(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) E biggest ever multi-sport event takes place in Scotland Sporting household names such as Usain Bolt Mo Farah and Bradley Wiggins will add some welcome sparkle to the 20th Commonwealth Games that get under way in Glasgow.
The biggest ever multi-sport event to take place in Scotland will see more than 4000 athletes from 71 nations 53 of which make up the Commonwealth of Nations — the rest made up of British overseas territories or dependencies take part in 17 sports over 11 days with 261 medals up for grabs.
With the background of a September 18 referendum on Scottish independence the Games will officially be opened by Queen Elizabeth II at a lavish ceremony in Celtic Park later Wednesday that will enjoy an estimated television audience of one billion viewers. Attention will then turn to the action itself with Bolt arguably world sport’s biggest star looking to add Commonwealth gold to his six Olympic and eight World Championship gold medals.
However the 27-year-old will only be running as part of the Jamaican 4x100m relay team as he missed his national championships which served as the selection meeting for the Commonwealth Games due to injury. Bolt said he didn’t want to take the place of any athlete who had qualified for an indivial event but would be available for selection as part of the relay team. “I have received lots of requests invitations and messages of support from my fans in Scotland who are looking forward to a great event” he said.
Double world and Olympic champion Farah is confident of being fit to run both the 5000m and 10000m despite pulling out of the Diamond League event in Glasgow due to abdominal pains.
Kenya’s world 800m record holder David Rudisha will be hotly tipped in the two-lap race but will not have it his own way given the electric form of Botswana’s Nijel Amos who recently beat the Kenyan into fifth in Monaco.
With two-time Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce also only competing in the 4x100m relay Trinidad and Tobago’s Michelle-Lee Ahye is the strong favourite for the women’s 100m as she is yet to be beaten this year.
The heptathlon has been stripped of its two outstanding stars firstly Jessica Ennis due to the recent birth of her first child and then English teammate Katarina Johnson-Thompson through injury. Away from track and field the Tour de France’s loss with be the Commonwealth Games’ gain as Wiggins will represent England in the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome in the 4000m team pursuit on Thursday.