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Bolt, Wiggins head Glasgow Games athletes to watch
Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins, Anna Meares head list of Commonwealth Games athletes to watch
By DENNIS PASSA
Associated Press
2014-07-23 11:22 PM

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) -- Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt is unquestionably the biggest name at the Commonwealth Games, although he won't compete until the final weekend for Jamaica in the relay.

Bolt, who won the 100- and 200-meter races at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games, is recovering from a foot ailment and says he doesn't want to risk further injury by competing in his individual events. Athletics in Glasgow does not begin until Sunday, and ends on Aug. 2.

Other standouts include Olympic cycling champions Bradley Wiggins of England and Anna Meares of Australia, and English triathlete Alistair Brownlee, who will attempt to add a Commonwealth gold medal to the Olympic one he won at London in 2012.

Triathlon is one of 12 sports which begin competition on Thursday, when 20 gold medals will be presented.

Here are some sports and athletes to watch through the first few days in Glasgow:

TRACK CYCLING: Meares, looking to medal at her fourth Commonwealth Games, is the two-time defending champ in the 500-meter time trial, and hopes to make it three in a row on the 250-meter track at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome on Thursday. Wiggins, competing in his first Commonwealths since Manchester in 2002, will compete in the team pursuit -- one of four gold medals to be awarded on Thursday -- in what is likely to be his only event on the track. Australia and New Zealand dominated the Delhi Games velodrome in 2010 with 26 medals.

SWIMMING: Australia, which won 20 gold medals in the Delhi pool, is expected to again dominate the program which begins on Thursday and ends on Tuesday. London Olympians James Magnussen and Cameron McEvoy should be on the podium for Australia in the 100 freestyle. Scotland is led by Olympic silver medalist Michael Jamieson and Ross Murdoch in the breaststroke. South Africa's Chad le Clos won Olympic gold in the 200 butterfly at London, beating Michael Phelps, and is the favorite in Glasgow. Canadian Ryan Cochrane is the defending champ in the last individual event, the 1,500 freestyle.

Alicia Coutts, who won gold with Australia's freestyle sprint relay team at London and added three silver medals, won five Commonwealth golds at Delhi. She is the defending champion in the 200 individual medley and 100 butterfly. Hannah Miley of Scotland won gold in the 400 IM, one of six events she will contest.

TRIATHLON: After being absent from the program at Delhi, triathlon will have individual events on Thursday and a mixed team race on Saturday. Andrea Hewitt of New Zealand and Jodie Stimpson of England are the women's favorites, and could receive the first gold medal of the games as their race begins at 11 a.m., four hours before the men. Alistair Brownlee's biggest rival for men's gold is likely to be his younger brother Jonathan, who won Olympic bronze at London. "The course is good," Alistair Brownlee says. "There's nothing easy on it but nothing really hard either, it should just be nice and challenging."

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