I hit Bolt bottle thrower, says former Dutch judoka
A Dutch former judo world champion claimed Monday she tackled a man accused of hurling a bottle towards Usain Bolt and his competitors at the start of the Olympic men's 100 metres final.india Updated: Aug 06, 2012 21:22 IST
A Dutch former judo world champion claimed Monday she tackled a man accused of hurling a bottle towards Usain Bolt and his competitors at the start of the Olympic men's 100 metres final.
Edith Bosch, who won the London 2012 under-70kg bronze medal, said a man in front of her became agitated and then threw the plastic bottle towards the sprinters.
The incident occurred Sunday as the starter called "set" in a packed Olympic Stadium in Stratford, east London.
The bottle landed behind the blocks in lane five, a few metres behind Bolt's fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake, and came to a halt just as the sprinters set off.
The green plastic bottle could clearly be seen on television pictures bouncing onto the track behind the sprinters.
Bosch said she was furious after seeing the man throw the bottle.
"The whole time this guy was shouting 'No Usain Bolt, no' and he was very disrespectful," the 32-year-old told Dutch public broadcaster NOS.
"He stood right in front of me and threw the bottle and I could not stop him. I thought 'what is this?'
"I got furious and gave him a hard slap on the back," said Bosch.
Security guards then took the man away and he was arrested by police.
Bosch said she was especially annoyed because it meant she missed seeing the race in which Bolt retained his 100m title.
Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, a vending machine technician from Leeds in northern England, is due to appear in custody at Stratford Magistrates' Court on Monday.
A police spokesman said he has been charged with intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress under section 5 of the Public Order Act.
London 2012 organisers said they were investigating what happened.
London Games chairman Sebastian Coe said it had been "poetic justice" that the bottle thrower happened to be sitting next to a judo player.
"Throwing a bottle onto the field of play is unacceptable. It is not just unacceptable at an Olympic Games, it is unacceptable in any sports venue," Coe said.
"The guy was removed and anybody that does that in future will be removed. There is zero tolerance to anything like that."