Australian athlete Heidi See in the women's one-mile run at the Nitro Athletics meet at Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne.
Australian athlete Heidi See in the women's one-mile run at the Nitro Athletics meet at Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne. TRACEY NEARMY

Nitro title set to go down to the wire

NITRO Athletics is certainly following the script.

The revolutionary teams series was supposed to excite, bring in a new audience and set up a cliff-hanger finish on the final night.

Tick, tick and tick.

Usain Bolt might have only appeared for less than 10 seconds in both editions of the series but his mere presence in the building has drawn them from far and wide.

After more than 7000 attended on night one, there was 6722 spectators at Lakeside Stadium on Thursday night with a full house of 8000 expected on the final evening.

Team Australia has certainly lived up to its part of the bargain, too, although there was controversy at the end with a relay stuff-up meaning they went from first to second on the points tally.

That means the overall title will go down to the wire with Bolt's All-Stars leading by a couple of points ahead of the final evening.

The otherwise unflappable Bolt became fired up after Australia was initially handed the win on the evening despite being disqualified in the relay.

"I am going to protest that. It makes no sense, they say you false start in a race you lose 20 points but you are still in the race," Bolt said.

"You get DQ'd and you don't lose any points? That doesn't makes any sense."

Officials clarified the situation later with the world's fastest man who is planning on racing in two events on Saturday night - 150m and mixed 4x100m relay.

"I probably have to double up. We will see what happens," he said.

"I am not in the best of shape, I am trying to run myself into shape. The more I run the better I feel so I am feeling good."

While Bolt and his Jamaican teammate Asafa Powell have sizzled in the relay on both nights, there have been some heroics performances by the locals.

Ryan Gregson again showed his class in the elimination mile while his Australian teammate Heidi See has some new fans after the impressive fashion she won the women's event.

Morgan Mitchell continued to enhance her reputation while little-known Melbourne local Luke Stevens also impressed in the 2x300m relay.

Finding new stars was one of the aims of Nitro and 16-year-old Queensland schoolgirl Riley Day is the perfect example.

She became an overnight sensation after racing against Bolt in the mixed relay on Saturday night and on Thursday night she again ran impressively in the 100m.

Day clocked 11.71sec to finish second behind the Bolt All-Stars' Natasha Morrison (11.57sec).

Unfortunately the news wasn't as good for Australia's next big thing in male sprinting with Jack Hale struggling, finishing sixth in 10.56sec with American college champion Jarrion Lawson only just ahead of him in fifth.

News Corp Australia

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