Bolt Arrives In Glasgow

bolt poseUsain Bolt, by some margin the biggest individual attraction of Glasgow 2014, made a triumphant arrival yesterday claiming it had always been a long-term desire to compete in a Commonwealth Games.

The six-time Olympic champion, who has also won eight world titles and remains the world record holder over 100 and 200 metres, entered the stage alongside Clyde the Mascot and six local schoolchildren, and posed for the obligatory “lightning bolt” before answering questions from by far the largest press corps yet seen at these Games.

Although Bolt is not competing in either of his two individual event here, he confirmed he would participate in the heats for the 4x100m relay as well as the final, meaning there is no prospect of his team-mates failing to qualify and he being unable to run.

“For me, it was very important to be here,” he said.

“I expressed it to my coach and I am happy to be here.

“I have always wanted to compete in the Games, the first one in Australia [at Melbourne in 2006] I strained my hamstring and in [Delhi] 2010 in India it was in October, which is a bad time for me.

“I got injured earlier in this season and didn’t want to take anyone’s spot so I decided, ‘Why not just come in the 4x100m?’”

Bolt, who has barely raced since taking triple gold at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow, was also asked what he was expecting of Scotland in a week-long visit, in which he will stay in the Athletes’ Village.

“A lot of rain maybe, and seeing a lot of kilts around the place,” was his response. Bolt appeared most taken aback by a request to confirm, once and for all, whether he was 100 per cent planning to race this week.

Speaking earlier, the Commonwealth Games Federation chief executive, Mike Hooper, reiterated that it was “fantastic” that Bolt was present.

“We’ve got quality athletes who want to come here and be part of this and it’s great that he’s going to be here,” he said. —

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