- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND (AP) - Triple Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt will compete in a 150 meter street race in Manchester as part of his buildup to the European outdoor season and world championships.

The Jamaican sprinter, who won gold in the 100 and 200 meters and 400 relay in Beijing, has agreed to run in the inaugural “Great Manchester 150” on a specially built tartan track in the city center on May 17.

It will be Bolt’s first appearance in Europe this year ahead of Grand Prix races in June and July and the world championships in Berlin from Aug. 15-23.

“I am very excited to compete for my first time in Manchester, my first time in a 150-meter race and my first time in a street race outside the stadium,” Bolt said in a statement issued by organizers Wednesday. “When I heard about the idea, I thought it would be great fun and something new and exciting.”

Bolt said he also plans to watch his favorite team, Manchester United, play at Old Trafford.

His appearance will come on the same day that Ethiopian distance great Haile Gebrselassie will seek to defend his title in the Great Manchester Run.

“Having the two fastest men on the planet competing on the streets of Manchester on the same day is an incredibly exciting prospect,” organizer David Hart said.

Hart said some top British sprinters and other overseas athletes are expected to run in the 150 race.

(This version CORRECTS to 400 relay)

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