Usain Bolt left Lakeside as he arrived… a winner, with his All-Stars taking a narrow victory over Team Australia on the opening night of the inaugural Coles Nitro Athletics series at Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne on Saturday night.
Bolt All-Stars collected 1080 points on the night alead of Australia 1050, China 845, Japan 810, New Zealand 795 and England 795.
The action on the track went by in a flash, just like 100m/200m record holder who stormed down the back straight in the final event (Mixed 4x100m relay) to help his side edge the well-supported locals to finish the night on top of the ladder.
Bolt’s team, which included lead off man Asafa Powell, along with Americans Jenna Prandini and Jeneba Tarmoh, won in 40.64 ahead of Japan 42.36.
Not even a second-placed finish in that relay for Australia, who earned double points with their power play, could prevent an inevitable All-Stars win that sent the 7039 fans who came to watch the King into a frenzy.
The sight of former world record holder Asafa Powell lining up for a relay leg against four women highlighted precisely what Nitro Athletics is all about and by the crowd’s reaction it did not disappoint.
“Yeah it was a lot of fun,” Bolt said after his relay win.
“I was excited to run, and next week we might change it up just for the fun of it.
Powell topped the men’s 60m in 6.62 while his Bolt’s All-Star teammate and American Jenna Prandini won the women’s 150m team in 16.99.
The mixed 2x300m relay Bolt All Star team of Jamaican Christine Day and Kerron Clement ran 71.76 for second behind Australia 71.32.
Michael Frater, also of Bolt’s team, ran 15.89 for 4th in the men’s 150m, wony bt New Zealand’s Joseph Millar in 15.29.
Camille Bascomb and Elijah Kipchirchir of Bolt’s team topped the mixed 2x100m.
The new concept on track and field had fans of sport lining up for entry at the gates in Albert Park ready for a night of athletics that many could barely imagine what was about to unfold.
Fans and youngsters lined the front straight as athletes started their warm up in the afternoon sun while signing autographs and taking selfies before the action started on the track.
“For me, this is what I expected and over time we’ll figure out ways to make it better but it’s started off good and we’ll be looking forward to the weekend even better,” added Bolt.