Golden Gala, parade of stars in Florence

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Golden Gala, program

Another Olympic champion to enrich the already stellar cast of the Pietro Mennea Golden Gala, when there is only one week left until the eagerly awaited event on Friday, June 2, in Florence. In the Italian leg of the Wanda Diamond League, Ethiopian Selemon Barega, gold medalist at the Tokyo Games over the 10,000 distance and reigning world champion in the indoor 3000 with the title won in Belgrade last year, will take to the track in the 5000 meters. At only 23 years of age, the African star boasts an outstanding resume in which silver medals won at the 2019 World Championships in Doha in the 5,000 meters and previously in the 3,000 at the 2018 World Indoor Championships in Birmingham also shine. It will be the third participation in the Golden Gala for Barega, who at the Rome Olympics placed second in 2019 and then fourth in the last edition in 2022 on the 5,000 meters, a specialty in which he has a personal best of 12:43.02 (fifth all-time in the world) set in 2018 in Brussels that is still the under-20 world record. Sensational challenge looms with Olympic champion and world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda), Olympic silver medalist Mohammed Ahmed (Canada) and world silver medalist Jacob Krop (Kenya), renounced instead by bronze medalist Oscar Chelimo (Uganda).

A major player is also added in the women’s long race. It is that of Tara Davis, an American who has already landed above seven meters on several occasions this year, jumping 7.07 regular (+1.9) on May 5 in Fayetteville but also 7.11 with wind just over the allowable (+2.1) on May 21 in Devonshire, Bermuda Island. The 24-year-old American reached a career high of 7.14 in the 2021 season that saw her place sixth in the Tokyo Olympic final and is married to Paralympic athlete Hunter Woodhall. On an evening of unforgettable excitement at Ridolfi Stadium, all is set for a real preview of the upcoming World Championships in August in Budapest with German Olympian and rainbow champion Malaika Mihambo, Nigeria’s runner-up Ese Brume Serbian world indoor and European outdoor gold medalist Ivana Vuleta, British European indoor champion Jazmin Sawyers and home idol Larissa Iapichino, European indoor silver medalist, fresh off her outdoor personal best with 6.83 upwind (-1.8) on Wednesday in Kallithea, Greece.

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