$1M Bolt to Australia

World’s fastest man Usain Bolt offered almost $1 million to race rugby league players

By David Riccio From: The Sunday Telegraph June 20, 2010

SECRET negotiations to bring the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, to Australia were revealed today with the Olympic champion on the cusp of announcing he’s coming to Sydney.

Bolt is being offered almost $1 million and the chance to race the National Rugby League’s fastest players, including Greg Inglis and Jarryd Hayne, The (Sydney) Sunday Telegraph reported.

Organisers of the Athletics All Stars meet on September 15 have been talking with Bolt and said the discussions were “very positive”,

The Jamaican sprinter, who holds the world records for the 100m and 200m, has never raced in Australia and this could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one of world sport’s biggest stars.

Bolt’s arrival in Sydney would be one of Australian sport’s greatest coups - even at an estimated asking price of $1 million.

Billed as an athletics version of Twenty20 cricket by event organisers Competitive Edge, the night would also end one of rugby league’s greatest debates - who is the fastest man in the NRL?

The Sunday Telegraph understands that after more than three months of top-level talks, discussions between organisers and Bolt are now at an advanced stage.

“No, I can’t deny there have been talks,” meet director Hayden Knowles said.

"The discussions have been very positive, great actually.

"He would set the city alight without a doubt.

“We want this to happen, we think we have the resources and we are working extremely hard to make it happen.”

The event will also give fans an opportunity to farewell some of Australia’s athletes before the Delhi Commonwealth Games in October.

Worlds apart.

Reminds of the debate I’ve had several times about the fastest soccer players against WC 100m sprinters. Ain’t even close.

an easy payday for bolt

Hes got $ signs in his eyes.

What distance would they race?

I suppose some ahndicap is involved…unless it is a 5m dash…with start being a snapped ball out of a scrum:)

soccor/NFL athletes do not realise the speed of a sub10 sprinter. they think but when it comes down to it they get a big shock when going head to head. chalk and cheese

I suppose many NFL athletes understsand that, since many have run track…but they have to fill their big mouths:)
Regarding soccer…yes,…usually have no idea…remember an interview with former best player in the world form ac Milan…George Weah…regarding his speed…" I now can run 11…but used to run 10"…Yeah…sure…like a funny scene watched on a swimming pool here in Italy…an old lifeguard, talking with a black ( and fat) guy, about Phelps and how blacks usually are not good swimmers…but he adds, " you black guys are very fast on 100m , right? what you run?..and the guy said…10 …but 10 something?( asked the lifeguard)…no, 10 flat…"…i started to laugh for 5 minutes…he was damn serious!!

Runs at 10.00 flat, at 12.30 he has lunch, goes home for a sleep at 4.00 flat

Not going to happen…why would a guy in his prime go race against a bunch of donkeys who shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath. Anyways from my readings of the article the playesr would race each other and he would come and race in some invitational. However, I doubt a detour to Australia would not be in his plans leading into the CWG and if he doesn’t run in the CWG appear at something like this would not help his profile…

Perhaps not, but $1m - even Aussie $1m, will certainly help his bank balance.

He has already stated he will not compete at the Com Games, but as the circuit traditionally wraps up in September in South-East Asia - and Bolt has been a party to that himself as a season-ending payday - it would take little for him to drop down the same time-zone to have a gallop in the Sydney springtime sun…

Who he races against is of no consequence, pretty much as has been the case whenever he has raced over the last couple of years - be they footballers or elite fellow sprint specialists. He is on a platform of his own.

I actually think this might be good for track and field. Athletics doesn’t get much credit. Usain Bolt’s “Is he football fast?” video is pretty funny, but not that far fetched in terms of what people think. It would show people just how much faster he is than really fast poeple from another sport.

I’d rather see Rouge-Serrett or another domestic athlete (Sally maybe) race the footballers. Bolt being 15m ahead of these guys isn’t going to mean anything to any one. Domestic athletes however may be able to put the local sport into a bit more perspective.

Who is running this event anyway and who is flipping the bill?

Definitely wanna see it happen for the lolz.

I agree with you there! Aaron and Matt Davis would turn the footballers inside out! You don’t need internationals to prove that running under 11 secs is fast let alone under 10!! It’s just the inflated opinion we have of our footballers that ONLY Bolt could be good enough to race them. Don’t get me wrong…some of these footballers are very talented but i doubt many could get legitimate under 11 sec electric.If we didn’t loose our talented to high playing team sports i believe Australia would have a lot more decent sprinters. But…money talks!

