Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt could compete at Commonwealth Games

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Usain Bolt could make his Commonwealth Games debut this summer, but it looks like it would only be in a relay.

“I am not ready to compete at the Jamaican Championships this weekend but I have informed the JAAA’s that I am available for selection for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and have submitted the relevant documentation,” Bolt said in a statement on his website. “I do not wish to take the place of anyone who qualifies this weekend in an individual event but am available for relay duty if the selectors feel I can be an asset to the Jamaican team in Glasgow.  I have received lots of requests, invitations and messages of support from my fans in Scotland who are looking forward to a great event.”

Bolt hasn’t raced since going head to head with a bus in Buenos Aires on Dec. 14. It was revealed in March that the six-time Olympic champion suffered a foot injury and went to Munich for treatment. Bolt called it a setback in April but said it was nothing serious.

On June 6, he pulled out of meets June 17 and July 5 due to a lack of training but said his foot was 100 percent healthy and that he was in full training. His next scheduled meets are in Warsaw, Poland, on Aug. 23, and Zurich, Switzerland, on Aug. 28.

The Commonwealth Games 4x100m relay rounds are Aug. 1-2.

The Commonwealth Games are a multi-sport competition held every four years, almost like a mini Summer Olympics. It includes the Commonwealth of Nations — highlighted by England, Jamaica, Canada, Australia and Kenya.

The U.S. does not compete in the Games, which are held in non-Olympic and non-outdoor World Championship years for track and field.

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Chinese figure skating judges banned for biased Olympic scoring

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Two Chinese figure skating judges were suspended by the International Skating Union for biased judging at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Chen Weiguang and Huang Feng had “preferential marking” for top Chinese skaters Jin Boyang (fourth place in PyeongChang) and the silver medalist pairs’ team of Sui Wenjing and Han Cong, respectively, according to the ISU.

Chen was banned two years and excluded from the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Huang got a one-year ban.

Chen awarded her highest grades of execution scores of the men’s competition to Jin, as well as her second-highest program components scores, trailing only gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu. Both sets of scores, in both the short and long programs, were out of line with the other eight judges.

“There is evidence of preference for the Chinese skater and prejudice against his strongest competitors,” an ISU report read. “Her marks were completely unrealistic.”

The pairs’ judge Huang “obviously favored his pair also vis-à-vis the other top candidates for the Olympic gold medal,” the ISU said in a report, referencing inflated scores for Sui and Han and lower scores for gold and bronze medalists Aljona Savchenko and Bruno Massot of Germany and Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford of Canada.

Huang was warned one month before the Olympics by the ISU for biased judging at the December 2017 Grand Prix Final pairs’ event.

Both suspensions are subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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Javier Fernandez to skip Grand Prix, still compete next season

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Javier Fernandez, who in PyeongChang became the first Spanish Olympic figure skating medalist, will skip the fall Grand Prix series but return for January’s European Championships, which could be his final competition.

Europeans will be Fernandez’s focus for the season, his agent said Tuesday.

Fernandez, 26, added an Olympic bronze medal to his 2015 and 2016 World titles. He has said that his third Olympics in PyeongChang would be his last. But Fernandez did not say he would retire after the Winter Games, though he did skip the world championships in March.

Fernandez now plans to compete in his 13th straight European Championships in Minsk in January. He won the last six titles. It’s unknown if he will continue on to the world championships in Saitama, Japan, in March.

In Fernandez’s absence, the top male singles skaters in the fall Grand Prix season should be double Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu, PyeongChang silver medalist Shoma Uno and American Nathan Chen, who was fifth at the Olympics after a disastrous short program but ran away with March’s world title by the largest margin in history.

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