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48 late entries cleared 10 athletes to watch at ‘Glasgow Games’

GLASGOW, July 21, (AFP): Ten to watch at the 2014 Commonwealth Games which get under way in Glasgow on Wednesday:

Usain Bolt

JAM - Athletics

The towering Jamaican is the arguably the biggest name in world sport and his presence in Glasgow, albeit solely in the 4x100m relay, is a huge boost for the Commonwealth Games. The 27-year-old six-time Olympic gold medallist and double sprint world record holder ensures that the world media’s attention will be focused on Scotland. Fans will only be hoping that he might still be able to compete in individual events and really light up the Games.

David Rudisha

KEN - Athletics

The 800m world record holder has made an impressive long-awaited return from injury, clocking the world’s fastest two laps this season at no lesser place than Glasgow. That appearance was Rudisha’s first since he stormed to his world-record setting Olympic gold medal showing in London in 2012, covering 800m in just over 101 seconds. But he will face stiff competition in Glasgow, notably from his own teammates and Ugandan rivals.

Mohammed Farah

GBR - Athletics

Somali-born Farah stormed to British acclaim when he won both the 5,000 and 10,000m at the London Olympics, becoming one of the “local” faces that helped set the Games out as one of the most successful ever. He went on to win the double at the 2013 Moscow worlds but was unsure whether he would actually compete in Glasgow after dabbling with the marathon. After an eighth place in London, he stepped back in distance and Glasgow breathed a sigh of relief.

Sally Pearson

AUS - Athletics

The Australian is rumoured to be going for a double in Glasgow, in her usual 100m hurdles and also the 100m flat. Coming back from injury, the 27-year-old Queenslander has at times struggled this season, but will be wanting, perhaps, to better her outing over 100m in New Delhi four years ago, where she was stripped of the title for a dubious false-start on appeal.

DJ Forbes

NZL - Rugby Sevens

The 31-year-old has been with the all-conquering New Zealand rugby sevens team since 2006, the shaven-headed flanker a stalwart of Gordon Tietjen’s squad that has so far won all four Commonwealth Games titles and dominated the IRB world circuit throughout. Forbes’ abrasive defence ties in perfectly with a great linking and supportive game that makes the All Blacks tick, more often to victory.

Nicola Adams

GBR - Boxing

Adams won the first ever Olympic women’s boxing gold medal at the London Games in 2012 when she defeated China’s world champion Ren Cancan. Adams started boxing at the age of twelve and had her first bout a year later. In 2007, she was the first ever English female to earn a medal in a major tournament when she won silver in the European Championships.

Alicia Coutts

AUS - Swimming

The 26-year-old Coutts has won 21 medals for Australia in major championships over the past four years. That haul included five medals at the 2012 Olympics including one gold. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, Coutts was the most decorated swimmer winning gold in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 200 individual medley, 4x100m freestyle relay and 4x100m medley relay.

Nicol David

MAS - Squash

The 30-year-old seven-time world champion and global number one David completed her collection of major international titles with Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi. In Glasgow, Nicol will also be out to win Malaysia’s first medal in the women’s doubles with teammate Low Wee Wern. David is an eight-time Asian champion and once also enjoyed a 13-month, 51-match winning streak, from March 2006 until April 2007.

Anna Meares

AUS - Cycling

Meares will be defending her 500m time trial and individual sprint titles in Glasgow and equal fellow cyclist Kathy Watt’s Australian record of competing at four Commonwealth Games. Meares is also a four-time world champion in the time trial. The 30-year-old from Queensland is also a two-time Olympic gold medallist having won the 500m time trial in 2004 and sprint at London eight years later.

Bradley Wiggins

GBR - Cycling

The 34-year-old Wiggins made history in 2012 when he became the first British rider to win the Tour de France before going on to take the gold medal in the Olympics time trial. He had already won three track gold in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Knighted for his services to the sport, his record didn’t guarantee him a place at the 2014 Tour de France when he was dropped by his Sky team.

 

Commonwealth Games organizers approved late entries Monday, adding 48 competitors two days before competition begins in Glasgow.

While the original deadline for entries was June 11, the affected athletes were not entered due to administrative oversights by their national officials.

Commonwealth Games Federation President Prince Imran says, “The CGF Executive Board took the view that wherever possible athletes should not suffer because of the failings of their administrators.”

The athletes from Kenya, Jamaica, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago, Tanzania, Australia, Ghana and the Bahamas will now be able to compete at the Games starting Wednesday.

 

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, favo-urite to win gold in the women’s heptathlon at the Commonwealth Games, on Monday announced she was withdrawing after suffering a foot injury.

The 21-year-old Briton said: “I’m absolutely devastated that I’m not going to be able to compete at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

“I was so looking forward to competing in another home games and this time as one of the favourites.”

Johnson-Thompson is still hoping to recover in time to compete in the long jump at the European Championships in Zurich next month.

She added: “My season so far with a World Indoor medal in the long jump, winning at Gotzis and becoming World number one in heptathlon had really given me the confidence going in to the Games that I could post a big score and hopefully come away with that gold medal.

 

Britain’s Tiffany Porter stunned Australia’s Olympic 100m hurdles champion Sally Pearson at the Anniversary Games on Sunday in a timely warning ahead of their Commonwealth Games duel.

The US-born Porter won the race, which was staged at London’s Horse Guards Parade, in 12.71sec despite Pearson enjoying the better start.

American Brianna Rollins, the world champion, was second, with Pearson clocking 12.79 back in third.

Porter said: “I am really excited to come away with the win.

“It’s a confidence boost and things seem to be clicking at the right time, so hopefully I can go out and do my very best at the Commonwealths.

“You can’t ever count Sally out, she’s a great competitor, but I am going into it hoping to go away with the gold, We don’t train for second place.”

In the men’s 100m, Michael Rodgers of the United States won in 9.91sec with 2003 world champion Kim Collins, now 38, taking second place while Jamaica’s Nesta Carter was third.

Allyson Felix of the United States defeated double Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica in the women’s 100m at the meeting held to celebrate the second anniversary of the 2012 London Olympics.

Polevault world record holder Renaud Lavillenie of France took victory in 5.70m ahead of British duo, Luke Cutts and Steve Lewis. 

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