Bolt to skip club games

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LONDON, January 11 – Olympic and world champion Usain Bolt is likely to miss this year's Commonwealth Games in Delhi according to the Jamaica sprint star's agent.Ricky Simms, quoted by Britain’s Mail on Sunday newspaper, said: "It’s now looking unlikely Usain will be going to the Commonwealth Games. His priorities have to lie elsewhere."

Simms said the timing of the Commonwealth Games, which take place in Delhi in October, would interfere with 100 and 200 metres Olympic and world champion Bolt’s pre-season ahead of the 2011 campaign.

"First and foremost is his four-year plan leading up to the next Olympics, which is exactly what he did prior to Beijing in 2008.

"It’s started well enough with what he achieved at last summer’s Berlin World Championships, but this year is all about the Diamond League and a continuation of his preparation for 2012. He also views the World Championships in 2011 and 2013 as crucially important."

Bolt broke his own 100m and 200m world records in the German capital, lowering his 100m time to 9.58 seconds and reducing his 200m to 19.19 secs.

Simms added: "The timing of the Commonwealth Games is the issue here. By the start of October, Usain will have needed to have rested and then began his pre-season which, as every athlete knows, is massively important.

"If you don’t get your pre-season right, then you won’t get the following summer right. If Usain ran in Delhi, it would not only require him to stay at his best from pretty much May through to October, but then delay his pre-season until Christmas or the new year.

"That would be far too late if he wants to emulate his feats so far on a global stage in 2011. It’s not as if Usain doesn’t want to be at the Games, it’s more the case that he most probably can’t afford to be there."

Bolt is not the only high-profile athlete who is contemplating missing the Commonwealth Games.

Britain’s world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis said last month the timing of the Games would clash with her preparations for the World Indoor Championship and European Championship, which she considers key staging posts on the way to the defence of her world title in Daegu, South Korea in 2011.

"The timing of the Commonwealth Games is not great," Ennis said.

"October is when I start my winter training so I’d have to push everything along, and it wouldn’t be good for doing an indoor season the following year, which I need to prepare well for the next World Championship."

The Commonwealth is an organisation largely made up of nations that were once part of the now defunct British Empire.

Whereas the Commonwealth Games were once considered one of the major track and field events outside the Olympics, the advent of the World Championships, European Championships and Asian Games have seen a decline in the importance attached to it by many athletes.

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