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PROTRACK » GENERAL » WA Government rules out $1m bid to lure Bolt to Perth

WA Government rules out $1m bid to lure Bolt to Perth

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WA quits race for fastest man

The West Australian
September 6, 2011,

The State Government will not make another bid to attract superstar sprinter Usain Bolt to WA despite his successes at the 2011 world championships.

Freedom of Information documents obtained by _The West Australian _from Tourism WA has revealed the Jamaican sprinter was invited to run in Perth for $1 million in April last year.

But the ambitious Eventscorp offer was rejected because it did not fit in with Bolt's schedule.

Eventscorp executive director David van Ooran said yesterday there were no plans to contact Bolt's management team because, with the London Olympics next year, it was anticipated the athlete would not be available for a year or more.

Bolt won gold medals in the 200m and the 4x100m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

But it was his 100m and 200m victories at the Beijing Olympics that prompted Tourism WA to propose a weekend athletics festival, including a schools clinic and other events, which would culminate in a race featuring Bolt where $1 million would be paid to anyone who broke the world record.

Early talks with Bolt's promoter, manager and coach indicated that the champion did not want to race against his strongest rivals, Tyson Gay and Asafa Powell, at that time of the season. So it was intended to invite lesser lights, including fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, who won the 100m in Daegu after Bolt was disqualified for a false start.

The documents have been partially edited to remove reference to Bolt's proposed appearance fee. However, one document suggests a big athletics event created around Bolt would cost about $2.5 million.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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