Olympics across two days and the 200m battle on Friday night being one of the real highlights.”
“I am really looking forward to the Friday night and getting the chance to take on Bolt in London, it will be a great race and a chance for us to show our strengths ahead of Rio.”
Staged at the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford on 22-23 July 2016, the London Anniversary Games will provide the final races for many of the world’s best athletes before they head to Rio for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
For tickets to the London Anniversary Games please visit www.britishathletics.org.uk