By STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun
SYDNEY -- Bruny Surin had some bad information to relay to his relay teammates. He almost certainly will not be there when the 4x100-metre heats begin Friday.
"The Games for me are done," Surin said after pulling up injured in the 100-metre semi-finals early yesterday morning. "It will be a miracle for me to run the relay. It hurts so much.
"We did everything. We did acupuncture, we did physio, we did chiro, we did massage and I injected it, I (froze) it. What else can I do?" the Montreal sprinter said.
Without a healthy Surin, who has a pulled left hamstring, Canada has virtually no chance of defending its 1996 Olympic title. And even with a healthy Donovan Bailey, who was still laid up yesterday with a nasty viral infection that resulted in him not even making the 100 semis, the team has little hope.
Surin, who received injections Friday and yesterday to freeze his hamstring, plans to stick around Sydney for a few days, but mainly to rest and recover.
"I don't want to play with (this injury)," he said. "I want to talk to the guys about the relay to see what they're going to do. I just don't think I'll make it."
If Bailey also opts out, as expected, that would leave only four guys on the Canadian relay team to get through two heats and the final, if they get that far.
After Surin and 1996 Olympic 100-metre champ Bailey, there is only one veteran on the squad, Ottawa's Glenroy Gilbert. The other three are newcomers to high-level track.
The fastest of the others, Nicolas Macrozonaris of Montreal, is 20. And he also is fighting a sore hamstring. Toronto's Pierre Browne is also 20. While Brad McCuaig is 29, the Calgary native is a late bloomer without much experience. Only Macrozonaris has run faster than 10.20. And no matter how precise the passes, a successful relay team needs the horses to win.
When asked how he felt the team would do without him, Surin paused and said quietly: "I don't know."
Bailey criticized Athletics Canada before the Games for not sending a seventh man for the relay to help in practice and get through the heats. His argument seems quite valid now.