GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – On a wet track following torrential rain, Usain Bolt gave the Commonwealth Games a display of showmanship and speed as he anchored Jamaica’s 4×100-meter relay team to gold and glory on Saturday.
Jamaica raced ahead of England in a games-record 37.58 seconds as the six-time Olympic gold medalist became a Commonwealth champion for the first time, enhancing the status of an event that can appear an anachronism in the modern world.
“Even though it was cold, the energy was warm,” Bolt said.
Many doubted whether Bolt would turn up in Glasgow, having skipped the last two editions and being sidelined with a left foot injury earlier in 2014. The individual sprints were avoided, but the world’s fastest man made it clear that he craved a Commonwealth gold in his already illustrious medal haul.
Now Bolt has that gold from a Hampden Park experience he undoubtedly savored following a week when he was forced to deny making disparaging comments about Glasgow.
“The only bad thing about this place is the weather,” Bolt said. “But I expected it.”
There was, however, a pause in the showers when the biggest star of these games appeared on a track scattered with puddles and produced theatrics even more exuberant than usual. Before running 100 meters, Bolt danced along to the lyrics of Scottish pop anthem “500 Miles.”
“It kind of helped me keep hyped up for the race,” Bolt said.
After legs by Jason Livermore, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade, Bolt continued running beyond his 100 meters, draping himself in a Jamaican flag, a Scottish Saltire and tartan hat as he entertained the crowd and posed for pictures.
“This new thing about selfies is really making these laps of honors really long,” Bolt said. “It used to be autographs, now everyone wants a selfie.”
But it is likely to be the last one at a Commonwealth Games for Bolt, who plans to retire after the 2017 world championships — before Australia’s Gold Coast hosts the games in 2018.
“I want to be there but maybe not as an athlete,” he said.
Jamaica’s women also won their sprint relay, with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce running the final leg as the women’s team won in 41.83 seconds.
In other news, a former 400-meter world champion has become the second athlete at the Commonwealth Games to fail a doping test. Amantle Montsho of Botswana tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine after surrendering her Commonwealth title on Tuesday by coming fourth in the women’s 400-meter final.
The Commonwealth Games Federation announced that Montsho had been suspended at a hearing on Saturday in Glasgow. Montsho requested that her backup sample be tested, which will happen on Monday in London.