GLASGOW — Track and field action got underway at the Commonwealth Games with the men’s 100 metres heats at Hampden Park Stadium on Sunday.
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Jamaica’s Kemar Bailey-Cole looked easy when winning his heat, as he came back from a slow start to win the first heat of the men’s 100m in 10.16 seconds. Bailey-Cole, who trains with Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake, beat Barbados’ Ramon Gittens and he was second in 10.34.
Bailey-Cole, meanwhile, was also not buying into the hype of how fast the track really is.
“The track is just average,” the Jamaican sprinter told BBC One in an interview.
Another Jamaican, Jason Livermore, won the second heat just as easily in 10.26secs, beating Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Jason Rogers, who posted 10.39.
Jamaican champion Nickel Ashmeade won his heat as well – taking first place in a very relaxed 10.40secs, after easing down some 40metres away from the finishing line.
Elsewhere, Trinidad and Tobago’s Richard Thompson, the fastest man in the Commonwealth this year, finished third in his heat, but still managed to earn a spot in the semi-finals.
After running 10.33 seconds to make it as one of the fastest losers, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist revealed that he was guilty of underestimating his competitors. Nigerian Mark Jelks, a former USA sprinter, won the heat in 10.28, with Warren Fraser from the Bahamas also beating Thompson.
“I just underestimated the runners,” he said to BBC One.
He, however, added: “I feel good and I am ready to run fast tomorrow. It’s about running your rounds using less energy because you want to run fast in the finals.
Adam Gemili (10.15) of England was the fastest qualifier after he dominated his heat in the cool conditions.
“To come out to hear that cheer makes you want to push that bit harder and do well so I am truly grateful for the reception,” Gemili told BBC One.
“It’s onto the semi-finals and I’m looking forward to it.”
Also going fast in the early rounds was Keston Bledman of Trinidad and Tobago, who won the ninth and final heat in 10.16.
Other heat winners on Sunday were Kemar Hyman (10.20) from the Cayman Islands, Antigua and Bermuda’s Daniel Bailey (10.30), Simbine Akani (10.32) of South Africa.
American former sprinter and BBC Sport athletics expert Michael Johnson, believes with the likes of Asafa Powell, Blake and Bolt not running in Glasgow, the Commonwealth Games men’s 100m is wide open.
“It’s a fantastic venue. I think that the 100m is wide open because some of the big names aren’t here, so we should see some great competition,” said Johnson.
“The Commonwealth Games is always an opportunity for young, up-and-coming athletes, so it should be exciting.”