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Track meet looking to lure Bolt to T.O.

Negotiations are underway to have Olympic superstar Usain Bolt run in Toronto this summer.

Negotiations are underway to have Olympic superstar Usain Bolt run in Toronto this summer.

Organizers of a proposed international track and field meet in Toronto for June 10 are negotiating with Bolt’s agent to have the Jamaican phenom headline the event. It’s believed that Bolt, who rocked Beijing with three world record-breaking performances, would command an appearance fee of some $250,000 to run at the University of Toronto’s Varsity Centre.

A spokesperson for the University of Toronto confirmed discussions have taken place, but declined further comment.

The driving force behind the event is John Carson, an energetic track enthusiast who runs the “Classic Mile” in Cambridge, Ont., where for the past five summers a new Mercedes Benz has been available to any runner who can break the four-minute barrier.

It’s believed meet organizers will try to attract such top Canadian athletes as Olympic bronze medalist hurdler Priscilla Lopes-Schliep of Whitby, shot putter Dylan Armstrong and 800-metre runner Gary Reed, both fourth-place finishers in Beijing, and former world champion hurdler Perdita Felicien, who missed the Games due to injury.

The former Varsity Stadium underwent an overhaul in recent years and has a 5,000-seat capacity — which could likely be expanded with makeshift stands.

 
 
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