Bolt, Farah headline cast at Glasgow Commonwealths

Fri Jul 18, 2014 10:22pm EDT
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By Sam Holden and Michael Hann

LONDON (Reuters) - Olympic champions Usain Bolt and Mo Farah lead a cast of the world's leading athletes descending on Glasgow to compete in the Commonwealth Games starting in Scotland’s biggest city on Wednesday.

World-record holders, decorated Olympians and novice participants make up the 6,500 athletes representing 70 Commonwealth nations who share the aim of claiming prizes in 261 medal events in 17 sports.

Scotland hosts the 20th edition of the multi-sport event for the third time and instead of trying to emulate the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games, it will offer something quite different over 11 days of competition. Although the Games may not be held in the same regard as the Olympics or a world championship without superpowers such as the United States, China and Russia, there will be plenty of household names and fairytale stories.

Six-times Olympic gold medalist Bolt will bring a dose of showmanship to the Hampden Park running track when the towering Jamaican attempts to win his first Commonwealth medal in the 4x100 meters relay.

"I am available for relay duty if the selectors feel I can be an asset to the Jamaican team in Glasgow," Bolt said.

"I have received lots of requests, invitations and messages of support from my fans in Scotland who are looking forward to a great event.

England’s double Olympic and world champion Farah, who is fit to take part in the 5,000m and 10,000m after recovering from abdominal pains, will join Bolt in Glasgow and the pair will be hoping to perform their customary ‘lightning bolt’ and ‘Mobot’ celebrations.

"The Commonwealth Games is different from the Olympics," the 31-year-old Farah said.   Continued...

Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt poses for photographers as he signs copies of his autobiography, "Faster than Lightning,"  at Selfridges in central London September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Neil Hall