Four time Olympic medallist and multiple 400m world champion Christine Ohuruogu is set to lead a determined and versatile English Nitro Athletics team when Nitro Athletics Melbourne kicks off in February 2017.
With less than 50 days remaining until the first night of competition, England Athletics have announced the majority of their squad that will be heading to Melbourne for Nitro Athletics, with 2008 Olympic 400m champion Ohuruogu captaining the team for the groundbreaking series.
Set to take on Usain Bolt’s Bolt All-Stars as well as teams from Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand, the also includes three time Olympian Michael Rimmer and Commonwealth Games 200m bronze medallist Bianca Williams alongside some of the rising stars of athletics in England.
Ohuruogu, who famously won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, is just the latest track and field superstar to sign on to compete at the inaugural Nitro Athletics, with the news that Asafa Powell (JAM), Michael Frater (JAM) and Dawn Harper-Nelson (USA) will be joining the Bolt All-Stars in Melbourne next February.
Nitro Athletics focuses on providing the most challenging and engaging fusion of discipline, technique and teamwork by adding a Nitro spark to traditional athletic events. Athletes will be forced to apply tactics and strategy in sprint, distance, field and para-athletic events.
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.
The series takes place on Saturday 4th, Thursday 9th and Saturday 11th February 2017 and the English team are ready to go all out in order to be crowned champion of the series.
“I am delighted England Athletics have accepted the invitation to take part in the inaugural Nitro athletics series in Australia,” said Tony Hadley, Head Coach of the England team.
“It’s a new way to stage athletics and the competition promises to be of a very high standard. We are delighted to announce a very strong team to represent England with a nice mixture of youth and experience. It is a great opportunity for the athletes to gain valuable experience of some of the challenges that the Commonwealth Games will hold in Australia in 2018.”
The England team* is:
Theo Campbell (Birchfield H, James Hillier)
Luke Cutts (Sheffield & Dearne, Trevor Fox)
Joe Dunderdale (Sheffield & Dearne)
Scott Hall (Gateshead, Sam Stanislaus)
Confidence Lawson (Shaftesbury Barnet, Clarence Callender)
Gabriel Odujobi (Sale Harriers Manchester, Tony Jarrett)
Michael Rimmer (Liverpool Pembroke, John Bigg)
Kieran Showler-Davis (Basingstoke & Mid Hants, John Davis)
Jamie Webb (Liverpool H, Rob Denmark/ Adrian Webb)
Richard Weir (Derby, Spencer Duval)
Rabah Yousif (Newham & Essex Beagles, Carol Williams)
Margaret Adeoye (Enfield & Haringey, Linford Christie)
Alex Bell (Pudsey & Bramley, Aaron Thomas)
Jo Blair (Luton/ Rugby & Northampton, David Burrell)
Karla Drew (Sheffield & Dearne, Antonio Minichiello)
Mary Elcock (Oldham & Royton, Karen Williams)
Alison Leonard (Blackburn, Bud Baldaro)
Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex Beagles, Lloyd Cowan)
Abigail Roberts (Sheffield & Dearne, Trevor Fox)
Charlene Thomas (Wakefield, Aaron Thomas)
Bianca Williams (Enfield & Haringey, Lloyd Cowan)
Hannah Williams (Herts Phoenix, Colin Gaynor)
Further world-class additions will be made to the Bolt All-Stars team while the Australian team are keeping their cards close to their chest with a current squad of 42 athletes which will be trimmed back to a team of 24 in the New Year.
*An additional selection is to be made.