The IAAF Samsung Diamond League encompasses 32 individual event disciplines, with a points scoring ‘Diamond Race’ which runs throughout the 14 meeting series. In the inaugural season, Americans won 11 of the 32 Diamond Races. Winners of each Diamond Race will get a Diamond Trophy and a cash prize. For more details on the league, visit here.
Live web coverage starts at 2:00 p.m. ET on UniversalSports.com, with TV coverage at 10:00 p.m. ET on Universal Sports.
With nine of the ten best shot putters in the world coming together to compete in Rome, the men are sure to put on a show. Americans Christian Cantwell, Reese Hoffa, Adam Nelson, Ryan Whiting and Cory Martin will face-off with the current world leader, Canadian Dylan Armstrong.
The marquee event for the women is sure to be the 400m, as last year’s #1 ranked 400m runner Allyson Felix faces 2009 World Champion, Sanya Richards-Ross. While Richards-Ross was out of competition for much of 2010, upcoming star Francena McCorory had time to make her mark on the sport and end the year ranked as the third best 400m in the US. by Track & Field News. American Debbie Dunn will run her first individual 400 of the year after a successful 2010 campaign where she won the USA Indoor, USA Outdoor and Indoor World Championships. The top international contender is Amantle Montsho of Botswana who finished second to Felix at the Doha Diamond League event in 50.41.
Felix and Richards-Ross will face off for the second time of the night in the women’s 200m where they will face competition from LaShaunte’a Moore who is currently in the lead in the diamond race after winning in Doha. American’s Bianca Knight, Charonda Williams and Connie Moore are also in the field.
Funmi Jimoh and reigning world champion Brittney Reese are entered in the women’s long jump. Jimoh currently has the farthest jump in the world this year with her mark of 6.88m/22-7 to win the first Diamond League event of the year in Doha.
The men’s 400m hurdles will see Americans Kerron Clement, Johnny Dutch, Justin Gaymon and Angelo Taylor battle with Russian L.J. van Zyl who has turned in the three fastest times in the world this year.
In what is sure to be a crowd favorite, World Record Holder Usain Bolt of Jamaica will make his season debut in the 100m. The USA contingent set to race Bolt includes Monzavous Rae Edwards and J-Mee Samuels.
The American women have been on a roll in the 100m hurdles in 2011, with the nine fastest times in the world being turned in by seven American women. Kellie Wells will face off with the woman who ended her winning streak, Dawn Harper. Harper defeated Wells at the Colorful Daegu meet less than two weeks ago. Wells and Harper will be joined in the field by Danielle Carruthers, Lolo Jones and Ginne Powell-Crawford.
Other women to watch are American Record holder Kara Patterson in the javelin, Aretha Thurmond and Becky Breisch in the discuss, Sara Hall and Bridget Franek in the steeple and Christin Wurth-Thomas in the 1500m. On the men’s side, Derek Miles is in the pole vault, and Duane Solomon and Khadevis Robinson are in the 800m.
For more information and live results of the Rome Golden Gala, visit here.
In other international competitions, a handful of American field eventers will compete at the IAAF World Challenge Meet in Brazil tomorrow.
In the women’s long jump Janay DeLoach, the 2011 USA Indoor Champion, and Brianna Glen will face the 2008 Olympic champion, Maurren Maggi. Kylie Hutson will also have to face a reigning Olympic champion, as she will vault against Fabiana Murer.
Amber Campbell is entered in the IAAF Hammer Throw Challenge, for the women’s competition, and recent USATF Athlete of the Week, Kibwé Johnson is a threat on the men’s side with a recent PR of 80.09m/269-9.
Dusty Jonas, currently 4th on the world lists, highlights the men’s high jump field.