BERLIN - Usain Bolt has the class to make history as the Jamaican sprint superstar leads the field of more than 2000 athletes for the 12th world athletics championships.
The global athletics event starts tomorrow and ends on August 23 in Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
After limping out in the Olympic semis, Tyson Gay is ready to take on Bolt in a hyped 100m showdown that is expected to be the highlight of the worlds, on the second day of competition, Sunday.
"His (Bolt's) duel with Tyson Gay is certain to rewrite the history books of our sport," Lamine Diack, the head of the ruling IAAF, told the German Press Agency DPA.
Three-time defending world champion Gay leads the 100m world list with 9,77 sec and 19,58 over 200m, with Bolt on 9,79 and 19,59 for the year.
Bolt has been the star of the sport since his astonishing three world record runs for Olympic gold in Beijing last year. Success in Berlin will further enhance his status.
But there is more to the worlds than Bolt and Gay, with 2101 athletes from 202 countries entered for the biggest sports event of the year. Stars include Russian pole-vault icon Yelena Isinbayeva, Ethiopian distance runners Kenenisa Bekele and Tirunesh Dibaba, as well as US 400m aces LaShawn Merritt, Jeremy Wariner and Sanya Richards.
German veteran discus thrower Franka Dietzsch and Portuguese walker Susana Feitor are listed for a record 10th participation at the worlds.
Hosts Germany aim to rebound from their Olympic disaster - with just one bronze in athletics - and aim to be as successful as at the 2007 worlds (two golds, seven medals overall) or the first worlds in Stuttgart in 1993 (two golds, eight medals). - Sapa-DPA