Usain Bolt's Mother 'Forgives' Chief Starter

Cumbria (England), Sep 13 (IANS/CMC): Fate brought the 100 metres chief starter and the parents of sprint king Usain Bolt together during the recent World Championships in Daegu, South Korea.

Alan Bell was the man triggering the starter's gun during the Championships, when Bolt suffered his shocking false-start disqualification in the final of the showcase event.

As fate would have it, Bolt's parents, dad Wellesley and mum Jennifer, were seated in the VIP seats next to Bell's life partner Lesley Minervini, who travels with him to events all over the world, on that ill-fated day.

The story unfolded that when the 60-year-old Bell went to meet Minervini following his day's work on the track, Bolt's mother was there to offer him friendly, reassuring words that there were no hard feelings.

Bolt's mother apparently hugged him and told him she and her husband understood his decision.

"All the hype has been around Usain Bolt's disqualification because he is one of the biggest names in sport, but it was probably the easiest decision I have ever had to make," Bell told The Cumberland News daily newspaper.

"He broke very early and got 10 yards down the track, stopped, and took his vest off, so he knew what he had done."

Bell added: "The hard thing from my perspective was coping with the media melee because the track was invaded by ill-disciplined photographers who wanted the picture of him before the other guys had to run the World 100 final.

"What happened to Bolt became history for me because I had to think about keeping my own bottle and giving those seven other guys the best chance."

Bell got things back under control, and kept his cool to again fire the starting gun, releasing the field of runners that included Bolt's fellow Jamaican and training partner Yohan Blake, who claimed a notable victory in 9.92 seconds.

Bell was also the chief starter, when Bolt clocked an astonishing 9.58 secs at the previous World Championships in Berlin, Germany.

He is also expected to be the man firing the gun at next year's Olympics in London.


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