Bolt set for Games debut

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iol spt aug1 Bolt REUTERS Usain Bolt revealed that he will put back his planned retirement until 2017 at the request of his sponsors. Photo: Andrew Winning

Glasgow – Sprint superstar Usain Bolt is set to make his first Commonwealth Games appearance on Friday when he runs in the 4x100m relay as seven more golds are up for grabs in track and field.

Bolt, who raced neither the 100 nor 200m, won by Jamaican teammates Kemar Bailey-Cole and Rasheed Dwyer respectively, is expected to race in heats for the relay, with the final slated for Saturday.

Elsewhere on the track, Olympic champion Sally Pearson will go for gold in the 100m hurdles, also bidding to bury the controversy over the suspension of Australian team head coach Eric Hollingsworth for his outspoken criticism of her for missing a pre-Games team training camp.

Main rivals will likely include US-born Briton Tiffany Porter and Danielle Williams of Jamaica.

World champion Eunice Sum will be favourite in the women's 800m, but there's no room for Kenyan teammate Janeth Jepkosgei Busienei, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist and a three-time world medallist including gold in Osaka in 2007 failing to qualify.

Similar Kenyan dominance is likely to come in the men's 3000m steeplechase where double Olympic champion Ezekiel Kemboi Cheboi is chasing a second Commonwealth gold eight years on from his success at Melbourne 2006.

Ugandan Moses Kipsiro is back to try and defend his 10,000m title, having already lost his 5,000m title earlier in the Games.

There are also finals in the women's high jump and discus, and the men's pole vault.

Boxing enters the semi-final stages with Northern Ireland on course to better their haul of three gold medals they collected in New Dehli four years ago.

One of the favourites to do well is Paddy Barnes, who will attempt to defend the light flyweight title he won in New Dehli four years ago when he takes on Fazil Juma Kaggwa from Uganda.

Barnes is one of nine boxers from Northern Ireland competing in the semi-finals and who are all guaranteed at least a bronze.

Scotland will be hoping for a first ever heavyweight champion when Stephen Lavelle goes up against David Light of New Zealand in their last four bout.

The victor will face either Canada's Samir El-Mais or Efetobor Apochi of Nigeria in the final.

Scotland's other hopes rest on the shoulders of Reece McFadden in the men's flyweight while Josh Taylor is one of the favourites to clinch gold in the light-welterweight competition.

Taylor will take on English boxer Samuel Maxwell for a place in the final.

Tulani Mbenge is already guaranteed to win South Africa's first boxing medal since 2006 but he will want to emulate the gold won by Bongani Mwelase in Melbourne.

The South African will take on Scott Fitzgerald of England for a place in the men's welterweight final.

Fitzgerald is one of seven English fighters left with a chance of a gold medal with Joseph Joyce taking on Mike Sekabembe of Uganda for a place in the super-heavyweight final.

English fighter Nicola Adams is still on course to add a Commonwealth gold medal to her Olympic title.

Standing between Adams and a place in the final is Canada's Mandy Bujold, who eliminated Australia's Kirsty Harris.

Joining them in the last four on Friday are Michaela Walsh from Northern Ireland and Pinki Rani of India

South Africa will face reigning champions Australia, whilst England take on New Zealand for a place in Saturday's gold medal match of women's hockey.

All four sides also made the semi-final in Dehli four years ago with New Zealand and Australia progressing to the final and the two Oceanic sides are favourites to reach the final again as both won all four of their group matches.

England's Tom Daley makes his much-anticipated entrance in the Glasgow diving competition, teaming up with James Denny in the men's synchronised 10m platform.

Daley won at the Delhi 2010 Games with Max Brick and placed fourth in the event at the London Olympics. – Sapa-AFP


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