NOBODY is denying that the Commonwealth Games have been a huge success.
Glasgow has been the focus of millions across the globe over the past couple of weeks and there have been some memorable moments.
Lynsey Sharp’s silver medal in the 800 metres was a triumph over adversity, while the look on swimmer Ross Murdoch’s face after winning gold in the 200m breaststroke was priceless.
I understand the games' importance, particularly as an opportunity for upcoming athletes to make their mark or for those who wouldn’t normally get to grace the international stage.
Yet, I must admit I found it difficult to generate much excitement for the games.
Partly because the standard was hyped up to be better than it actually was.
But also because Usain Bolt, arguably the world’s most iconic sportsman, chose not to participate in his main events – the 100m and 200m.
That decision alone devalues the games in my view. He wasn’t injured, as he was at the Diamond League meeting in Paris earlier this year, he just chose not to enter.
The main star treating it almost as an afterthought sends out entirely the wrong message. It also hits television figures as Bolt is box office.
Track legend turned BBC pundit Michael Johnson leapt to the Jamaican’s defence by saying athletes need a break during the four-year cycle leading up to an Olympics.
Fair enough. But prioritising the Olympics and World Championships over the Commonwealth Games is effectively saying it’s the Carling Cup of athletics. Which it doesn’t have to be.
The games are bigger than Bolt but his presence, as proved when he did show up, certainly helps.