Luton athlete Jo Blair has been picked to represent England Athletics at the inaugural Nitro Athletics series event held in Australia early next year.
The javelin thrower will be part of an England team to take on Usain Bolt’s Bolt All-Stars, Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand in a new-look athletics format.
It 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 two opportunities to level the playing field by using one Nitro Power Play and one Nitro Steal, with Power Plays and Steals to be drawn by random lot by each team captain at an event prior to the first meeting.
The series takes place on February 4, 9 and 11, as Tony Hadley, head coach of the England team, said: “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.”
England are to be captained by 2008 Olympic 400m champion and multiple world medallist Christie Ohuruogu.
As well as Ohuruogu, the team 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.
Blair, whose PB in the javelin is 57.44m, will be trying to achieve one of two qualifying distances while in Melbourne. First, she is aiming for 61.50m to reach the World Championships in London, while she can also qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia with a throw of 57m.