Commonwealth Games 2014: Usain Bolt ready to lead Jamaica to relay victory after dispelling Glasgow criticism
Bolt lit up the Hampden Park crowd on Friday in the men's 4x100m relay heats and will go for gold on Saturday night
Saturday 02 August 2014
Usain Bolt will return to Hampden Park on Saturday night to attempt to win his first Commonwealth Games gold medal, with any doubts over his standing in the eyes of the Glasgow crowd well and truly dispelled.
Six days after arriving in Scotland, the world's fastest man anchored the Jamaican 4x100 metres team to victory in their semi-final, sauntering down the home straight to finish in 38.99 seconds.
It was the 27-year-old's first outing of the Games - at a time when he usually has a couple of gold medals already in the bag - and he was greeted with a rousing reception, just days after he was reported to have delivered a less than complimentary verdict on his time in Scotland.
Bolt had to take to Twitter on Wednesday to deny a report in The Times which quoted him saying the Games were "a bit s***" and he was "not really" having fun.
He repeated his denials after a run-out - his first of the season - he described as "sluggish" and said he had never feared a negative reaction from the Glasgow crowd.
"I was never worried, because I know my true people know I would never say something like that," he said. "I always go to every country with an open mind to see what they represent and what it's all about and to enjoy and see the culture. I came with an open mind, it's been fun, the people have been wonderful to me. It's been just great. I really love it."
The Times stand by the report.
Bolt is the man everyone with a prized ticket for the final session of the athletics programme wants to see, but England's quartet will be out to sour his night.
The women's team also look strong, as do hopes in the 4x400m after they qualified with the fastest times of the night in both the men's and women's events, with the latter brought home by world champion Christine Ohuruogu.
"It was nice to finally get out there," Ohuruogu said. "I've been stuck inside for the last week.
"The roar [when handed the baton] was so cool. I didn't miss the individual 400m to be honest, I really didn't.
"It's the first championship I've ever done in 10 years where I've just sat and watched. I'm glad I passed it up."
There will be home nation representatives in the women's pole vault and 5,000m finals, as well as the men's javelin, 1,500m and triple jump, which will see Philips Idowu try to regain the Commonwealth crown he won in 2006.
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