Usain Bolt needed time away after friend’s death

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Usain Bolt said he wasn’t ready to train for two weeks after friend Germaine Mason, a 2008 Olympic high jump silver medalist, died in a motorcycle crash April 20.

“It was rough for me,” Bolt told reporters in Jamaica last week. “It took us by surprise and kind of set me back a little 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. I’m just actually working hard now to try to get back to where I was, but I’m confident in myself and in my coach that we can get it done because I’ve done it for years and years. This year is no different.”

Bolt will race in Jamaica for the final time on Saturday at the Racers Grand Prix in Kingston. He is preparing for the world championships in London in August, expected to be the final meet of his career.

Bolt and Mason, a Jamaican-born Olympian for Great Britain, were often spotted together, including at Oktoberfest and a 2016 premiere of Bolt’s film, “I am Bolt.”

At Mason’s funeral one month after his death, images were published of Bolt in tears and as one of the pallbearers.

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