Bolt, Blake apologize to home country

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Jamaican sprinters Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake issued public apologies after being accused of disrespecting their country's national anthem during a medal ceremony at the recent World Championships.

Blake, the new 100-meter world champion, will hope to restore pride at the Diamond League in Zurich on Thursday, days after he and Bolt earned the wrath of fans back home.

The young sprinter clowned around with the triple Olympic champion on the podium last Sunday after the pair helped Jamaica set a world record in the 4x100-meter relay final in Daegu, South Korea.

Their behavior prompted a flood of critical calls to Jamaican radio stations in the days after the race.

Blake was the first to "apologize unreservedly," in a statement issued by his manager.

"I realize that my actions during the playing of the national anthem could be interpreted as being disrespectful," he said. "This was certainly not my intention as I had only just competed at the very highest level and was still overjoyed."

Bolt also issued a statement. "As an ambassador for the sport and my country, I know my responsibilities, and I will never do anything to put that in jeopardy," it read.

Blake will race Thursday against his compatriot, Asafa Powell, who missed the recent championships in Daegu with a groin injury.

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