Barbados sprint star to race at Bendigo International Madison athletics carnival 

WEST Indian sprinter Jade Bailey will chase a historic victory in next month’s City of Greater Bendigo Thousand (120m) at the Bendigo International Madison athletics-cycling carnival.

A semi-finallist in the 100m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Bailey will race in Bendigo for the first time.

The sprinting star from Barbados  has nominated to contest the Thousand, the open 70m, and the women’s 120m at the March 9-10 meeting.

Bailey raced at Stonnington Park last week and will be a major drawcard at Bendigo’s Tom Flood Sports Centre.

In Beijing, Bailey achieved a time of 11.67 in the semi-final.

“Jade’s decision to race in Bendigo is fantastic news,” said Madison committee member and athletics stalwart Neil Macdonald.

“Having an Olympian, especially a semi-finallist, racing at Bendigo is a huge coup for the carnival.”

Macdonald said the athletics program at the madison would feature many highlights.

“The Thousand (120m) is still one of the most prestigious sprint classics on the Victorian Athletics League calendar.

“The Bendigo Bank Black Opal 400m is still the richest of its kind in the country.”

This year’s women’s 400m will be known as the Black Pearl, sponsored by Flack Advisory.

“The Black Pearl final will be run on the Saturday night just before the women’s madison, which is also a first on the carnival program,” Macdonald said.

In recognition of the four-minute mile mark being broken by Harry Downes in Bendigo on Sunday, March 10, 1963, the Flack Advistory-sponsored backmarkers mile (1609m) at next month’s carnival will carry a purse of $3000 to the winner. 

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