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Indian officials confident Bolt will be at Commonwealth Games

27 July 2009

By Kantrel King, World-Track

DELHI — Indian athletics officials are confident the world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, will be part of the Jamaican team for next year’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Bolt was the hot favourite to win the men’s 200 metres at the last Games in Melbourne, Australia in 2006, but was forced to skip the meeting because of an injury.

In the eyes of many, the Commonwealth Games are not of high class, with one coach reportedly saying the Games "are more like Community Games."

However, with no major championships scheduled for the 2010 season, Indian Olympic Association President and chairman of the Games’ organising committee Suresh Kalmadi, believes the world record holder will make an appearance.

Kalmadi also dismissed the statements that the Games are not really a world-class event.

"I’m telling you he (Bolt) is coming," he said in the Indiatimes on Sunday. "The Commonwealth countries, including Jamaica, are going to send their best teams.

"So, Usain Bolt is going to come. All the top chaps from other nations are also coming. The Commonwealth Games are next to only the Olympics," Kalmadi added.

Jamaican athletes, led by former world record holder Asafa Powell, swept the short sprints and sprint hurdles events in Melbourne 2006 to prove there dominance.

Two-years later in Beijing, the stars shined once again as the Caribbean nation collected top honours in the men’s and women’s sprint races, with Bolt leading the way with three gold medals and three world records.

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