You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Bolt to star in Nitro Series athletics

AAP logoAAP 4/11/2016 John Salvado

Captain. Coach. Competitor. Chief spruiker. Maybe even long jumper.

There's not much that nine-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt won't be doing when the revolutionary Nitro Athletics series begins in Melbourne.

The Jamaican super-sprinter was officially unveiled on Friday as the star of the new Big Bash League-style teams event to be held at Lakeside Stadium on February 4,9 and 11.

The greatest athlete in track and field history is looking forward to being the captain-coach of one of the six teams, each including 12 men and 12 women.

The finer details of the program are still being nutted out.

It will include events including the 100m, 200m and long jump alongside other non-traditional disciplines such as a hurdles relay and a middle-distance relay.

"For me this is the right move forward for our sport," Bolt said.

"I'm very excited about the whole concept of having a team.

"With track and field, it's an individual sport.

"But here we can work together and every event will count.

"I'm going to be the coach and I'm that sort of person who's very competitive."

So competitive, in fact, he didn't categorically rule out having a crack at the long jump if required.

Athletics Australia board member and 2006 Commonwealth 400m champion John Steffensen played a key role in negotiations between AA and Bolt.

He said the teams event shaped as a game-changer for a sport seeking mainstream traction.

"Every show needs a headline act and the headline act of Nitro Athletics Melbourne is the biggest name in all of sport - Usain Bolt," Steffensen said.

"Nitro Athletics Melbourne will attract global attention in the 210-plus countries that participate in athletics and where Usain Bolt is a megastar."

Nine-time Olympic champion Bolt - who won a historic third 100m, 200m and 4x100m golden treble in Rio - is set to pick up $1 million as the face of the series, which will be broadcast on the Seven Network.

Other big names to fill the six Australian and international teams will be announced in the coming weeks.

Bolt has committed to remaining in the sport until the world championships in London in August.

The Nitro series will mark the first time he's raced on Australian soil, although he hasn't completely closed the door on extending his career until the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon