Five stars of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games
There has been much written about who is not at these Commonwealth Games, but there are still a host of stars about to strut their stuff in Glasgow. Here are five of the best.
1. DAVID RUDISHA
World record holder and Olympic 800m championZ
David Rudisha was one of the stars of London 2012 with his breathtaking world record in the 800m, but the Kenyan says he believes he can go even faster as he continues his comeback after a year lost to injury. He did not run at all in 2013 but 2012 was magnificent, with his world record of 1min 40.91sec in the Olympic final, called "the performance of the Games". The 25-year-old Kenyan is not currently in that kind of form, but is on target to win gold at the Commonwealth Games. "It's going to be tough to follow," Rudisha said. "I don't want to stop there. I want to try for the world record again. With good training and good motivation, I'm looking forward to seeing in the near future if I can be in that good shape and even try to do better than that."
2. MO FARAH
Double gold medallist at London Olympics
It's been squeaky bum week the past seven days for Games organisers as they sweated on the fitness of this British Olympian superstar. Farah, who won 5000m and 10,000m gold at London 2012, missed last week's Diamond League meeting in the city because of illness. But he completed a rigorous training session during the week and on Thursday tweeted: "Training is going good! Next stop Commonwealth Games." The 31-year-old is due to run the 5000m and 10,000m in Glasgow. The shorter distance race will pitch him against Kiwi ace Nick Willis.
3. SALLY PEARSON
Commonwealth and Olympic 100m hurdles champion
It hasn't all been peaches and cream for the Gold Coast superstar since she triumphed in London two years ago at the Olympics. The past year has been particularly challenging for the sprint queen, with a series of hamstring injuries affecting her and resulting in some uncharacteristic losses on the European circuit. But encouragingly, Pearson defeated reigning world champion Brianna Rollins of the US in Switzerland last week as she builds towards her Commonwealth Games defence. Pearson is also toying with the idea of running in the 100m sprint but will leave a final decision until this coming week. "I really, really want to [run the 100m flat]. I still want to say yes to it but I can't guarantee it," she said. "I'm going to make a decision at the last minute but I'm still trying to get there. "At this point in time the hurdles is the priority because I want to win that."
4. VAL ADAMS
Commonwealth, Olympic and world shot put champion
Our own Val is a bona fide world star nowadays. In fact, in most cases, Adams' record generally tops superstars in other sports at Commonwealth and Olympic Games. In the case of Glasgow, Adams is coming into the event having seemingly shrugged off a troublesome shoulder injury and on a winning streak of 52 major events in succession. It would take a brave punter to bet against her making that 53 in Glasgow. In fact, there may not be a gold medallist at shorter odds from anywhere at these Games. "I came to my first Commonwealth Games as a 16-year-old in Melbourne in 2006 and I'm still here now," Adams said. "Hopefully I'll be at the next one after this too." Adams, of course, has won the past two Commonwealth Games titles.
5. SIR BRADLEY WIGGINS
Former Tour de France winner and multi-Olympic track champion
Sir Bradley Wiggins will slot straight back into England's team pursuit cycling squad in Glasgow. The former Tour de France winner has returned to the track with a view to adding to his seven Olympic medals in Rio in two years' time. He could now compete in four events at the Commonwealth Games - two on the road, and two in the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome. Although the track disciplines that Wiggins will ride have not been confirmed, it is rumoured he will attempt to break the individual pursuit world record. "I'm very happy to be able to welcome Sir Bradley back to the track team for the Commonwealth Games - his addition will be a real morale boost to the rest of the track squad," said British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton. "The decision of who will ride what event will be made nearer the time."