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 4x100 relay at the Beijing Games, has agreed to run in the inaugural "Great Manchester 150" on a specially built tartan track in the city center on 17 May.
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 15-23 August.
"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 10-kilometer 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.
He said some top British sprinters and other overseas athletes are expected to run in the 150 race.