CWG 14: Absent Usain Bolt hails Bailey-Cole`s sprint victory
Glasgow: Jamaica might not have had Usain Bolt on the starting blocks, but track`s biggest star was quick to laud teammate Kemar Bailey-Cole for winning the Caribbean island`s third consecutive men`s 100m at the Commonwealth Games.
Bolt`s lingering foot injury saw him delay his comeback to the track, meaning he missed the Jamaican national championships that doubled as a trial for the Games in Glasgow.
The six-time Olympic medallist was included, however, in the squad for the 4x100m relay. Yohan Blake, the world`s second fastest man, was also missing through injury.
Any fears that the 100m crown was going anywhere other than Jamaica at a packed Hampden Park on Monday were allayed, however, when Bailey-Cole stepped up to the mark.
"TeamJamaica all the way .. congrats @KemarBaileyCole #Glasgow2014 #gold," tweeted Bolt.
The official Jamaican team twitter feed added "GOLD and BRONZE for #TeamJamaica (((((((LOUD)))))). Kemar Bailey-Cole GOLD, Nickel Ashmeade & Jason Livermore 5th."
Bailey-Cole clocked 10 seconds flat for gold ahead of England`s Adam Gemili (10.10), with Ashmeade claiming bronze (10.12).
"I`ve worked hard for this my whole life. I`ve dreamed of this moment and I can only get better," said Bailey-Cole, a training partner of Bolt.
"I am very happy about it as it is my first individual gold medal so I can`t complain," said the sprinter, who tasted gold medal success at the London 2012 Olympic Games and 2013 World Championships as part of Jamaica`s 4x100m relay team.
Bailey-Cole played down the absence of Bolt and Blake, saying: "I didn`t feel under any pressure coming into the race. I just went out there and executed my race but it wasn`t perfect.
"The start wasn`t good. Just the start - the rest of it was okay. I think I could have run a lower time if I had a better start but I`ve got the gold."
Bailey-Cole added of his relationship with Bolt: "I train with Usain Bolt but our friendship is not that close.
"We are good friends but not really that close. I didn`t hear from Usain before the race, but the coaches told me to go out win and I did just that."
Jamaica`s night at Hampden started with an unlikely gold in the shot put for O`Dayne Richards, but hopes for a sprint double were dashed when Nigerian Blessing Okagbare won the women`s 100m ahead of Jamaican duo Veronica Campbell-Brown and Kerron Stewart.
"A good day for Jamaica..#RichardsGold #Bailey-ColeGold #VCBSilver #KerronBronze #AshmedeBrone #TeamJamaica #Congrats #Glasgow2014," Bolt later tweeted.
Okagbare set a new Games record of 10.85sec for gold, with Campbell-Brown and Stewart timing 11.03 and 11.07sec respectively.