Sprint legend vows to do what his friend would have wanted and close career in blaze of glory
USAIN BOLT has revealed the death of former Team GB star and close pal Germaine Mason left him so grief-stricken he could not train for more than two weeks.
Bolt helped dig the grave and carry the coffin of Mason, who died in a motorbike accident in Bolt’s native Jamaica in April.
Mason, who won Olympic high jump silver at Beijing 2008, was a close friend of Bolt’s.
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And his sudden death at the age of 34 knocked Bolt so badly that the eight-time Olympic gold medallist could not face training.
Bolt said: “It was rough for me. At the start it really took us by surprise and it kind of set me back a bit training-wise, because mentally I wasn’t ready to even train for two weeks or two and a half weeks.
“I had to take off and just try to collect myself.
“So I’m just actually working hard now to try and get back to where I was, but I’m confident in myself and in my coach that we can get it done because we have done it for years and years.
“This year is no different, so it was tough, and I have to focus on what I need to do and I know my friend would want me to go out there and do my best as always and to be strong and to be focused on what needs to be done.”
Bolt runs his final race in Jamaica this weekend before retiring at the end of the year.
As the reigning world 100m and 200m champion from Beijing two years ago, Bolt will be able to skip the June 22-25 Jamaican trials for the August 5-13 world championships in London, where he will bring down the curtain on his career.
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And after his success at London 2012, Bolt insists the decision on where to hang up his spikes was an easy one.
He said: “There is no other place to do the last one because, as you saw, the Olympics in London was just out of this world.
“The support and the energy in the stadium was just magnificent and I know it will be the same.
“The energy that’s going to be there is just going to be brilliant and it’s definitely going to be emotional for me because it’s my last one and so many Jamaican fans will be there.
“But it is just to go out in all the glory I can.”