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SBD Global/April 18, 2013/Events and Attractions

Usain Bolt Given $762,000 To Headline 'Stellar Cast' At London's Anniversary Games

Anniversary Games organizers are paying top dollar to attract stars like Jessica Ennis.
Sprinter Usain Bolt will net £500,000 ($762,000) "for less than 20 seconds’ work" when he returns to the Olympic Stadium to compete in the Anniversary Games in July, according to Rick Broadbent of the LONDON TIMES. Bolt "has been confirmed as the star turn" at the Anniversary Games on July 26-28. He will run in the 100m dash on the Friday night "before a showboating shuffle" in the 4x100m relay on Saturday. Bolt has snubbed Britain in recent years, "because of punitive laws that would have taxed him on his global income." However, the laws "have been changed and he is free for a massive windfall." It means "he will be getting around five times more" than British stars like Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis. His standard fee is $300,000 a run. Organizers "have pulled out all the stops, and the chequebook, to guarantee a stellar cast containing 29 Olympic medal-winners, 12 world champions and four world record holders" (LONDON TIMES, 4/17).

STAR-STUDDED CAST: In London, Owen Gibson reported government officials agreed "to a one-off exeption" allowing Bolt and other int'l athletes appearing at the event to avoid tax rules. Other overseas star names include 100m hurdles Olympic champion Sally Pearson, sprinter Carmelita Jeter and men's 400m champion Kirani James. The women's 400m Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross "will renew her rivalry" with Christine Ohuruogu, who she beat into second place at the London Games. UK Athletics "has signed up all five British track and field medallists," including Farah, Ennis and Greg Rutherford, for the London Grand Prix. Fourteen of Great Britain's 16 Paralympic medalists "have also signed up," with the notable exceptions of David Weir and Hannah Cockroft (GUARDIAN, 4/17).
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