London: Asserting that the Commonwealth Games were bigger than a few athletes, four-time Olympic champion cyclist Chris Hoy Tuesday said the mega event will not be ‘devalued’ if a few star athletes will not turn up.
Hoy himself has decided to give the Games a miss as he wants to participate in the November European championships.
His fellow cyclist Victoria Pendleton, gymnast Beth Tweddle, heptathlete Jessica Ennis and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will also be missing in the October 3-14 event but Hoy said the competition will still be a spectacle to watch.
“I don’t think it gets devalued — the Commonwealth Games is bigger than a few athletes here and there and it is an historic and great event. It is unfortunate that this time around there will be a few of the British cycling team and a few of the other athletes not there too. But it will still be a fantastic Games and I’m sure it will be one to remember,” Hoy was quoted as saying by the sportinglife.com.
Hoy said the scheduling of the European Championships, which has 2012 Olympics quota on offer, close to CWG has disturbed all the planning.
“It is no reflection on the Games themselves that a lot of the athletes aren’t riding — it is because of the clash with the European Championships. The international cycling governing body has announced the dates very late for the Championships, so it left us in a position where we couldn’t really make that call — it was made for us,” he said.
Hoy admitted he was frustrated by the whole situation and still does not know the venue, where the Championships - due to start in November — will be held.
“It is a bit frustrating because all of the decisions that have been made, have not been passed on to the athletes. There has been no consultation process, so decisions are made and just dropped out of the blue. I don’t even think we know the venue. I don’t know if it has been finalised yet,” the Scot said.
Hoy hopes to make it to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, where he will be have the unique experience of riding in a velodrome named after him.
“At the moment I’m just thinking about London, but certainly Glasgow 2014 is a huge target. To have a home Olympics and then a home Commonwealth Games as my last two events would be fantastic. It is a massive honour to have a building named after you and to have a velodrome, it is pretty appropriate,” the 34-year-old said.
Cyclist Ross Edgar, who won gold for Scotland in the team sprint alongside Hoy in the 2006 event and will be competing at the Commonwealth Games, said he has no doubts that it remains an important competition.
“A lot of people have played it down this year and there have been some criticisms, but at the end of the day it is a massive event and I am really looking forward to riding in it,” Edgar said.