I spoke to Ricky Simms, Bolt’s European track agent and while he was waiting to speak to Glen Mills and wouldn’t go on the record until then, he told me enough to assure me that Bolt is intending to come to Australia in September. He wants to come to Oz primarily to have a holiday, but he also has pressure from two sponsors in Oz - Puma and Gatorade.
That of course doesn’t mean he’ll race in Oz, but apparently so far as anyone knows right now he is not against the idea.
The race may not even be against Footballers. It would depend on what Bolt and his advisors (Coach Mills especially I assume) want to do and it all presumes he will have recovered from his current ankle ailment and will be OK to sprint in mid-September.
I have also spoken to the meet director, Hayden KNowles, who assured me he has already booked the Sydney Olympic track and has paid a lot of bills up front. He is very inspired and highly motivated to put on a very different, potentially highly entertaining meet in which coaches and champions of the past will be honoured. A number of Aussie elites who will be in Oz in the final stage of preparation before flying to Delhi in early October for the Com Games (the athletics program runs Oct 6-14) are keen to compete, although indications are that by preference and by some degree of necessity, the fields for most events will be small.
Aths Australia - the national federation in Oz - will meet in Sydney this Friday to confirm arrangements with Knowles, who is strength and conditioning coach/trainer for world discus champion Dani Samuels and world boxing champions Danny Green and Vic Darchinyan among others.
Knowles is also a long-time S&C coach for the NRL Parramatta Eels football team and is well liked. His vision includes using many big-name rugby league players to honour Australia’s track and field athletes. It’s going to be a bloody love-in. LOL.

I also spoke to S&C coach for the Gold Coast Titans - Ronny Palmer (a keen track fan who has attended the seminars by Steven Francis) - who is totally up front about the chances of any footballers getting anywhere near Bolt. I suggested maybe they should get Bolt to run carrying a football. Palmer quipped “He could carry a lead football and still win”.

But Palmer added that rugby league players should be respected for the speed they do have, the best of them would dip just under 5sec for 40m from a standing start in spikes fully auto timed. He said they train play for 80minutes, they train for wrestling, all manner of cross-training. So sprinting is obviously going to suffer and they train primarily to run only 40m. “NRL are probably the fittest players on earth because it is the most demanding sport” Palmer said.

If and when they go to Oz we will have a list of questions for you Aussies to ask Glen :slight_smile:

Many of these so called standing 40m tests these footballers do are not true 40m tests. That is they usually start 30cm or 50cm behind a timing gate that is set off when the athlete breaks the beam set at 0m. This in effect would add 0.30 - 0.60s off the time before even adding reaction. I doubt there would be very many if any who would go under 5s for 40m fully electric. Lets keep in mind that by the time you add a reaction to a gun there would probbaly be none (standing or not). If we say it takes around a minimum 10m/s + to break 11s. Someone like Sally would at her best go 5.15-5.25s for her first 40m fully electric which would be competitive against most of them (assumming her usual reaction of 0.14). Now if Bolt goes 4.60 with reaction to a gun and around 4.45s without and we did have one of these footballers going sub 5.00s (which I highly doubt this from a gun) Bolt would be from 4.5-5m in front at 40m. In 100m terms somone going sub 5.00s for the 1st 40m is probably capable of a 10-6-10.8s 100m. (PS…No disrepect to Mr Palmer as I am not sure of his experience with other sports but thats a big call that they are the fittest players on earth). Come to think of it maybe Bolt should race these footballers, so once and for all we can explain in a practical sense just how far off the mark they would be…and please throw in some locals just so they get some respect to…

Christian Blum, one of Germany’s best sprinters (6.56, 10.26 and 20.85), lost a 30m sprint against a German football/soccer player running on grass and in soccer shoes. A lot of things can happen when a sprinter is made to run under unfamiliar circumstances and the race distance is short enough.

Firstly: Fitness is specific to the event/sport you play. Bolt would have trouble getting up time and again after being smashed in tackles, jogging backwards, wrestling an opponent to the ground etc.

Second: IF - and it’s a big question mark - Bolt sprints against any footballers in Oz he will be wearing spikes and they will all race on a synthetic track over 100 metres. He will not be wearing footie boots.

My mail is that Fabrice Lapierre, JOhn Steffensen, Dani Samuels and some other very good Aussies have committed to this Sept 15 meet. Don’t know who the heck they’ll compete against - maybe more footballers LOL.