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Olympic hurdler Lauren Wells has noticed a Nitro, Usain Bolt boost in Canberra

Usain Bolt has generated a Nitro buzz Olympic hurdler Lauren Wells has felt all the way from Melbourne.

The Canberra track star is getting ready for her maiden 400-metre hurdles event of the summer when she looks to retain her title at the ACT Athletics Championships, which starts at the AIS track on Friday night and concludes on Sunday.

Athletics ACT have enjoyed record numbers with almost 650 entries drawn to the quick Canberra track.

It's a late start to the season for athletics in Australia, with the inaugural Nitro event taking centre stage instead.

Wells said she'd noticed an increased excitement at her coaching clinics recently, in part generated by the world's greatest sprinter Bolt.

She didn't nominate for the series after she saw the list of events, but would love the chance in the future to run in either her pet 400m hurdles or potentially a 200m hurdles - a race she set an Australian record in last month. 


"Nitro has certainly put athletics back on people's radars, which is obviously one of the main aims of Nitro," she said.

"It's nice to have the kids turn up to coaching and be buzzing about seeing Usain Bolt on TV.

"We've got some of the Australian men's 4x100m sprinters here [in Canberra] at the moment and I know a lot of our squad were really excited to see them in person on the track yesterday.

"It's great, we just hope to keep this momentum going and hope to get more people interested in or staying in our sport."

Wells has been focussing on her speed and "flat" running, but will begin her hurdles preparation on Friday at the ACT champs as she builds  towards the nationals in Sydney at the end of March.

She'll also run at the Summer of Aths Grand Prix at the AIS track on March 11-12.

Qualifying for the World Championships in London in August was also a goal before next year's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

"I've been mainly focusing on my flat speed and shorter-distance speed. While I have been doing some fitness work, I'm only just beginning specific 400m and hurdle work," Wells said.

"I'm sure tomorrow will be a bit of a painful hit-out, but it's been great getting back into all of my hurdle training and it's certainly what I love doing the most."

Australia's fastest ever woman Melissa Breen will run  in the women's 100-metre, which begins on Saturday.


Friday: Events start from 6pm at the AIS track. Saturday from 2pm and Sunday from 8.45am.