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Bolt ready for Commonwealth Games debut

AAP
Sunday, July 27, 2014

Update: 7:00AM Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt has declared he's ready for his Commonwealth Games debut after an injury-plagued early season.

But Bolt will only be racing in the men's 4x100m relay in Glasgow.

"Yes I'm here to run. I'll be running, definitely," Bolt said.

In an unusual move, Bolt says he'll even run the heats of the relay.

"I think I need to run because it's the first race of the season so I really need to get it going," he said.

"The injury's completely gone. Fitness wise, I've done a lot of training over this past month, I've been really pushing myself and I'm in pretty good shape.

"But I'm not yet in running shape, hence why I'm running the heats."

The 100m and 200m world record holder says he wasn't under pressure from sponsors to make an appearance in Scotland.

The presence of the Jamaican is a major boost for the Games in the absence of his injured teammate Yohan Blake and British middle-distance king Mo Farah, a late withdrawal.

With a foot injury hampering this season, Bolt's last competitive race was at the Brussels Diamond League in September last year.

He also had to skip the Jamaican national championships, which acted as a trial for the Commonwealth Games, but was included on the relay squad.

Commonwealth Games 'very important'

Bolt says it's personally "very important" that he make his Commonwealth debut after missing the last two in Melbourne and New Delhi.

"I've always wanted to compete in a Commonwealth Games," he said.

"The first one I strained my hamstring so I didn't get to go to Australia.

"The second one was in India and it was in October/November which was a bad time for me because the world championship was coming up.

"And now I got injured early in season, I didn't want to try to take anyone's spot because I didn't get to go to the trials, so I decided 'why not come here and do the 4x100m'."

Bolt played down questions over the quality of athletes in the Games track line-up.

"As long as there are athletes and eight lanes, there's always competition," he said.

"I finally get the chance to compete in one (Commonwealth Games) so I'm very happy to be here."

The arrival of the six-time Olympic gold medallist in Glasgow was met with great fanfare from the world's media.

During a broad ranging press conference, Bolt faced questions on all subjects from his injury, kilts and Scottish independence to the World Cup, Manchester United and the situation in Gaza.





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