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Speed machine Bolt to make 'grand' debut

TRIPLE Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has signed a contract to run in the Shanghai Golden Grand Prix in September, the event's organizers announced yesterday.

It will be Bolt's first visit to Shanghai.

Another big name who has signed on is SHGGP frequent guest, world record-holding pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva.

The Russian still holds the outdoors record of 5.05 meters, which she set at last year's Beijing Olympic Games.

Bolt, 22, nicknamed "Lightning Bolt," continues to impress his legion of fans with his so-called "Gully Creepa" dance each time he wins.

He still holds the Olympic and world records for the 100 meters at 9.69 seconds, the 200 meters at 19.30 and the 4x100 meters relay at 37.10, along with his teammates, all set in Beijing.

He became the first man to set world records in three events at a single Olympics.

The Jamaican won the 100-meter title in 9.79 seconds in the IAAF Golden League's Paris Leg last Friday and is racing against compatriot Asafa Powell over the 100 meters at the London Grand Prix today.

His next goal will be the world championships in Berlin next month before coming to Shanghai in September.

"I don't have a world championship gold medal yet, so I'm working on that," Bolt told a press conference in London yesterday.

"A successful season would be to go to the world championships and repeat what I did in Beijing.

"I'm not sure I will be 100 percent in Berlin, but if I'm 95 percent I'll be in contention."

Shanghai-based champion 110-meter hurdler Liu Xiang yesterday participated in a promotional video for this year's SHGGP at his training base in Xinzhuang, Minhang District, in the company of coach Sun Haiping.

Liu, making a gradual comeback from an Achilles tendon injury, started training in spikes last week.

According to organizers, Liu will make the SHGGP his international debut following the injury if he is fit enough for the race.

Tickets sales for the SHGGP opened yesterday.

To attract more people to the final Golden Grand Prix in Shanghai, student tickets have been priced at a low 60 yuan (US$8.78), and are expected to account for 28 percent of the seats.

Other ticket prices range from 120 yuan to 1,380 yuan, officials said.

Fans who held on to their ticket stubs from past years' events will receive a 25 percent discount and those who buy tickets from the official Website,, will receive a 15 percent discount.

A family package has also been introduced.

The September 20 event in Shanghai is in the final year of a five-year agreement.

A new IAAF Diamond League with 15 meetings all around the world is scheduled to start next year, with Shanghai, naturally, at the ready.


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