World and Olympic 100m and 200m champion has said he will compete in the 4×100m relay at the Commonwealth Games.
The Jamaican, who has won the 4×100m relay gold in each of the past two Olympics and World Championship Games, ended weeks of skepticism about his plans to make his debut appearance in the Commonwealth Games after arriving in the hosts city Glasgow on Saturday.
Bolt, 27, said: “I’m here to run. I’ll be running. Definitely.
“I will be running in the heats. I need the runs really. I need to get it going.”
Bolt, the fastest man in the world is yet to take part in any competitive race this season due to a foot injury he sustained during training last month.
The 4×100m relay heats is scheduled for Friday, 1 August at Hampden Park, and the final is the last event in the athletics programme, a 9:15pm (Nigerian time) on Saturday, August 2.
“I don’t see why else I will travel to Glasgow. The injury has completely gone,” added Bolt.
“I have done a lot of training over this past month. I have been really pushing myself and I am in pretty good shape, but I am not yet in running shape hence why I am running the heats, just to get a few runs in.”
Bolt’s arrival added more colour to the 20th Commonwealth Games, given that his friend, whom they both share a major sponsor with the Glasgow organisers, Mo Farah, withdrew after failing to recover from a recent illness on Day One.
Mo Farah’s withdrawal is just a bit of a flurry of late withdrawals by big name athletes, including: England’s trio of Dwain Chambers, Jessica Ennis-Hills and Katarina Johnson, Bolt’s partner Yohan Blake and Isle of Man’s Mark Cavendish… just to name a few.
There had been suggestions the six-time Olympic champion was under pressure to run at the Games for commercial reasons as much as a desire to add a missing medal to his cabinet.
“I’ve always wanted to compete in a Commonwealth Game,” said Bolt. “The first one in Australia, I strained my hamstring so couldn’t compete, and the second one in India was late in the year and that was bad time for me before the World Championships.
“I told my coach I wanted to come (to Glasgow), and he said: ‘Right we will make a decision, depends on how the season is going.’
“I got injured and at the end we said we couldn’t make it for the trials but let’s make it for the 4×100m. I was allowed to get into the team so that was good.
“I don’t think anybody pulled out on purpose. It’s about injuries. It happens in the Olympics and World Championships, things just go wrong at the last moment. It’s just one of those things. There are lot more athletes here and I am sure it’ll be a good Games”.
Explaining why he is only competing in the 4×100m relay and not in individual sprint events, Bolt reiterated his commitment to fair play in the game: “I didn’t want to take anyone’s spot as I didn’t get to go to the trials because I was injured.
He says he’s keen to watch the Reggae Girls in the netball at some point this week and also reveals he will stick to his tradition of staying in the athletes’ village.
Bolt once again says he wants to play for Manchester United, who are off on a pre-season training of the United States of America.