A $2 million facelift for the AIS athletics track could open the door for Australia's first sub 10-second sprint in 16 years on the road to the Olympic Games.
Athletics ACT chief executive James Kaan says about 320 metres of a brand new blue Mondo track has been laid after two layers were ripped up in a major upgrade.
The move is set to make the AIS track the fastest in the country and Kaan hopes it will lure a host of big names to the Canberra Track Classic in February in search of quicker times.
Now Kaan hopes it can open the door for someone to run a sub 10-second 100m sprint, something Australia has only seen once - when Patrick Johnson cleared the barrier in 9.93 seconds in 2003.
The new track is a huge boost for Athletics ACT after the IAAF launched a new qualifying system for major events based on points scored, with global events set to provide a clear hierarchy of competitions.
It means Athletics ACT will look to lure the likes of Rohan Browning, Jack Hale, Lauren Boden and Mel Breen to the event to secure higher gradings.
Kaan expects the new track will play a key role in bringing big names to Canberra in an Olympic year with the potential for long-standing records to be broken.
"You'd always hope so. Given world championships were quite late in the year this year, a lot of our top names might not come out in late January [for the ACT championships]," Kaan said.
"But I actually suspect, given the qualifying process for the Olympics being the way it is, my hope is we get a couple of Japanese athletes down here for the Canberra Track Classic on February 13.
"Could we see a sub 10-second 100 metres? I would love to think so given the brand new, freshly laid Mondo surface, and some athletes of that calibre.
"They're looking to run PBs. That's where we get large amount of numbers, because people want to come down and run fast in anything from 100m, generally up to 800m.
"In my history with this event, I have seen huge amounts of athletes just looking to run fast, run PBs, or even long jump and javelin, events where they use the track surface to generate speed.
"A large number will be looking to run to qualify for the national championships in March, or trying to obtain as close as they can get to an Olympic qualifier."
Kaan expects up to 300 athletes will converge on the capital for February's Canberra Track Classic featuring elite level athletes from Australia, New Zealand and southeast Asia.
Athletics ACT has already extended January's ACT championships to a four-day event, up from a usual three, as they brace for up to 800 competitors with entries opening on Monday.
"A lot of people are very keen to come down," Kaan said.
"I've heard a lot of groups from Victoria, NSW and even Queensland are planning to make the trip down to Canberra for the Australia Day long weekend.
"We're actually extending the competition to four days, we have previously run it over three. It's a four-day championship to ensure we can cater to the increased numbers and offer enough time for heats, semis and finals in the open age groups."