London: Asserting that the Commonwealth Games were bigger than a few athletes, four-time Olympic
champion cyclist Chris Hoy on Tuesday said the mega event will not
be `devalued` if a few star athletes will not turn up.
Hoy himself has decided to give the Games a miss as he
wants to participate in the November European championships.
His fellow cyclist Victoria Pendleton, gymnast Beth
Tweddle, heptathlete Jessica Ennis and Jamaican sprinter Usain
Bolt will also be missing in the October 3-14 event but Hoy
said the competition will still be a spectacle to watch.
"I don`t think it gets devalued - the Commonwealth Games
is bigger than a few athletes here and there and it is an
historic and great event. It is unfortunate that this time
around there will be a few of the British cycling team and a
few of the other athletes not there too. But it will still be
a fantastic Games and I`m sure it will be one to remember,"
Hoy was quoted as saying.
Hoy said the scheduling of the European Championships,
which has 2012 Olympics quota on offer, close to CWG has
disturbed all the planning.
"It is no reflection on the Games themselves that a lot
of the athletes aren`t riding - it is because of the clash
with the European Championships. The international cycling
governing body has announced the dates very late for the
Championships, so it left us in a position where we couldn`t
really make that call - it was made for us," he said.
Hoy admitted he was frustrated by the whole situation and
still does not know the venue, where the Championships - due
to start in November - will be held.
"It is a bit frustrating because all of the decisions
that have been made, have not been passed on to the athletes.
There has been no consultation process, so decisions are made
and just dropped out of the blue. I don`t even think we know
the venue. I don`t know if it has been finalised yet," the
Hoy hopes to make it to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in
2014, where he will be have the unique experience of riding in
a velodrome named after him.
"At the moment I`m just thinking about London, but
certainly Glasgow 2014 is a huge target. To have a home
Olympics and then a home Commonwealth Games as my last two
events would be fantastic. It is a massive honour to have a
building named after you and to have a velodrome, it is pretty
appropriate," the 34-year-old said.
Cyclist Ross Edgar, who won gold for Scotland in the team
sprint alongside Hoy in the 2006 event and will be competing
at the Commonwealth Games, said he has no doubts that it
remains an important competition.
"A lot of people have played it down this year and there
have been some criticisms, but at the end of the day it is a
massive event and I am really looking forward to riding in
it," Edgar said.