No Mo, A Major Blow

October 21, 2013 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

There are many sports fans who have questioned the hoopla that surrounds the Commonwealth Games as in the last two editions many of the Gold medal winners have struggled to make the podium and sometimes the finals in events such as the Athletics World Championships or the Olympic Games. No longer does the event have the kudos of old.

Next year Glasgow will be the host city and they have had a budget of GBP524million to organise the Games. The signs are good with organisers claiming that they have had 2.3 million applications for tickets with only 1 million tickets available.

It is predicted that around 6,500 athletes from 70 countries will compete in 17 sports over 11 days from 23 July – 3 August next year. The expected television audience is around 2 billion.

However organisers are worried that this could be severely dented if the stars of Athletics fail to attend the games and compete.  Sprint sensation Usain Bolt has yet to confirm his attendance and has been quoted as saying  he is ‘not 100% sure’ he will be there.

Scotland’s six time Olympic Gold Medallist Sir Chris Hoy will definitely not be competing having announced his retirement, but the biggest blow it would appear is the news that dual Olympic gold medallist and world champion Mo Farah is looking unlikely to compete.

Farah is considered to be at the moment Britain’s finest athlete, so to have the 5000m and 10,000m Champion not attending the games will be a major blow for organisers.

The 30 year old Somalia-born athlete has declared he is proud to be British, but has stated his priority is the London Marathon in April. A race for which he is rumoured to be receiving a six figure sum.

He has not discounted participating in the Commonwealth Games but has said he will have to see how quickly his body recovers. Although he is quoted as saying ‘It is not on my list.’ Interestingly Farah has yet to win a Commonwealth Games medal, having finished 9th in the 5000m in Melbourne.

It would certainly be a blow to the event organisers if Bolt and Farah did opt not to attend, it would also be a blow to the Games as a whole. In Farah’s case it may influence many in the Scottish independence vote being held a month after the Games!

It will be sad but their absence will give opportunities to other up and coming athletes, to gain international experience and win medals that may indeed set them on the path to World Championship and Olympic medals. Fans will have the chance to see and remember these athletes first victories.

The Commonwealth Games may not have the same kudos of yesteryear, but they still have an important place in the sporting calendar as a stepping stone to greater things. For that reason success there should be put in perspective, and they should be a barometer of athletes and countries to look out for in two years time at the Rio Olympics.




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