ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC):
Antigua and Barbuda sprinter, Daniel Bailey, said he failed to advance to the final of the 100 metres at the just-ended London Olympics only because he fell ill days before his semi-final heat.
Bailey clocked 10.12 seconds in heat four to advance to the semi-finals where he finished sixth in 10.16 which was not enough for him to qualify for the final.
"I caught the flu before the race and there was nothing I could do. Dr (Philmore) Benjamin stood by my side for the three days before the race and I lost four pounds," Bailey told the Antigua Observer newspaper.
"I wasn't eating and sleeping properly and that just threw me off big time. I went to the doctor twice, took some meds and all sorts of different stuff and that just dropped my system right down, took my immune system right down."
Bailey said he refused to go public with his condition before the qualifying heat to avoid people accusing him of making excuses.
The sprinter, whose best time this season is 10.10, said he was confident that once fit, he would have qualified for the final.
"I know that if I hadn't got the flu, and I am telling you straight up, I would have made that final because I was in tip-top shape," said Bailey.
"I even cried when the flu came on to me. People were telling me not to run, and whatever; but I wasn't going to go all the way to London not to run."
Former national coach and athlete Evans Jones had said that poor preparations leading up to the London Olympics had hampered Bailey's chances of doing well against better prepared athletes.
Bailey has opted not to respond.
"Everybody has their own opinion. Mr Jones has his own opinion and I respectfully respect everybody's opinion," declared Bailey's former coach Karl Casey.
"And like I said to Mr Bailey, it's a famous quote, no disrespect but just say no comment, just respect and that's it," said Casey.