x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Usain Bolt to turn on the heat in 4x100 relay as All Blacks prevail over valiant Scots

Fit-again Jamaican wants to prepare better for the 4x100m relay final he is expected to make despite not being in ‘running shape’.

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt enacts his post-run famous pose on arrival in Glasgow yesterday. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images
Jamaica’s Usain Bolt enacts his post-run famous pose on arrival in Glasgow yesterday. Cameron Spencer / Getty Images

Glasgow awaits a double dose of Usain Bolt after the world’s fastest man confirmed he would run in the heats as well as the final of the 4x100-metres relay at the Commonwealth Games.

The Jamaican landed in Scotland on yesterday to add some much-needed star quality to a Games which have been hit by the withdrawal of high-profile athletes like Mo Farah.

Bolt has yet to race this year after taking time to recover from a foot injury, but said the problem had “completely gone” and he was in “pretty good shape”.

His desire to get races under his belt means he will take to the Hampden Park track next Friday for the relay heats and Saturday for the final – provided, of course, his Jamaican team get the baton around.

“I will be running in the heats. I think I need the runs, really, because this is my first run of the season, so I really need to get it going,” the six-time Olympic champion 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 [in 2006], I strained my hamstring and in 2010 in India, it was in October, which is a bad time for me.

“I got injured earlier in this season and I didn’t want to take anyone’s spot, so I decided, why not just come in the 4x100?”

“The injury is completely gone. Fitness-wise, I have done a lot of training over this past month.

“I have been really pushing myself. I think I am in pretty good shape, but I’m not in running shape. That’s why I am running the heats, just to get a few runs in.”

Bolt only plans to run four times this year.

“So, for me, I am just taking my time, trying to get myself in running shape, but not push myself too much and then get injured again,” he said.

“I am focused on getting through the season and getting some races in.

On those dropping out in Glasgow, Bolt said: “I don’t think anyone has dropped on purpose. It happens in the Olympics, it happens in the world championships. It’s one of those things.”

Scotland find solace in troubling might All Blacks

Scotland captain Colin Gregor believes New Zealand were running scared of his side at Ibrox as the All Blacks held on for a 17-14 win in rugby sevens.

The four-time Commonwealth champions, who have won every match they have ever played at the Games, surged ahead with three tries in the first-half. But, when the hosts regrouped at the break, the Kiwis resorted to some cynical tactics to ensure they retained their unbeaten record.

At one point, they had just five men on the field after Gillies Kaka and Tim Mikkelson were sent off for blatant fouls, which robbed the Scots of a scoring chance.

Gregor, whose side must now beat Barbados and Canada on Saturday to progress, said: “We have played New Zealand loads of times on the World Series over the years, but that is the closest we have taken them for a while.

“You could tell they were worried about us. The crowd helped us as well, but it’s a frustrating result.”

Earlier on Saturday, Wales smashed Malaysia 52-0 an, in Pool B, England got their campaign under way with an emphatic 57-0 victory over Sri Lanka.

In the triathlon, England’s dream team made it a clean sweep of gold medals with a dominant victory in the mixed relay.

Vicky Holland, Jonny Brownlee, Jodie Stimpson and Alistair Brownlee were all individual medallists on Thursday, with the latter two winning gold.

This time, Alistair Brownlee finished 49 seconds ahead of second-place South Africa, with Australia third.

The event, which involves each athlete completing a 250-metre swim, six-kilometre bike and 1.6km run, was making its debut at a major Games.

Holland said he believes the sport should be added to the Olympic programme.

“Just look at the atmosphere it generates,” she said. “The lead changes so often. It’s a great spectator event. Guys and girls in the same race – it’s unique.”

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