USAIN Bolt is “95 per cent certain” to compete at the Commonwealth Games this summer, according to the key figure behind Glasgow’s successful bid to host the event.
Louise Martin, the vice-chair of the 2014 organising committee, accepts that the Jamaican sprinter may not compete in the three events he has won at the last two Olympic Games – the 100 and 200 metres and the 4x100m relay. But she thinks that any lingering doubts Bolt may have about competing will be dispelled if, as expected, he takes part in the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix just two weeks before the Games.
The Grand Prix, part of the IAAF Diamond League, will be held at Hampden, the athletics venue for the Games. With tax concessions already in place, Martin is sure that everything possible is being done to welcome Bolt to the Games.
“We know that he will almost certainly be in the Diamond League two weeks before the opening ceremony for Glasgow,” said Martin, who is also honorary secretary of the Commonwealth Games Federation, the global governing body for the four-yearly event. “Once he gets into the Diamond League and sees the atmosphere at Hampden, I think he’ll want to make another appearance there.
“Everybody has been working with him. I think he would genuinely like to be here. He’s got a house in London and we now have dispensation from taxes and all of that sort of thing. Putting all of that together, I would say I’m 95 per cent certain that he will be here. What he will do, I don’t know. I’d love to see him run all three. Mind you, he’s got to win his trials yet, and the Jamaican trials are difficult. But it would be great even if it’s only one event.”
The Glasgow 2014 opening ceremony will be held at Celtic Park on 23 July, three months today.