Sports

Bolt on his game

Jamaican superstar to run in the 4x100m heats at Hampden Park on Friday

CHEEKY: Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt (below) fielded a diverse range of questions at the press conference yesterday, including if he had worn a kilt before. PHOTO: AFP

Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt said yesterday he will run in the heats of the 4x100m relay at the Commonwealth Games.

There was speculation the Jamaican might choose to race in just the final, as he continues to chase top form after an injury-hit start to the season.

The 27-year-old is taking part in his first Commonwealth Games after missing the 2006 and 2010 events.

The relay heats get underway at Hampden Park on Friday.

Bolt, who holds the 100m and 200m world records, also said he would stay in the athletes' village during his time in Glasgow.

"It makes me feel more relaxed," he said, after flying in yesterday from Jamaica via London.

"I'll stay in my room most of time."

Bolt said it was "important" for him to attend the Games.

"I expressed it to my coach and I am happy to be here," he said. "I have always wanted to compete in the Games."

Bolt fielded numerous questions at yesterday's news conference - some serious, some fun.

He was asked if he had ever worn a kilt, what he thought about the conflict in Gaza, and what he thought about Scottish independence.

WITHDRAWLS

Those who packed into the press room also wanted to know what he thought about the number of withdrawals from Glasgow 2014, including star names such as compatriot Yohan Blake, and English Olympic champions Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill.

"I don't think anyone has dropped out on purpose," said Bolt.

"It happens in the Olympics, it happens in the World Championships. It's one of those things."

The presence of Bolt, one of the biggest names in world sport, is a major boost for the Games.

His last competitive race was at the Brussels Diamond League on Sept 7 last year, and this season he has been hampered by a foot injury, meaning he has had to twice nix returns to the track.

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.

Bolt, who set the 100m world record of 9.58 seconds and the 200m record of 19.19 at the 2009 worlds in Berlin, was keen to play down a potential paucity in quality in the Commonwealth 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." - Wire Services.