Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt arrives in Glasgow, says he’s injury free

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Usain Bolt‘s introductory press conference at his first Commonwealth Games was less memorable for his answers than for the questions asked — whether he’s ever worn a kilt, his thoughts on the Israel-Gaza situation and Scottish independence and multiple requests for selfies from the assembled media in Glasgow.

The most important bit of news is that he’s 100 percent recovered from a foot injury that delayed his 2014 debut.

“The injury has completely gone,” Bolt said.

Bolt arrived at the multi-sport event Saturday (to bagpipes!) for his first race(s) of the season, a 4x100m relay heat Friday, and if gold medal favorite Jamaica advances, the final next Saturday.

The six-time Olympic champion and 100m and 200m world-record holder doesn’t usually show up for heats in relays, but he’s doing so in Glasgow because he hasn’t raced since going head to head with a bus Dec. 14.

“I need the runs, really, because these are my first runs for the season,” Bolt said. “I really need to get it going.”

Bolt isn’t contesting individual races in Glasgow because he didn’t compete at the Jamaican trials and didn’t want to take a spot from somebody who did run there. A foot injury first reported in March pushed back his preparations for the season and saw him pull out of scheduled meets.

“I don’t know what running shape I’m in,” Bolt said, before clarifying. “I know I’m in good shape running-wise, but actually competing is always different.”

Those were answers to the most pertinent questions at the press conference. Others were more out of left field.

First, he was asked if he had ever worn a kilt.

“No, I haven’t,” Bolt said. “I was told I was going to get one. So, we’ll see how that works out.”

He was then offered a kilt by somebody nearby.

“Red is not my color,” Bolt said.

Bolt will be in Glasgow for a week and, though he said he expects to spend a lot of time in his athletes village room, hopes to see the Jamaican women’s netball team.

He’s not scheduled for any individual races this season until Aug. 14 on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

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What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

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Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).

USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.

The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.

Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.

Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.

The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.

Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.

The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.

Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.

That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.

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IOC president unsure whether esports should be considered sport

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Esports are gaining momentum in the international sports movement, but they are not close to becoming an Olympic sport.

“We are not yet 100 percent clear whether esports is really sport, with regard to physical activity and what it needs to be considered sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach said Tuesday, according to insidethegames. “We do not see an organization or a structure that will give us confidence, or guarantee, that in this area the Olympic rules and values of sport are respected and in place, and that the implementation of these rules are monitored and secured.”

The first clear step (of many) to become an Olympic sport is for the IOC to recognize the sport’s international governing body.

Esports will be added as a medal sport to the Asian Games in 2022, and has been praised by LA 2024 Olympic bid chairman Casey Wasserman, but it is not yet IOC recognized.

“We are watching it, we see the differences, we see the lack of organisation,” Bach said, according to the report. “But we also see the high engagement of youth in esports. Therefore, we have to carefully consider how this could be consolidated.”

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