London: Contradicting Commonwealth Games Organising Committee Chairman Suresh Kalmadi’s claims, three-time Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt has denied making any commitment to run at the event in New Delhi next year.
In what would come as a major embarrassment for the organisers, Bolt’s manager Ricky Simms says the World champion Jamaican has not made any promises so far and will decide on his participation only next year.
“I’ve spoken to Glen Mills (Bolt’s coach) who confirmed that no decision will be made about Usain’s participation in the Commonwealth Games until May-June 2010 when he starts racing in the IAAF Diamond League,” Simms told a sports website here.
Kalmadi, during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Port of Spain, claimed that Bolt, the World record holder for the 100 and 200m event, would definitely compete in the Delhi Games scheduled from October 3 to 14 next year.
The star sprinter, however, maintains that it is too early to commit to the event, the build-up to which has been far from ideal with mounting concerns about the pace of infrastructure development.
Considered the fastest man on the planet, Bolt had missed the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne due to a hamstring injury.
Asked about his chances of participating in the Delhi Games a few weeks ago, Bolt said he had left the matter to his coach.
“I don’t know (if I will be attending), you will have to direct that question to my coach, he determines what I do,” Bolt had stated.
“For me it’s cool, as long as it’s a championships I always go out there and do my best ... It’s always good to have under your belt a title, but as I said, it’s all about the coach.”
Kalmadi, who is under pressure from both the Indian Sports Ministry and the Commonwealth Games Federation to ensure a successful Games, has been insisting for quite some time that Bolt would be there in Delhi.
The Indian Olympic Association chairman is even looking for a sponsor to pay for Bolt’s expenses during his stay in India.
But the 23-year-old star has been advised by the likes of four-time Olympic champion Michael Johnson to go slow in 2010 before starting his build-up to the 2012 London Olympics.
“It might be time for Bolt to slow down. Physically, there is no doubt he can continue to compete, and there is no telling how fast he might go one day,” Johnson said. — PTI