Jamaican sprinter Warren Weir criticized U.S. sprinter Ryan Bailey for disrespecting track and field and Usain Bolt after mocking Bolt’s “To Di World” pose with a throat-slash gesture (video here) at the IAAF World Relays in Nassau, Bahamas, on Saturday night.
“Especially when you are a little nobody, you really are to show more respect to those who are leading the way and those who have accomplished way more than you have,” Weir said, according to the Jamaica Gleaner.
“He disrespected track and field. He also said that Bolt is ‘somewhat of an icon,’ he is an icon and he was not showing enough respect, not just to Bolt, but to the sport. As an athlete, I feel like he was disrespecting me and as a member of this Jamaican team, I also felt upset and disrespected about it. This is just the beginning.”
Weir, the 2012 Olympic 200m bronze medalist, and Bailey also went back and forth on social media.
Bailey and the U.S. beat Bolt and Jamaica in the 4x100m relay on Saturday, a race that Weir was not a part of. Bailey received the baton for his anchor leg with a lead on Bolt. Bolt ran a faster leg but could not make up the entire deficit. It was the first time the U.S. defeated Bolt in a global championship race since 2007.
The next night, Weir anchored Jamaica to a 4x200m relay victory without Bolt, who reportedly sat out as a precaution due to a minor hamstring injury. Bailey was not part of the 4x200m relay. The Jamaican team celebrated on the medal stand by doing Bolt’s “To Di World” pose.
The U.S. and Jamaican 4x100m teams, likely with Bolt, perhaps with Bailey and unlikely with Weir, could go head to head again at the World Championships in Beijing in August.