Bolt ready to steal the show in Paris

Six-time Olympic champ headlines the MEETING AREVA for the French stage of the Diamond League series as Perri Shakes-Drayton and Greg Rutherford among Brits in action

Usain Bolt (Jean-Pierre Durand)

Usain Bolt heads to the Stade de France on Saturday evening in search of a top-class race to find out where he’s at ahead of the IAAF World Championships in Moscow later this summer.

The six-time Olympic champion is to contest the 200m in Paris, having set a meeting record of 19.79 over the same distance at the Oslo leg of the Diamond League series in June following his 100m defeat in Rome.

He goes up against a field including fellow Jamaicans Nickel Ashmeade, Warren Weir and Jason Young, while local French favourites Christophe Lemaitre and Jimmy Vicaut are also in action, and Bolt is sure to have American rival Tyson Gay’s recent performances, including a 9.79 clocking at the last Diamond League leg of the series in Lausanne on Thursday, in mind.

Organisers are billing the event as being particularly strong for female athletes too, with stars such as shot putter Valerie Adams, sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and high jumper Blanka Vlasic all in action.

World and Olympic champion Adams bettered her own world-leading mark to 20.88m on her final throw at the Ostrava Golden Spike meet and the end of last month and will be looking for more of the same in Paris.

Fresh from her dominance over 200m in Birmingham last weekend and then the long jump in Lausanne, Nigerian Blessing Okagbare is in action and will again face the likes of two-time Olympic 100m champion Fraser-Pryce, who she pipped into second the last time they met, but this time they will race over the shorter sprint.

Croatia’s two-time world champion Vlasic will be looking to return to her winning ways as she takes on a field including Russia’s Olympic and world champion Anna Chicherova.

British interest in Paris includes Perri Shakes-Drayton in the 400m hurdles, Greg Rutherford and Chris Tomlinson in the long jump and Marilyn Okoro in the 800m.

» This is just a selection of some of the action on offer in Paris. You can find a timetable and startlists here.

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