Sport

'We wanna see Bolt!'

Closed-door policy frustrates fans in Birmingham

Friday, July 20, 2012    

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BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom (AFP) — Olympic 100m and 200m champion Usain Bolt and Jamaica's star-studded track and field team have been training under heavy security at the University of Birmingham since their arrival here just about a week ago.

Bolt, World 100m champion Yohan Blake and three-time Olympic gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown are among the big names already at the camp, but fans have been left frustrated by the behind- closed-doors training sessions.

"You are not allowed to take any photos around the school campus, it's a private area," a member of the university security team shouted as fans and a few journalists who tried to peep through the hedges which surround the 400m track yesterday.

"No peeping is allowed on the athletes," shouted another security guard.

A fan, who only gave his name as Pete, was very upset about the guarded track.

"This is our country, this is our Olympics. We should be allow here, not on the track, but certainly here to watch, that's what it's here for, to watch, not for them not to watch," he said.

"I'm here to see Usain Bolt, who I got a glimpse of yesterday (Wednesday), a tall guy, looking very swift."

Charles Wilson, a student at the university, who at one point climbed onto the gate to get a look, said he came only to see Bolt.

"I am just trying to get a glimpse of him because he's a big inspiration of mine, so I will do anything to get a glimpse of him," Wilson said.

Jenna Hadley, Olympic Communications Officer at the University of Birmingham, said that media would be given a chance to take photos and interview the athletes on July 24.

She said no access at all will be provided before then, despite pleas for special consideration to be given to Jamaican journalists.

Meanwhile, some members of the team did relay practice yesterday, though it was not clear who exactly took part.

Several of the athletes went on a tour of the city centre, but it was no surprise that Bolt, Blake and Campbell-Brown were not seen. Beijing relay gold medallist Michael Frater was among the athletes on the tour.

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