Athletics, but not as you know it at Nitro Athletics Melbourne

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 13: Henry Frayne of Australia competes in the Men's Long Jump final on Day 8 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

It’s been described as the new sports and entertainment series set to revolutionise track and field. A high energy, team‐based competition that will see a new spin on traditional athletics presentation.

Traditional and odd‐distance events, races against the clock, hurdle and 2x300m relays and Nitro power plays are all part of the program for the three night show as each team strives to take out the Nitro Athletics Melbourne crown.

Nitro Athletics Melbourne event and competitions director Glenn Turnor says the aim of Nitro Athletics is to promote athletics in a different format.

“This will be a different spin on traditional athletics and will include a mix of power, endurance, technique and teamwork disciplines across sprints, distance, field and para‐athletics events,” Turnor said.

“What we’ve tried to do is keep the authentic‐ness of each of the disciplines, but focus more on the point scoring and the team element.”

“There have been countless iterations of team competitions, both in Australia and around the world, but this predominantly focusses on what all of the 24 athletes will do as part of the team.”

“We wanted to showcase the talent of a jumper, a sprinter, a middle distance runner and a thrower and present it much faster, with results much quicker and build the athletes’ personalities around the events in which they are participating,” Turnor added.

The Nitro Athletics Melbourne event list and descriptions are listed below, with the hallmarks of Nitro Athletics Melbourne including:

Teams: Six international teams ‐ Australia, Bolt All Stars, China, England, Japan and one more to be announced. Each of the Nitro Athletics teams will have a captain and be made up of 24 athletes (12 women and 12 men). Athletes sit as a team in the team bunker on the infield when not competing.

Events: Twelve events each night based on the athletics principles of power, endurance, technique and teamwork.

Point score: Team performance rather than individual performance is rewarded, with some events featuring individual results, but many focused on combined placings and performances to reach the final event score. Points will range from 100pts for 1st to 40pts for 6th place in each event.

HOWEVER! Nitro Athletics won’t simply be about highest, fastest or strongest.

Strategy and Tactics: Each team will have the opportunity to level the playing field by using a ‘Nitro Power Play’, which will be drawn by random lot by each team captain at an event prior to the first meeting.

  • Nitro Power Play: Double points for one selected event per team. These selections will be made in advance and drawn by lot – team by team.
  • Nitro Turbo Charge: Applying only in the long jump ‐ nominating one jump where the athlete will attempt to clear a declared distance i.e. 8m for men / 6.60m for women. The Turbo Charge is declared on the run way before a jump.

False Starts: Point penalties apply – 50pts first false start / 100pts second false start.

The world’s greatest athlete, Usain Bolt, will compete and captain the ‘Bolt All‐Stars’ with further athlete announcements to be made in the coming weeks. The Australian squad will be announced in early December with a final team set to be announced in early January.

Nitro Athletics Melbourne will be staged on Saturday 4th and Thursday 9th, with a final on Saturday 11th February. 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 from the event listing below.

Nitro Athletics Melbourne is supported by the Victorian Government and will be broadcast live Channel 7, 7mate and PLUS7 Live app.