Harradine set on dressing to thrill

FANS at the Hunter Track Classic tonight will need to settle for seeing Benn Harradine in one of his outrageous outfits as the Olympic discus thrower has ruled himself out of competing.

The Eleebana hulk is only a third of the way through his recovery after surgery to repair his left knee in November.

A year ago Harradine sustained a cyclops lesion while doing standing long jumps and battled through the injury at the London Olympics, where he made the final.

Nearly all the cartilage behind his patella was removed in surgery.

‘‘To be honest, I hadn’t planned to do any competing early in the year, just because I put off the knee all through last season and it was time to get things fixed up,’’ Harradine said.

‘‘It is always disappointing [not to compete] as it’s my home-town meet and one of my favourite meets of the year, but to be there in some capacity is better than not being there at all.’’

Instead Harradine will be the special guest announcer tonight at Glendale’s Hunter Sports Centre and he has vowed to light up the evening with something ‘‘eye-catching’’.

Despite the loss of Harradine, Olympic long jump silver medallist Mitchell Watt will add star power to the bill.

Harradine is a close friend of Watt’s and played a role in luring the Queenslander to the Hunter Track Classic.

Watt holds the national record of 8.54metres, which he recorded in Stockholm in 2011 in front of Harradine.

‘‘The guy is likely to jump eight metres off a short run-up, who knows,’’ Harradine said.

‘‘He’s just one of those guys who can pull anything out.’’

Another highlight is expected to be the inaugural mixed wheelchair pursuit, featuring Newcastle’s five-time Paralympian Christie Dawes.

Nine of the 10 participants competed at the London Paralympics and they will start in cycling pursuit style with five per side before dropping to three each.

‘‘It’s bit of slow track according to the wheelies,’’ event organiser Scott Westcott said.

‘‘So for them not to be racing individually, but as a team, it adds a different dimension so they’re not looking at the clock as such.’’

The main program begins at 6pm and runs until 9pm.

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