By Michael Hann
GLASGOW, Aug 2 (Reuters) – Six-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt stole the show to give the Commonwealth Games the moment it had been waiting for by leading Jamaica to gold in the 4×100 metres relay on Saturday.
After weeks of build-up, anticipation and controversy, eight-times world champion Bolt delighted the Hampden Park crowd as he raced down the home straight to give Jamaica victory in a Games record time of 37.58 seconds.
In doing so the towering sprinter also claimed the first Commonwealth medal of his illustrious career.
“I’m happy for the fans and I’m happy to get my Commonwealth gold medal,” Bolt told reporters. “It (the Commonwealth Games) was always on my to-do list.
“I always wanted to go to the Commonwealths. I wanted to run an individual event here but I got injured so I decided to run the 4×100.”
Having been the shining light in a Games where big names have been few and far between, the Jamaican dealt with the weight of expectation in his usual charismatic manner.
After anchoring the Jamaica team of Jason Livermore, Kemar Bailey-Cole and Nickel Ashmeade to victory on a puddle-strewn track, Bolt charmed the crowd by performing his ‘lightning bolt’ celebration, posing for selfies and donning a tartan hat.
“Other than the weather it’s been brilliant,” Bolt said of Glasgow. “It felt like any other championship. I got to watch a lot more sports and see a lot more athletes competing.
“It’s always great to have fun with the fans. They made the Games what it was. They are so warm, even when I was cold they were always warm.
“I want to say that this new thing about selfies, they are really making these laps of honour really, really long,” he joked.
(Reporting by Michael Hann; editing by Ken Ferris)