If Don Bradman was alive and playing at the MCG this weekend, sports fans from around the nation would descend on Melbourne to watch the greatest of all time in action.
That’s the opportunity for sports fans when the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, arrives in Melbourne next February for the world premiere of Nitro Athletics, according to former 400m champion John Steffensen.
“Imagine if I said to you, that you had the opportunity to see Don Bradman actually play a game of cricket today this is what you have in Usain Bolt if you come and watch Nitro in February,” Steffensen said.
Bolt will compete in Australia for the first time and captain the ‘Bolt All-Stars’ in Nitro Athletics at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium on Saturday 4th and Thursday 9th, with a final on Saturday 11th February 2017.
Tickets for Nitro Athletics Melbourne are now on sale at www.nitroathletics.com.au
“Nitro Athletics will see the stars of Australian and international athletics compete across three nights in a format that will present athletics in a completely new way,” Steffensen said.
Nitro Athletics Melbourne will feature six teams of 24 athletes (12 women and 12 men). Teams will come from Australia, an international team representing the Bolt All-Stars, China, England, Japan, and New Zealand.
Athletics Australia this week announced a 42-member Australia squad including Rio 2016 Olympians Michelle Jenneke (NSW), Kurtis Marschall (SA), Ryan Gregson (Vic), Genevieve LaCaze (Vic), Cedric Dubler (Qld) and Kelsey-Lee Roberts (ACT) along with Liz Parnov (WA), Jessica Peris (NT) and Jack Hale (TAS).
Bolt, the nine-time Olympic gold medallist and 100m and 200m world record holder has described Nitro Athletics as the concept desperately needed to take athletics into the future.
“This will be track and field as it’s never been seen before and that’s why I’m involved, not only as a competitor, but also as a team captain,” Bolt said.
“Nitro Athletics is what track and field needs - a fresh way to present the sport and I can’t wait to be back in Melbourne to share Nitro Athletics with the fans in February.”
Team Australia selector and former 800m star Tamsyn Lewis-Manou said the Australia squad is full of entertainers who will put on a show alongside Usain Bolt.
“It’s not the conventional style of athletics so we had to think outside the box a little bit,” Lewis-Manou said.
“Not only would they be great athletes but they’d be highly entertaining to watch as well.
One athlete expected to make the final team of 24 is Olympic long jump finalist Brooke Stratton who will likely compete in her favoured event that has been modified for the Nitro Athletics meet.
“It is something different, a fresh concept of athletics in Australia,” Stratton said.
“I’m extremely excited for it, it’s not often you get to compete in a team based event as well, so I think it will be awesome.
“Having it on television will be great, hopefully a lot of people get along and get involved.”
General Admission tickets start at $24 while adult tickets will sell from just $35, ideal for large groups attending Nitro Athletics with their teammates from athletics, sports and social clubs.
A family ticket for two adults and two children is available for under $100 and for those wanting a five-star experience, VIP package tickets are also available, including the opportunity to meet a number of competing athletes.
Nitro Athletics Melbourne is supported by the Victorian Government and will be broadcast live Channel 7, 7mate and PLUS7 Live app.
Fans can engage with Nitro Athletics via the event’s social channels:
Twitter: @Nitro_Aths | Facebook: NitroAthletics | Instagram: Nitro_Aths