DAVID PYE: Commonwealth Games still have a role on British sporting calendar
Updated 4:09pm Saturday 19th July 2014 in Sport
THE World Cup has dominated the sporting landscape this summer for so long that it has hardly been mentioned the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow is just six days away.
It may not be considered as big an event as it once was but I still believe it should be a big deal for athletes from these shores.
Compared to the Olympics, or even the World Championships, the Commonwealths are now something of a side-show for some – like judging the merits of the Capital One Cup against the UEFA Champions League for the big English football clubs.
The priorities may be different now, but I think if I was an athlete at the top of my sport, I would want to scoop every title in front of me regardless.
While you may not have the presence of the Americans, the Chinese or the Russians in Glasgow, that does not mean the challenge is not there.
As Team England cycling chief Shane Sutton said recently in a velodrome press call I attended, the Australians and Canadians are there and in cycling that is as tough a test as it gets.
Of course, Boltonians have a vested interest in cycling in the shape of Jason Kenny who will hopefully add more gold medals to his trophy cabinet back home.
But there are others in attendance like Sir Bradley Wiggins and Laura Trott who add even more strength to that team in the absence of the injured Mark Cavendish.
On the athletics track north of the border, everyone will miss Jessica Ennis-Hill, who misses out after giving birth this week, and Jamaican sprinter Johann Blake.
But Usain Bolt is planning an appearance in the relay and it looks like Mo Farah will be fit enough to compete at his Olympic champion distances of 5,000m and 10,000m.
I really hope those big names do compete and make it a Games to remember.
As someone lucky enough to be heading north to cover part of the Games for The Bolton News, I am looking forward to seeing the big names mingled in with young and blossoming talent in some high-class venues.
A lot of detractors like to downplay the importance of the Commonwealths but the event can have just as much impact, if successfully organised, as an Olympics.
You just have to look nearer to home to Manchester in 2002 and the fantastic venues that remain from those Games. Who knows? Were it not for the jam-packed venues 12 years ago, London may not have been successful in its Olympic bid a decade later.
Ticket sales have been good by all accounts so I say let’s be proud of having another ‘home’ Games and show the world again how much us Brits love our sport.