The second instalment of the Nitro Athletics Series ended in farce in Melbourne on Thursday, with a referee error that initially awarded the Australia team top ranking for the night by mistake, leaving headline athlete Usain Bolt fuming.
[alpine-phototile-for-smugmug src=”user_keyword” uid=”insideathletics” keyword=”Usain Bolt” imgl=”link” curl=”http://insideathletics.smugmug.com/search/?n=insideathletics&scope=node&scopeValue=0&c=photos&q=usain+bolt” dl=”1″ dltext=”Expand” style=”wall” row=”3″ num=”9″ size=”XL” highlight=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]
Jack Hale to run the back straight in the 4x100m to possibly line up against Usain Bolt, with Fabrice Lapierre and Michelle Jenneke also coming into the team.
A chance Hale will go head-to head with Asafa Powell in the 100m. Sprinting conditions are looking good, and Powell would be looking for a sub-10 second clocking if he lines up.
And some changes to the Aussie line up, with Ryan Gregson running the Elimination Mile, Alex Hartmann lining up in the 4x400m and with Genevieve LaCaze being rested, Linden Hall running the 3 minute challenge and Heidi See running the Elimination Mile.
[alpine-phototile-for-smugmug src=”user_keyword” uid=”insideathletics” keyword=”Jack Hale” imgl=”link” curl=”http://insideathletics.smugmug.com/search/?n=insideathletics&scope=node&scopeValue=0&c=photos&q=jack+hale” dl=”1″ dltext=”Expand” style=”wall” row=”3″ num=”9″ size=”XL” highlight=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″ nocredit=”1″]
The Australian junior 100m record holder is in awe of Bolt, and is focusing on the 2018 Commonwealth Games over this year’s World Championships.
Carter ran the opening leg of the 4x100m relay in Beijing, but tested positive for methylhexamine when his doping sample was re-analysed.
Four Australians – Nina Kennedy, Naa Anang, Brittany McGowan and Matthew Ramsden – form part of the line up.
After a frantic few months where AA hired a team of consultants to try to find the cash to lure Bolt — he comes with a $1 million-plus price tag — a deal was finally signed off on the night before Friday’s official launch.
Nitro Athletics will not just feature traditional events – and will include a mix of power, endurance, technique and teamwork disciplines across sprints, distance, field and para-athletics events. Mixed events and relays will also feature in the Nitro program as team’s battle for points and the Nitro Athletics Melbourne crown.
Night one and the final of Nitro Athletics Melbourne will feature the same program with the Thursday night program offering a selection of alternative events.
Athletics Australia are scrambling to pull together the new Nitro series in time but securing Usain Bolt is the first and most important signing.