By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Jamaican world record holder Usain Bolt will participate in this year’s Mano a Mano race in Rio de Janeiro’s Jockey Club on Sunday, April 19th. It will be the third time the 100m specialist competes in the city, after having won the two previous annual challenges that are open to the public taking place at Copacabana beach.
The Jamaican athlete will compete in a 100m race against three opponents, who are still to be named. The Brazilian contender who gets to run against Bolt, will be determined in a race on April 18th, at the Jockey Club as well.
The race track will be mounted in front of the Jockey Club’s stands that are usually used for the horse races’ spectators. Apart from the main race with Bolt, there will also be women’s races and paralympic competitions.
“We always think about innovations, to offer an event that pleases the athletes and the public. After two fantastic years in Copacabana, we are now bringing Mano a Mano to the Jockey Club, which already has a great infrastructure for large-sized event as this,” Bernardo Fonseca, partner at organizing company X3M Sports Business told the press.
The event is also another opportunity to get the public into the Olympic spirit. “Realizing big events in Rio de Janeiro is a privilege. It’s a city that breathes sports, with a unique natural beauty, all this makes the city receive more and more events of this size. Next year we will have the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and this is another opportunity for the Cariocas to be close to a world athletics icon [such as] Usain Bolt,” Duda Magalhães, general director of Dream Factory, explained.
The Mano a Mano competition this year is the third event organized by Dream Factory and X3M Sports Business. The two previous races were both won by Bolt in 2013 and 2014. The event is free of charge and starts on both days, Saturday, April 18th and Sunday April 19th at 9AM.