Bolt on mission to thrill Scots

  • Last Updated: July 31 2014, 14:22 BST

Usain Bolt is set to win back Glaswegian hearts on Friday night when he finally takes to the Hampden Park track for the heats of the 4 x 100 metres.

Jamaica's Usain Bolt will take to the track on Friday night
Jamaica's Usain Bolt will take to the track on Friday night

The world's fastest man is due to run the anchor leg for the Jamaican team, three days after reportedly delivering a staggering slur on his Glasgow experience.

Bolt described the Games as "awesome" on Wednesday, having earlier taken to Twitter to deny a report in The Times which quoted him, speaking on Tuesday, saying they were "'a bit s***" and he was "not really" having fun in Scotland.

Despite that controversy, on top of his not racing in the individual 100m or 200m, it is impossible to imagine a packed Hampden crowd, who have been in good voice throughout the event, not giving the Games' star attraction a rousing reception. He, more than any other athlete, is the man they have come to see.

Friday is set to be the six-time Olympic champion's Commonwealth Games debut after he missed the event in Melbourne in 2006 through injury and opted to skip the 2010 edition in Delhi.

Rumours persist over whether the 27-year-old will actually run, even though he confirmed on his arrival in Glasgow on Saturday that he would "definitely" do so and would go in the heats as well as Saturday's final because he needs the race practice after not competing all year due to a foot injury.

Bolt was seen training with his team-mates at the warm-up track at Hampden on Wednesday afternoon, having earlier watched the Jamaica netball team, the Reggae Girlz, in action.

He has received the support of the Commonwealth Games Federation, but The Times on Thursday published the full conversation between Bolt and reporter Katie Gibbons, and Angus Macleod, the newspaper's Scottish editor, said he stood by the story "100 per cent".

Bolt's Jamaica team-mates have variously complained about the quality of the food and the "freezing" weather.

The 100m gold medallist Kemar Bailey-Cole and bronze winner Nickel Ashmeade are also in the relay squad.

There remains the possibility, however miniscule, that Bolt could take to the track and still not get to run, were his team-mates to get their baton changeovers wrong.

That has been a British speciality at major championships in recent years, but they have looked impressive this season and the England team, who are defending champions and led by individual silver medallist Adam Gemili, are confident of giving the favourites a run for their money.