Where is Usain Bolt?

LONDON - When Usain Bolt turns up at an international sporting event, there is usually only one question in the minds of athletes and fans alike: just how quickly will the world's fastest man run this time as he cruises to the gold medal?

But Glasgow 2014 is different. Bolt arrived at the weekend, but the Jamaican athlete is recovering from foot surgery and so will compete only in the 4x100m relay, heats for which begin on Friday.

Thus spectators watching Monday night's Commonwealth Games 100m final were keen to see who would win the event in the Jamaican's absence, and were wondering just what Bolt would be doing instead of lacing up his running spikes?

The first question was answered at 9.50pm, in 10 seconds flat, by Kemar Bailey-Cole, Bolt's Jamaica teammate. He was followed very closely to the line by England's 20-year-old Adam Gemili, who punched the air when his silver medal, ahead of the pre-race favourite Nickel Ashmeade, was confirmed.

As for the second, finding a trace of Bolt was not easy at the athletes' village on Monday. In the international zone, three competitors from Vanuatu were sitting in deckchairs watching a hockey match on a big screen. Two men in Cyprus team colours were draining pints of beer in the sun. Two young Rwandan athletes were perched on bar stools, chatting. Bolt was nowhere to be seen.

Makhetha Mosotho, a doctor with the Lesothan squad, hadn't caught so much as a glimpse. Natasha DeCaprio in the Virgin mobile phone shop said Bolt hadn't popped in, "though we did have Tom Daley. He played on our X-box game."

The scale of Bolt's megastardom – and his value to the Glasgow Games – was demonstrated in a breathless press conference to which he was whisked as soon as he landed on Saturday, and where the world's media cooed over the 27-year-old to an almost embarrassing degree.

No, he had never worn a kilt. Yes, he would pose for a selfie. No, he didn't have a view on the Israel-Palestine question (truly). A hint that he might like to watch Jamaica's netball team, referred to as the Sunshine Girls, while in Glasgow sent a scrum of photographers to the team's match on Sunday against Scotland – which, alas, was Bolt-less.

In truth, Bolt's schedule in Glasgow is not so hard to fathom. While he stressed at his press conference that he had recovered from his injury, he admitted he was "not yet in running shape", one of the reasons he was keen to make his first Commonwealth Games and would run the heats "to get a few runs in".

He has been training hard under coach, Glen Mills, at his Kingston base in recent weeks, a schedule that will continue in the runup to his race.

When not training, he is unlikely to tour the Highlands. As Bolt told journalists, it was always "fun" to stay in the athletes' village, but "I try not to walk around the village too much because I tend to [have to] take a lot of pictures … I stay in my room most of the time."

After being mobbed even by fellow athletes during London 2012, Bolt now tends to ask friends among his personal entourage, which includes personal security, to pick up food for him or bring a barber to his room if he needs a haircut. Accusations of diva-like behaviour are unfair, however – he normally shares a room like the rest of the squad.

The world's fastest man will be on a plane out of Glasgow first thing on Sunday. – The Guardian

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