GLASGOW, Scotland — Even as athletics medals were being won at the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday, the spotlight was on the sprinter nowhere near the track: Usain Bolt.
The world’s fastest man was at the center of a controversy in Glasgow for apparently criticizing his games experience so far. Bolt was quoted as telling The Times of London newspaper that he was “not really” having fun in Glasgow and the games were “a bit s—.” The Jamaican sprinter dismissed the report as “lies” and complained on Twitter: “I’m waking up to this nonsense.”
Seemingly unaffected by the growing row, Bolt watched the Jamaica netball team lose to New Zealand, but attempts to ask for his views on Glasgow were blocked by his manager. “Awesome” was his only response to a question shouted as he left the venue.
The Times defended its story during the day, with Scottish editor Angus Macleod saying: “We stand by this story 100 percent. We have utter confidence in this story.”
Bolt is limiting himself to racing a leg in Jamaica’s 4×100-meter team, with the heats not until Friday and the final on Saturday. But there was action across the games on Wednesday. Here are the highlights:
REPEATED TRIUMPHS: Two champions from the 2012 London Olympics — long jumper Greg Rutherford of England and shot putter Valerie Adams of New Zealand — won Commonwealth gold at Hampden Park.
Rutherford, who has been beset by foot and hamstring injuries since his London gold, jumped a British record 8.51 meters last month. He was only able to jump 8.2 meters to win in Glasgow, but it was enough to see off the South African duo of Zarck Visser and Rushwahl Samaai.
“After what happened last year with injury, I wasn’t sure if I could carry on jumping,” Rutherford said. “Now I’ve won another title. I think a few people had written me off, thinking I was a one-hit wonder. But I’m here again and will be here again many more times.”
Adams continued an amazing run by throwing 19.88 meters, leaving Cleopatra Borel of Trinidad and Tobago to collect silver and Canada’s Julie Labonte in third. Adams now has 12 gold medals from Olympics, Commonwealth Games and world championships, both indoor and outdoor.
Kirani James of Grenada won the men’s 400-meter final in 44.24 seconds ahead of South African runner Wayde van Niekerk and Lalonde Gordon of Trinidad and Tobago.
DIVING GOLD: The Canadian team of Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion won gold in the women’s synchronized 10-meter platform, the first diving event at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.
NO HEADGUARDS CRITICIZED: Australian Daniel Lewis was ruled out of the welterweight quarterfinal after failing a medical check, and he called for headguards to be restored for amateur fighters. Lewis had a badly cut eye after beating Kehinde Ademuyiwa of Nigeria on Monday. Lewis did not recover sufficiently in time to meet Mandeep Jangra of India in his next bout, so Jangra was given a walkover. Lewis criticized a move last year to remove headguards from amateur male fighters, with experts suggesting they contributed to concussions. “For all these people debating about headgear for amateurs, bring the headgear back 100 percent,” Lewis said. “When you have to fight five times in a week this … ruins people’s dreams.”
ENGLAND FIRST: In gymnastics, Max Whitlock of England won gold in the men’s all-around individual gymnastics final with a score of 90.631 points. Daniel Keatings of Scotland took the silver and Nile Wilson of England earned the bronze.
ASSAULT ALLEGATION: A man was arrested on Wednesday over an alleged assault following an altercation at the athletes’ village, police said. The unnamed 29-year-old man is set to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday.
HISTORY-MAKER: Kiribati won a Commonwealth medal for the first time, and it was gold for the tiny Pacific island nation. David Katoatau won the 105-kilogram weightlifting.
CEREMONY ACT: Australian pop star Kylie Minogue has been announced as the headline act for Sunday’s closing ceremony at Hampden Park.