The past, the present and the future will be bundled together tomorrow in the Olympic Stadium.
A full house of 60,000 – it took under an hour for the event to sell out – will want to catch some of last summer’s golden glow, while on the track the serious business of a Diamond League meeting will unfold even if for a portion of the athletes a wary eye will be kept on the target of next month’s World Championships in Moscow.
The audience will have to wait to the last event of the night, at 9.48pm, for the main attraction but two hours before Usain Bolt sets foot on the track the first of the 11 Olympic champions who will compete in the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games will open proceedings. Jennifer Suhr, a grocer’s daughter from New York, replaced Yelena Isinbayeva as the world’s best female pole vaulter with Olympic gold last year. The appropriately named Cuban runner-up in 2012, Yarisley Silva, also jumps but there is no Holly Bleasdale, one of a number of injured absentees from a list that includes the long-jump gold medallist Greg Rutherford.
The other major attraction of opening night is Kirani James, the dazzling Grenadian, who by the time he left his teens behind last September was already a world and Olympic champion in the 400m. British interest tonight, besides James Dasaolu, will focus on Perri Shakes-Drayton in the 400m hurdles.
Despite injury concerns, Jessica Ennis-Hill will compete tomorrow.
Friday evening’s schedule
6.55pm Women’s pole vault
7pm Men’s discus
7.52pm Men’s 100m B (including Adam Gemili)
8.04pm Women’s 400m hurdles (Perri Shakes-Drayton)
8.09pm Men’s high jump 8.15pm Women’s 3,000m (Stephanie Twell, Emilia Gorecka)
8.31pm Women’s triple jump
8.36pm Women’s 1500m
8.46pm Men’s 200m
8.56pm Women’s 800m
9.08pm Women’s 4x100m relay
9.21pm Men’s 400m
9.33pm Men’s 800m
9.48pm Men’s 100m A (Usain Bolt, James Dasaolu, Dwain Chambers)