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Bolt Lines up Palace

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Usain Bolt - Crystal Palace 2008


20 April 2009

To buy tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix follow this link!

Beijing Olympic Champion Usain Bolt will take centre stage among a star-studded field at the Aviva London Grand Prix this summer.

Bolt became the first man in history to claim the Olympic sprint treble all in world record times when he took gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. And he quickly became a Games legend with his trademark pre and post-race exuberance. 

Now the 22-year-old has signed up to run the 100m at the two-day meeting in London on 24 and 25 July.

The Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace will provide many of the world’s best with a final chance to fine tune their preparations ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Berlin just three weeks later.

Bolt said: “I’m definitely looking forward to running in London at the Aviva London Grand Prix. London is a great meet and the fans there really get behind everyone. I normally base myself there during the summer so it is like a second home. As usual there will be strong competition but I guess that’s what I’ll need ahead of the World Championships.” 

Winner over 200m in London for the last two years, Bolt’s time of 19.76 seconds in 2008 was the fastest ever over that distance in the UK. Now he can’t wait to show the London crowd what he is capable of over the shorter sprint.

He said: “Last year at Crystal Palace I felt great running the 200m. To win there in such style gave me a lot of pleasure. That helped to build my confidence towards achieving the three gold medals in Beijing a few weeks later.

“This year will be my fifth year in a row competing at Crystal Palace. On all four previous occasions I’ve ran in the 200m so it will be good to go out there and see what I can do in the 100m.  I’m sure I’ll be able to put a show on for the fans.”

Bolt’s appearance at the Palace underlines once again the status of the Aviva London Grand Prix as one of the biggest grand prix on the world circuit. In the last few years stars such as Yelena Isinbayeva, Kenenisa Bekele and Michael Johnson have all thrilled the London crowds. And the presence of global stars in the field certainly benefits Britain’s athletes, who revel in the opportunity to take on the best.

GB & NI sprinter Simeon Williamson, who competed in his first Olympic Games last year having won 100m gold at the European U23 Championships and World University Games in 2007, believes the chance to race against Bolt on home soil is vital in helping him to achieve his aims in the sport.

Williamson said: "I'm ambitious and want to be among the best sprinters in the world and to do that, I need to be able to compete against the best. The UKA major event series is giving me that opportunity. At the moment, there is no faster man than Usain Bolt and the thought of competing against the Olympic champion and world record holder in my home city is mouth-watering.

"The competition will be the perfect springboard for this year's World Championships and will give all the leading British sprinters important exposure to top class competition ahead of Berlin."

Tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace, London on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th July are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk