Usain Bolt and 3 Athletes to Watch at Rome Diamond League

Michael Jewett@@JewettMikeContributor IIMay 31, 2012

DAEGU, SOUTH KOREA - SEPTEMBER 04:  Usain Bolt of Jamaica sprints to victory and a new world record in the men's 4x100 metres relay final during day nine of 13th IAAF World Athletics Championships at Daegu Stadium on September 4, 2011 in Daegu, South Korea.  (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

On the road to this summer's Olympics, the world's greatest track and field stars will meet this afternoon for the Samsung Diamond League event in Rome at 12:45 p.m. ET. 

Usain Bolt and many other world Champions will converge in Rome to prepare for the London Olympics and give viewers a preview what they can expect to see. Bolt is looking to come back from a disappointing run in Ostrava where he finished a race outside of 10 seconds for the first time in three years.

Bolt is looking to turn it around in Rome and focus on what he needs to do to run his best. Rome will be the first event Bolt competes in on the Diamond League Schedule on his road to the Olympics later this summer, and he will compete against many of the same competition he will see in London.

Asafa Powell, fellow Jamaican runner, previous 100m world record holder and 2011 Samsung Diamond League Champion will join Bolt on the track to run for the gold and show Bolt can be beaten. Powell is determined to outrun Bolt after a previous battle resulted in Bolt winning by .07 seconds, even after a sluggish start put him in a less than ideal situation.

Powell and Bolt have been competing with each other since Usain broke Powell's previous world record in the 100m event. Powell holds onto his 2011 Samsung Diamond League championship with pride for his consistent races.

This year will be the ninth occasion Asafa Powell will compete in the Diamond League.

Ezekiel Kemboi, the 2004 Summer Olympic gold medalist in the 3000m steeplechase event, will meet with Paul Koech as they continue their intense rivalry. Koech held the better record last year in the 2011 Samsung Diamond League, but it was Kemboi who won gold at the World Championships to maintain his championship crown.

These racers have been in competing since 2004 when Kemboi won the Olympics. While Koech has been more successful in the Diamond League, winning more races and titles than Kemboi, Kemboi has been the dominant one in the World Championships, winning this past year to hold onto the title.

All events in this Diamond League will feature tough competition as racers give it their all on the way to London and the biggest stage of them all.