Yorkshire athletes to take part in first Nitro event

Pole vaulter Adam Hague.
Pole vaulter Adam Hague.
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Usain Bolt is at the heart of a radical concept to revolutionise athletics as the first Nitro event takes place in Melbourne this weekend.

The Jamaican sprinter has assembled an All-Star squad to trial a range of new disciplines and traditional events.

Bolt’s all-star team will compete against a 22-athlete squad from England as well as hosts Australia and squads from China, Japan, New Zealand in the inaugural event.

There are 12 events based on power, endurance, technique and teamwork, new races such as a mixed 2x300m relay, a three-minute distance race and an elimination mile.

Additional elements have been added to spice up field events with long jump incorporating a bonus point system, javelin adding targets and combined-height pole vault.

“This will be track and field as it’s never been seen before,” said Bolt, who lost one of his Olympic gold medals last week after Jamiacan team-mate Nesta Carter failed a drugs test.

New IAAF president Lord Sebastian Coe added: “Athletics, in its traditional form, remains the cornerstone of the Olympic Games.

“However, we need innovation and more opportunities for our athletes to interact with fans and show their personalities.”

Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu will captain the England squad, which contains a strong contingent of Yorkshire athletes.

Sheffield and Dearne athletics club members Adam Hague, Joe Dunderdale, Karla Drew and Abigail Roberts feature alongside Pudsey and Bramley training partners Alexandra Bell and Charlene Thomas.

Bell, who will compete in the 600m medley relay, said: “I’m really excited to be part of team England in the first ever Nitro Athletics competition.

“It’s bringing a fresh outlook on athletics and I can’t wait to compete in events which wouldn’t usually be available on the normal athletic circuit.

“Men and women competing alongside each other and having sprinters and distance athletes within the same race is going to be pretty special.

“I’m looking forward to enjoying myself out there and being amongst some of the best athletes in the world.”