Securing Bolt’s attendance cost a whopping 2 million kronor ($310,000) and took several days of negotiations for DN-Galan’s competition director Rajne Söderberg.
The deal was finally secured after an off-colour Bolt performed unsatisfactorily in a Paris race, and decided to participate in the Stockholm competition.
“Of course I’m pleased. There aren’t too many places where he’s competed two years in a row,” said Söderberg to the newspaper Aftonbladet.
Bolt ran in the 100 metre race at last year’s DN-Galan, and came second after American sprinter Tyson Gay – a minor shock to the athletics world. This year Bolt will be running in the 200 meter race, a distance in which the sprinter is virtually unmatched.
Rajne Söderberg thinks part of the reason for Bolt’s attendance is a chance for revenge.
“He’s never won an individual race at Stockholm’s Stadion. One of his motives for coming will be to show that he can win there too,” he said.
While getting Bolt to the competition has not come cheap, Söderberg is confident that the cool two million was money well spent.
“He was worth it last year, and I think he’ll be worth it this year too. That’s what I hope, at least. And the money he cost was already earmarked in the budget.”