KINGSTON (Reuters) - Six time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has made himself available for the Jamaican relay teams at next month’s Commonwealth Games, providing organizers with a potential boost for the multi-sport event’s profile.
Bolt has not competed at all this season due to injury and has asked for a medical exemption from the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA) to miss this weekend’s national trials and be considered for the relay teams only in Glasgow.
“Yes, I can confirm we submitted a medical exemption to the JAAA and Usain will be making himself available for the relays in Scotland,” Nugent Walker Jr. told Reuters by telephone on Thursday. “Usain doesn’t wish to take the spot of anyone who qualifies for the 100m and 200m at this weekend’s trials.”
The JAAA confirmed they had received the request and would consider it, but not until after the June 26-29 trials.
JAAA rules allow them to consider athletes who have applied for medical exemption from the trials to be included in national teams providing they are able to prove their form ahead of the competition.
Earlier this month, Bolt withdrew from meetings in the Czech Republic and at Paris on July 5 because he felt his conditioning was not at his required standard.
Should he be selected his presence at the July 23- Aug.5 Games in Scotland will provide a massive boost to the athletics program, which has in the past been bypassed by the biggest names in the sport as they prefer to focus on the lucrative European circuit.
Fellow sprinter Asafa Powell, who is allowed to compete pending an appeal of his 18-month ban for a doping violation, has withdrawn from the Jamaican trials with a stomach bug, his publicist said.
Powell was given the go ahead by the Court of Arbitration for Sports to compete pending the outcome of his appeal hearing from July 7-8 and had planned to take part in the Paris Diamond League meeting on July 5.
Editing by Greg Stutchbury