Media team – (Print and audio) Jess Fagan, Trent Hile, Selma Kajan, Nick Bayliss, Jay Mathieson and David Tarbotton
Athletes arrived in hot-pink stretch Hummers, walked the red carpet and were given the full celebrity treatment as athletics met Hollywood for the 2010 Pirtek Athletics Allstars meet at the Sydney Olympic Park Athletics Centre on Wednesday night in front of a crowd of 4000.
Touted as athletics’ answer to Twenty20 cricket, the meet combined a night of Australian athletics with a state-of-the-art entertainment production – complete with
fireworks, big names and some enthralling competition.
The night belonged to Olympic and World Champion Usain Bolt, who arrived in a Rolls Royce to the tune of There Goes My Hero, sung by Eric Grothe snr and his son Eric jnr’s rock band, Three Day Grothe.
Bolt was unable to compete in a truly-run 100m due to a recent back injury, but still anchored his team to victory in the celebrity 4 x 100m relay.
The world record-holder gave funny-man Ryan “Frysie” Fitzgerald a decent head-start, but mowed him in with consummate ease in what appeared a mere jog.
Competitive Edge’s meet promoter Hayden Knowles was satisfied with his work.
``Our mission was to inspire and entertain and I know we ticketed both those boxes. Seeing kids and adults dancing in the crowd was evidence of this.’’
In the ultimate battle of the codes, it was rugby union flyer Lachie Turner who claimed bragging rights for the 15-man game, pipping league’s Jarryd Hayne and fellow Eastwood winger John Grant in the 100m Gatorade Bolt.
The race had been built as a two-man war between Hayne and Greg Inglis, but Turner had enough left over the final 20m to overpower the Parramatta superstar.
``I didn’t expect it,’’ Turner said after the race in which he was clocked at 11.10s.
``After about 60m, Jarryd was pulling ahead of me and Johnny was as well, so it was certainly nice to get over the line first. I almost killed myself doing it, but I’m very happy.’’
Turner echoed the praises of many of the athletes on the night, saying the event was a winner and had a future on the Australian sporting scene.
``I think it’s massive for athletics, it just goes to show how good things can be here and just how talented some of our athletes are,’’ he said.
``In terms of footy, it’s great for the exposure and it’s great that we can pit different sports against each other in a neutral environment. I think all the guys really enjoyed it so hopefully it’s something that stays around for another few years.’’
World champion discus thrower Dani Samuels (Westfields) claimed bragging rights over two big rivals ahead of the Commonwealth Games, producing 61.90m effort to beat Olympic champion Stephanie Brown Trafton (USA) and former world champion Beatrice Faumina (NZL).
Jamal Idris wound back the clock to his days as a World Youth Discus Champion with an enormous 63.84m after hitting the cage with his first two throws.
Five-time Commonwealth Games representative Tamsyn Lewis grabbed a confidence-boosting win ahead of Delhi team-mate Pirrenee Steinert Macquarie Hunter) before their Commonwealth campaign.
Sixteen-year-old sprinter Nicholas Hough (Hills) dazzled the crowd with a blistering 10.62 to take out the David Baxter Memorial men’s 100m. Another teenager, Steven Solomon Randwick Botany), 17, just missed his personal best clocking 47.11 to win the 400m, confirming his position as the eighth fastest junior in Australian history.
The women’s event honoured the former glamour girl of Australian athletics, Melinda Gainsford-Taylor.
The three-time Olympian was on hand to watch No. 5 ranked Australian Charlotte van Veenendaal (UTS Norths) claim an upset over national medallist Laura Whaler (Macquarie Hunter).
One of the stars of the night was Delhi-bound miler Jeremy Roff Randwick Botany), who produced an inspired sub-four minute mile to confirm his Commonwealth Games preparations are spot on target.
A stunning routine from Australia’s Got Talent winners Justice Crew had earlier kicked off the program in style. Bolt proved his moves are just as slick away from the track with a short cameo performance, much to the crowd’s delight.
Popular radio host and event supporter Alan Jones described Bolt as, ``the most charismatic sportsperson I’ve ever met.’’
A massive media contingent had converged on event, primarily to see Usain Bolt and the Gatorade Bolt Football race, but the spin off was our athletes were showcased too.
|Event 1 Mixed 4x100 metre Relay Little Aths|
|2||Port Hacking 'A'||55.16|
|3||Northern Suburbs 'A'||55.91|
|4||Bankstown Sports 'A'||56.16|
|5||Manly Waringah 'A'||56.49|
|Event 2 Mixed 4x100 metre Relay Celebrity|
|1||TEAM BOLT 'A'||55.50|
|2||TEAM NOVA 'A'||55.56|
|3||TEAM GAINSFORD-TAYLOR 'A'||56.19|
|4||TEAM BUETTNER 'A'||58.21|
|5||TEAM SHIRVINGTON 'A'||1:00.14|
|6||TEAM HADDIN 'A'||1:02.56|
|7||TEAM GREEN 'A'||1:04.46|
|8||TEAM TAYLOR 'A'||1:05.13|
|9||TEAM FITLER 'A'||1:13.79|
|Event 3 Men 400 metre|
|Event 4 Women 400 metre|
|Event 5 Women Discus Throw|
|3||Faumuina, Beatrice||New Zealand||59.32m|
|(invitation discus Jamal Idris (1kg) 63.77m)|
|Event 6 Women 100 metre U23|
|1||van Veenendaal, Ch||NSW||11.73||0.3|
|Event 7 Men 100 metre U23|
|Event 8 Men 100 metre GatoradeBolt|
|1||Turner, Lachlan||NSW Waratahs||11.10||-0.1|
|2||Grant, John||Eastwood Rugby||11.15||-0.1|
|3||Hayne, Jarryd||Parramatta Eels||11.20||-0.1|
|6||Gardner, Nathan||Cronulla Sharks||11.77||-0.1|
|7||Lewis, Matt||Central Coast Ma||11.99||-0.1|
|8||Inglis, Greg||Melbourne Storm||12.48||-0.1|
|Event 9 Men Shot Put|
|2||Gyngell, Stuart||(6kg) NSW||19.37m|
|Event 10 Women High Jump|
|Event 11 Men 1 Mile Run|
|1500m time 3:43.1|
|Event 12 Men Long Jump|