China confirmed on Nov. 14 that it will join the Nitro Athletics Melbourne to be held in Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne, Australia, on Feb. 4, 9 and 11, 2017, reported Agence France-Presse.
England and Japan also affirmed on the same date that they will likewise take part in the international competition headlined by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt.
Australian runner John Steffensen, the Nitro Athletics ambassador, described China and Japan’s participation as “fantastic.”
A silver medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Steffensen also said that the two countries “have a lot of emerging young athletes” who are “well suited” for the said event.
Chinese sports fans may remember Bolt for his astonishing “triple-triple” feat at two sporting events Beijing hosted, according to Athletics Australia.
At the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, 6-foot-5-inch Bolt collected three gold medals for finishing first at the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100 meters.
He managed to achieve similar astounding accomplishment in the same events at the 15th IAAF World Championships in 2015.
At the event’s 4×100 meters relay, China--composed of Mo Youxue, Xie Zhenye, Su Bingtian and Zhang Peimeng--won the silver medal while Jamaica--Bolt together with Nesta Carter, Asafa Powell and Nickel Ashmeade--brought home the gold.
It will be Bolt’s first time to race in Australia.
The nine-time Olympic gold medalist said that he will participate both as a competitor and as a team captain, calling his team “Bolt All-Stars.”
Bolt, “the fastest human on the planet,” said Steffensen, launched Nitro Athletics in Melbourne on Nov. 4.
Australian Olympians Anneliese Rubie and Morgan Mitchell--both competed at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing, with Rubie becoming a semi-finalist--joined their fellow sprinter at the launch.
“Nitro Athletics is what track and field needs--a fresh way to present the sport,” said Bolt, quoted Athletics Australia.
Six teams will compete in the “high energy” Nitro Athletics Melbourne, as described on its website. There will be 24 athletes--12 men, 12 women--comprising the teams.
The 30-year-old Bolt won his first medal in 2001 when he was a third-year high-school student. He clocked in at 22.04 seconds and placed second at his school’s annual high school championships, according to the International Association of Athletics Federations.
Included in GQ’s Men of the Year 2016 along with Hollywood icon Warren Beatty and America’s resident hunk Ryan Reynolds, Bolt experiences an international celebrity status.
More than 19.4 million people already “liked’’ his Facebook page. He has so far attracted 5.8 million Instagram followers and 4.47 million Twitter followers.