Rome’s athletics Golden Gala

The 33rd edition of the Golden Gala, Italy's annual track and field event, begins in Rome's Olympic Stadium on 6 June. 

As usual the sporting event is a who's who from the world of international athletics and this year’s Golden Gala is dedicated to the memory of champion Italian sprinter Pietro Mennea who died recently in Rome.

Those attending the opening night will get to see the six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt in action, the third year in row he has appeared at the Rome event. Nicknamed “Lightning Bolt”, the Jamaican world record holder will compete in the 100-m race in which he is expected to face strong competition from America's Justin Gatlin. In the 2011 Golden Gala, Bolt set a time of 9.91 seconds, a record he reduced to 9.76 last year in front of over 50,000 spectators.

Other big names to watch out for are sprinter Allyson Felix and long jumper Brittney Reese from the US; high jumpers Blanka Vlasic from the Czech Republic and Anna Chicherova from Russia; French pole vaulter Renaud Lavillenie; and champion triple jump athlete Christian Taylor.

The Rome event is the fifth outing in the current season of the Diamond League, an annual series of 14 track and field meetings for top athletes.

This year, all 25,000 city employees have received free tickets to the opening night by the capital's sport councillor Alessandro Cocchi, who is backing the outgoing mayor Gianni Alemanno in the mayoral run-off on 9-10 June. Cocchi denied it was "electoral propaganda", describing it as a "mere thought for the employees of the city administration."

This year there is a special deal with city bus company ATAC whose ticket booths are selling Golden Gala tickets without a booking fee. There are also discounts for those in possession of ATAC metrebus passes.

For full details including programme and tickets see the Diamond League website.