Scottish Daily Mail



SCOTLAND’S next generation of athletes were given the job of ‘breaking in’ the nation’s newest and most spectacula­r running track yesterday — as Commonweal­th Games organisers continued to dream of Usain Bolt making Hampden roar. Glasgow 2014 chief executive David Grevemberg, speaking as the revamped national stadium hosted the Scottish Schools Athletic Championsh­ips, appeared unfazed by Bolt’s recent withdrawal­s from major events, placing fresh doubts over his inclusion in the Jamaican team for Glasgow next month. ‘It’s not over ’til it’s over,’ said Grevemberg. ‘And we are very confident there is a strong focus within the Jamaican team on their final preparatio­ns. ‘These decisions aren’t taken lightly by any of the athletes and, when the time is right, they will confirm whether Bolt will participat­e or not. ‘We have a lot of fantastic athletes coming from across the Commonweal­th — but, of course, we’d love to have Usain Bolt here.’ London 2012 hero Mo Farah will run in the 5,000 and 10,000 metres at Hampden, with the Team England superstar, Olympic and world champion over both distances, recently confirming his attendance. Grevemberg said: ‘His involvemen­t is testament to the confidence athletes have in the Games. This is a great platform for them, for us and for the whole Commonweal­th. ‘At London 2012, you had 179 medallists in the Olympics who were Commonweal­th athletes. ‘We will be able to showcase some of the world’s most fantastic athletes — and it means something they are the Commonweal­th’s finest. ‘In addition to being an Olympic and world champion, they are saying: “I’m also a Commonweal­th athlete”. That’s great.’ Although official registrati­on deadlines have passed, Grevemberg insisted there was still room for late entrants, explaining: ‘Teams will put in their names but will have a replacemen­t policy. That’s up until the day. ‘But we hope to have some indication­s soon from a number of athletes that they will be in situ.’ The Glasgow 2014 chief executive was thrilled to see live competitio­n at Hampden yesterday but promised that, despite the SFA floating the idea of leaving the national stadium, athletes would only be temporary tenants at a venue also due to host a Diamond League event before the Games. ‘It’s mesmerisin­g watching athletes on the track here,’ he said. ‘To see actual competitio­n here brings it all to life. ‘Many people say Hampden has never looked better, which is great. But we made a strong promise to the Tartan Army to reinstate the football pitch exactly as it was — and we will stand by that.’

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