SPRINTER Yohan Blake has apologised to the Scottish public for snubbing this month’s Commonwealth Games. The second fastest man in history, however, claims he would be gambling with his Olympic dreams if he raced at Glasgow 2014.
The “Beast” is in the city for this weekend’s Diamond League meeting at Hampden – the Games’ temporarily-transformed athletics venue – and will compete in the men’s 100m contest tomorrow night.
But having only just returned from a succession of hamstring injuries, the double Olympic silver medallist is not prepared to jeopardise his preparations for the Rio Games in 2016.
The Jamaican said: “Of course I’m disappointed to be missing out on Glasgow 2014 but it’s in my best interests. I’m trying to be positive and there will be many more Commonwealth Games to look forward to.
“I’m sorry I’m not going to be here. The Scottish people have really been looking out for me. But they understand the level of competitive person I am.
“It was a tough decision to make but when I was talking to my manager and my coach, they both said I had to get back to the level I was at before because there is the World Championships and Olympics coming up in the next couple of years.”
The absence of Blake – the 2011 world champion – and decision by compatriot Usain Bolt only to compete in the 4x100m relay have been seen as a major blow for Glasgow 2014’s credibility as a major championships.
The fact that Blake, who would have required a medical exemption to compete at the Games after missing the Jamaican trials, is racing at the money-spinning Diamond League event just a fortnight ahead of the Games has done little to dispel the notion that he has given the Commonwealths a slap in the face.
But his manager Cubie Seegobin insisted the 24-year-old is not fit enough to take on the Glasgow 2014 field.
“We made a decision, based on Yohan’s condition, not to compete at the Commonwealth Games and that was in his best interests,” said Seegobin.
“As you can tell from last week in Lausanne [where Blake could only finish sixth in the 200m], we can’t tell where he is coming off the injury.”