Four-time Olympic, world titles medallist Ato Boldon bound for Perth
By GLEN FOREMAN From: The Sunday Times March 27, 2010
PERTH BOUND: Trinidadian Ato Boldon wins the 200m final at the 1997 world titles. Picture: Thomas Kienzle Source: PerthNow
FOUR-time Olympic and World Championships medallist Ato Boldon is bound for Perth’s Commonwealth Games selection trials next month, becoming the latest international headliner to be rolled out by Athletics Australia (AA) for the country’s domestic season.
The retired Trinidad and Tobago sprinter-turned international track analyst was attracted to WA’s new State Athletics Centre after local 2010 world leader Ben Offereins and fellow Delhi-hopeful Jody Henry (both 400m) led a spate of quick times at the facility since its opening meet late last year.
The presence of Boldon, who shares the prestige with Usain Bolt of being one of a handful of athletes to claim both junior and senior world titles, is another coup for AthleticsWA, which snared the Games trials in the inaugural year of the new facility.
The lure of Boldon is also a boost for Australian athletics, with the still-Commonwealth 100m record holder establishing himself as an influential voice in the sport since his retirement in 2004.
Boldon joins a long list of international stars, including the US’ dual Beijing Olympics sprint medallist David Neville and Finnish javelin world champion and Olympic medallist Tero Pitkamaki, to be involved in the Australian season this year.
AthleticsWA boss Wayne Loxley said he expected Boldon’s visit to put the Perth track under the international spotlight.
“His world presence in the sport and the fact that he’s coming to Perth is huge,” Loxley said.
"He’s heard about the quality of the track and he wants to come and see just how quick it is.
“One of the fastest men in the world is coming to witness it first hand … there’s no doubt that he’ll spread that message on a world stage which is fantastic for the facility.”
Boldon, who is currently ranked No.12 on the all-time list for both 100m and 200m, arrives in Perth the week of the April 16-18 trials, which are also the national titles.
The 36-year-old will work with AA’s indigenous talent-ID and development program Jump Start to 2012 during his time in Australia and will assist with broadcast packages of the Games trials for Network TEN’s sports channel OneHD.
Tickets for the Australian athletics titles are available through Ticketmaster.com.au or by calling 13 61 00.