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'Stop this nonsense!' Burrell lashes Bolt critics

BY LIVINGSTON SCOTT Observer staff reporter
Thursday, July 05, 2012

Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) boss, Captain Horace Burrell, came out in defence of Jamaica track and field superstar Usain Bolt over what he called "unfair criticism" after the 25-year-old was beaten in both sprint races by Yohan Blake at the National Senior Trials over the weekend.

Speaking at the launch of the Sherwin Williams Women's Football League at the JFF offices on Tuesday, Burrell said the world 100 and 200 metres record holder has been the target of bitter comments since his recent losses, but said he was leading a charge to support the track and field icon at this difficult time.

"I have been listening to a number of comments and I think those comments are so unfair," he told the gathering.

"Usain Bolt has done so much good for us as a people and the fact that there was a slight disappointment in so far as the expectations were concerned... now I am listening to people turning against Usain and they should stop this nonsense," insisted Burrell, who wears a track and field hat as a vice-president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

"Usain's going through a little patch right now, but why not instead encourage Usain and I am asking for encouragement," he added.

"So please, instead of tearing down Usain, let us build him up, because this is a time when he needs support from the entire nation and I am leading that charge and asking for full support for Usain," he said.

The football boss said all the athletes should be commended for the amount of work they have to put in and made special mention of Blake, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Veronica Campbell-Brown.

The rapid rise of Bolt's Racers Track Club training partner, Blake, has some people worried that the Olympic double sprint champion might have seen his better days.

With Blake winning the World Championship 100m gold in Daegu last year after Bolt was disqualified for false-starting, plus the twin victories over the world's fastest man at 'Trials', a cloud of doubt has gathered over the present physical conditioning of track and field's pin-up boy.

But Bolt's management team and some athletics experts believe that the sprint champion should be at his best for the London showdowns.

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