Six-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt steered Jamaica to a comfortable victory in their 4×100 metres relay heat in front of an expectant crowd at the Commonwealth Games on Friday. The towering sprinter ran the final leg as Jamaica easily qualified for Saturday’s final in a time of 38.99 seconds ahead of Nigeria.
Legions of fans flooded to Hampden Park to catch a glimpse of Bolt, the 100 and 200 metres world record holder, and his mere presence lit up a Games that has been lacking in genuine world-class athletes in many of the track events.
“I was looking forward to coming out here and showing the people that I’m here to have fun, and I’m here to compete and give my best,” Bolt told reporters after making his first ever Commonwealth Games appearance.
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“I felt sluggish because it was my first race of the season and I knew it was going to take me time to get into my rhythm, but otherwise it felt okay. I’m just happy to be part of the relay team and be at the Commonwealth Games.”
The 27-year-old Bolt was the answer, though, having promised to run in the relay heats to ensure the Scottish fans could see him in action.
His appearance at the Games was in danger of turning sour earlier in the week when The Times ran an interview with Bolt in which he was quoted criticising the Games. The sprinter denied he had made the comments and there were no signs of any ill feeling towards the Jamaican as he posed and postured before an adoring crowd, providing the moment the Games, and its organisers, had been waiting for.
2nd positive at Games
A runner from Botswana has become the second Commonwealth Games athlete to fail a doping test in Glasgow. Games officials say Amantle Montsho tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine after coming fourth in the women’s 400-meter final on Tuesday, and has been suspended.
Montsho attended a Commonwealth Games Federation hearing on Saturday and asked for her backup sample to be tested, which will happen on Monday in London.
The announcement came a day after 16-year-old weightlifter Chika Amalaha was stripped of her gold medal after a doping hearing.
The Nigerian tested positive for diuretics and masking agents after winning the 53-kilogram (117-pound) division last Friday, becoming the youngest female to win a weightlifting title at a Commonwealth Games.