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Briton who abused Bolt on track pleads not guilty

Source : IANS
Last Updated: Fri, Jan 04, 2013 11:50 hrs

London, Jan 4 (IANS/CMC) A British man accused of screaming abuse at sprint sensation Usain Bolt during the London Olympics last August has pleaded not guilty to a public order offence.

Ashley Gill-Webb who went on trial Thursday is also accused of hurling a beer bottle onto the track as the Olympic men's 100 metres final was starting.

The court heard that Gill-Webb, 34, began shouting insults like "Usain I want you to lose, Usain you are bad, you are an a******e".

The Jamaican sprinter did not hear the abuse or see a green Heineken bottle land behind the starting line.

He went on to win the race in 9.63 seconds, the second-fastest time recorded.

"In the stadium, along with the many thousands who should have been there legitimately and were watching the race in hushed anticipation, was also Mr Gill-Webb who, it is now accepted, was unwell at the time," said prosecutor Neil King.

"This bottle landed extremely close to the athletes and it's probably luck rather than Mr. Gill-Webb's judgment that it did not do anything far more serious," said King, quoted by the Press Association.

Gill-Webb did not have a ticket to attend the 100 metres final but had somehow pushed his way to the front of an exclusive seating area.

After his outburst, Gill-Webb was confronted by Dutch judoka Edith Bosch, an Olympic bronze medallist, then restrained by volunteer workers and arrested.

In a written witness statement read out in court, Bosch said Gill-Webb's taunts against Bolt had gone on for about two minutes.

"Dude, are you crazy?" said Bosch who confronted Gill-Webb as he started to move away after tossing the beer bottle.

"He was trying to walk away so I pushed him hard to stop him. I was angry with what he had done, which was so disrespectful," Bosch added.

--IANS/CMC

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