Barefoot runner Zola Budd has admitted publicly for the first time that she was responsible for the collision with Mary Slaney at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles. In a copyright interview with Seattle television station KING, Budd said she cut in too close causing Slaney to fall with 1,300 meters left in the 3,000-meter women's race.
Budd's coach, Pieter Labuschagne, also told the station his star pupil was to blame for the collision. "I think Zola made a mistake by running the way she (ran) . . . and not cut into the curb more decisively," said Labuschagne.
Slaney always has maintained Budd was responsible for the collision, but she told the television station she accepts a large share of the blame for failing to reach out and let Budd know she was too close.
Meanwhile, British athletic officials were upset by a report that South African-born Budd would face opposition from city authorities at next week's international track meet in Edinburgh. In a front-page report, the Times of London quoted Mark Lazarowitz, a member of Edinburgh District Council, as saying the 19-year-old distance runner "will not be welcome" at the Sunday meeting at the Meadowbank stadium. "We want to make our stance on apartheid clear. We are totally opposed to it and we consider Zola Budd has nominal British status," the paper quoted Lazarowitz as saying.