Rio 2016 Olympic gold medal-winning 400 metres hurdler Kerron Clement has become the latest high-profile athlete to be confirmed as competing in the new Nitro Athletics series in Melbourne ©Getty Images

Olympic 400 metres hurdles gold medallist Kerron Clement has become the latest high-profile athlete to be confirmed as competing in the new Nitro Athletics series in Melbourne.

The American will join Usain Bolt’s All-Stars who along with China, England, Japan and New Zealand will take on hosts Australia in a new-look athletics format at the Lakeside Stadium.

Competition is due to be held on February 4 and 9 before a final on February 11, with more "innovative" disciplines sitting alongside traditional track and field events.

Clement, a gold medallist in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships in Osaka and Berlin respectively, will join a team that includes Jamaican nine-time Olympic champion Bolt.

Bolt's Olympic gold medal-winning compatriots Asafa Powell and Michael Frater and Beijing 2008 100m hurdles champion Dawn Harper-Nelson of the United States are also due to feature. 

They will be joined by Beijing 2008 100m silver medallist Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago, world silver medal-winning 110m hurdler Ryan Wilson of the US and rising young American sprinter Jenna Prandini.

America's Kerron Clement was competing in his third Olympic Games at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images
America's Kerron Clement was competing in his third Olympic Games at Rio 2016 ©Getty Images

"I'm really excited to be a part of this meeting," Clement said.

"Anything that involves being a part of a team I'm always excited about because I consider myself a team player and I like to think I can motivate my other team-mates to reach their full potential.

"It's always good to be on a team with a global superstar [Usain Bolt] and right now the face of track and field.

"I think it will give other athletes a boost to give their best. 

"I am a versatile athlete and can run any event."

Clement achieved his first 400m hurdles Olympic gold at Rio 2016 in his third Games, having finished second at Beijing 2008, where he also claimed 4x400m relay gold, and reached the final at London 2012 after a year of injuries.

He triumphed in a time of 47.73sec to hold off Kenya’s Boniface Mucheru Tumuti and Turkey’s Yasmani Copello, the silver and bronze medallists respectively.

"Gold in Rio has more significance than my other gold medals at the World Championships," the 31-year-old Clement said.

"Not saying I don't value and appreciate my efforts but it was something about the journey leading up to 2016 Summer Games.

"Having dealt with many setbacks and injuries, and having to hit the refocus button and perform at the highest level possible while being under pressure - not many athletes can handle such pressure.

"That's why it means so much to me to win and finally add that elusive gold to my collection."

Clement, who has previously appeared in a Beyoncé music video clip, says his aim for 2017 is to stay injury free and be consistently winning.

"Being an Olympic champion, I know I will have a target on my back but I am fully aware of that and I embrace the challenge by anyone," he added.

"With that being said, I’m looking to be world champion again.

"Adding a third individual gold in the hurdles, making me the only hurdler in history to ever do so."

Kerron Clement will join Usain Bolt’s All-Stars ©Getty Images
Kerron Clement will join Usain Bolt’s All-Stars ©Getty Images

A hurdles relay, the 60m "speed sprint" and an "elimination mile" have been confirmed as new disciplines for Nitro Athletics. 

Also included is the 150m, "a three minute run" and the 4x100m mixed relay, with all events classified as either power, technique, endurance or teamwork.

The 100m, long jump, pole vault and javelin are among the traditional disciplines that will take place.

Team performance rather than individual displays will be rewarded, as although some events will feature solo results, many will focus on combined placings and team efforts.

Points will range from 100 for first to 40 for sixth and last.

Teams will be able to utilise three strategies - the "Nitro Power Play", the "Nitro Steal" and the "Nitro Turbo Charge".

The Power Play allows double points for teams in one selected event, which will be made in advance and drawn by lot.

Using the Nitro Steal will pinch 50 per cent of an opposing team's points from a particular event, with the Turbo Charge applying only in the long jump.

Teams will be able to nominate one jump where an athlete must achieve a declared distance to gain a bonus.

There will also be penalties for false starts - 50 points for the first offence and then 100 for the second.