World Champions Ezekiel Kemboi, Caterine Ibarguen and Christina Schwanitz are among the latest stars confirmed for the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Rome on 2 June, organisers of the Golden Gala Pietro Mennea announced on Tuesday (17).
Of the athletes set to compete in the Italian capital next month, 12 earned medals at the 2012 Olympics, 32 won medals at the IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 and 19 made it on to the podium at the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016.
Kemboi will face his compatriot Conseslus Kipruto, Brimin Kipruto and 2015 Diamond Race winner Jairus Birech, the top four finishers in Beijing last August.
Ibarguen and Schwanitz are just two of six female world champions from Beijing announced on Tuesday, the others being Czech Republic’s 400m hurdler Zuzana Hejnova, German javelin thrower Katharina Molitor – who will be challenged by two-time Olympic champion and world record-holder Barbora Spotakova from Czech Republic – 800m gold medallist Maryna Arzamasava from Belarus and Ethiopia’s 5000m champion Almaz Ayana, who will contest the 3000m.
The men’s discus sees Germany’s Olympic champion Robert Harting again face his regualr rival, Poland’s world champion Piotr Malachowski.
In the men’s high jump field, the presence of local star and world indoor champion Gianmarco Tamberi has already been announced but his opponents will include 2013 world champion Bogdan Bondarenko and Great Britain’s world indoor silver medallist Robbie Grabarz.
Like Tamberi, world 400m champion Wayde van Niekerk has already been announced but the South African now knows his rivals will include Dominican Republic’s Olympic silver medallist Luguelin Santos and the man he succeeded as the African record-holder, Isaac Makwala from Botswana.