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Usain Bolt to face Asafa Powell in Rome Diamond League

Diamond League 2011
Fourteen meetings around the world from 6 May to 16 September
Watch every event live on the BBC website (UK only)

Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt
Powell and Bolt have a keen rivalry over 100 and 200m

Usain Bolt will take on compatriot Asafa Powell over 100m for the first time this season in the Diamond League meeting in Rome on 26 May.

The triple Olympic champion had already said he would make his seasonal debut in Italy after struggling with an Achilles tendon injury last year.

But the addition of Powell has added extra spice to the event.

Since Powell set a world record of 9.74 seconds in Italy in 2007, Bolt has broken the mark three times.

His last time of 9.58 was at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin.

Bolt's main focus for 2011 will be defending his 100m and 200m world titles in Daegu, South Korea from 27 August to 4 September. He will be using the Diamond League races as a key part of his build-up and will run in the 200m at the Bislett Games in Oslo on 9 June.

Michael Johnson explains Bolt's speed

The world and Olympic record holder over both sprint distances had a forgettable 2010, suffering a rare defeat to fierce rival Tyson Gay in Stockholm in August.

Bolt conceded he was not fit and was struggling with back pain in addition to his Achilles tendon problem.

But he says he is fully recovered and training has been going well.

The first of 14 Diamond League events takes place in Doha, Qatar, on 6 May with Birmingham and London hosting legs on 10 July and 5-6 August respectively.

But Bolt is unlikely to compete in Britain because to do so could attract a tax bill that outweighs his earnings for an appearance.

see also
Bolt to run 100m at Monaco meet
03 Mar 11 |  Athletics
Bolt 'could reach peak in 2012'
16 Dec 10 |  Athletics
Sprinter Bolt returns to fitness
26 Oct 10 |  Athletics
Latest News Usain Bolt
03 Feb 12 |  World Olympic Dreams
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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