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IAAF sides with Bolt on Rogge comments

IAAF sides with Bolt on Rogge comments

The president of the IAAF has disagreed with IOC head Jacques Rogge's comments about the behavior of Usain Bolt after the Jamaican's world record races at the Olympics, saying such occasions merit extraordinary celebrations.
Rogge criticized Bolt for showing a lack of respect to other competitors after his gold medal performances in the 100 and 200 meters.
"No, no, I did not mind," IAAF president Lamine Diack said.
"It is normal actually for him not to come back" once he crossed the line, he said, considering the enormity of the achievements.
And Bolt himself was unrepentant _ International Olympic Committee president or not.
"I won't change that. And I don't see any problem with it, because people enjoy watching me. I'll stay the way I am _ that's my personality," Bolt said Saturday.
The 100 meters is perhaps the most cherished record in athletics and the 200 was considered one of the toughest to beat. Bolt did both in four days.
Even the Jamaican government came to the defense of its star athlete.
"It is an unfortunate comment at this time, especially when we are driving young people to become more involved," government minister Edmund Bartlett said of Rogge's comments.
"We have to see it in the glory of their moment and give it to them," Bartlett said of the 22-year-old Bolt. "We have to allow the personality of youth to express itself."
Before reaching the line in the 100 final, Bolt glanced around with arms outstretched and pounded his chest.
He made little effort to congratulate the other runners as he wrapped himself in a Jamaican flag and set off on a solo victory lap.
"He should show more respect for his competitors and shake hands, give a tap on the shoulder to the other ones immediately after the finish and not make gestures like the one he made," said Rogge, the president of the IOC.
Bolt said his competitors didn't mind his showboating. "I talked to the other guys, and most of them are OK with it," he said.
Diack said, however, that as Bolt matures, he will show more consideration for others.
"He has to learn from this," Diack said in a wide-ranging interview with small group of journalists.
He called Bolt's 200 victory and the breaking of Michael Johnson's world record of 19.32 by .02 seconds the highlight of his games so far.
"This 200, I was not expecting," he said. "Not this time. He was fantastic. We are very privileged to have this."
Diack said that Bolt, with his flashy personality and outsize performances, was exactly the right man to help the sport recover from a spate of doping scandals.
"He is good and great for our sport," Diack said. "He can help to build up our sport."
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AP Sports Writer Howard Fendrich contributed to the report.


Updated : 2021-05-07 15:44 GMT+08:00