Rome's Golden Gala

Top international athletes come to Rome.  

The 35th edition of the Golden Gala, Italy’s annual track and field event, begins in Rome’s Olympic Stadium on 4 June.

As usual the sporting event is a who’s who from the world of international athletics and this year the stars include Jamaican sprinter and reigning Olympic champion Shelly Ann Fraser in the 200m race, and world seasonal leader in the 100-m hurdles, Jasmin Stowers from the US.

Stowers will compete against other well-known names, including the last two Olympic champions, American Dawn Harper Nelson (2008) and Australian Sally Pearson (2012), as well as reigning world champion, American Brianna Rollins.

Chief among the sporting celebrities coming to Rome is Olympic pole vaulting champion and world record holder Renaud Lavillenie from France, and America’s Justin Gatlin who will be seeking his third consecutive win in the 100m at the Golden Gala.

Renaud Lavillenie

Other big names to watch out for are 400-m European champion Libania Grenot from Cuba, while Croatia's Blanka Vlašić and Italy's Alessia Trost will attempt to break the world record of 2.09m set by Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinova at the Golden Gala in 1987.

This year the Golden Gala is preceded by RunFest, a three-day running event open to everyone, which takes place in the Stadio di Marmo from 2-4 June.

The Golden Gala began in 1980 and was dedicated to the memory of champion Italian sprinter Pietro Mennea two years ago.

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

Over the course of its history, the gala has set eight world records, of which the 1,500-m (1998) and mile records (1999) by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj still stand.  

For full details including ticket prices and programme, see the Golden Gala website.