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Denmark's Holm confirms he'll sail


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Holm, pictured in red, is due to start competing on Saturday.
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SPECIAL REPORT
• Olympics 2004: Special report 

ATHENS, Greece -- The Danish sailor whose car knocked down and killed a pedestrian on Sunday has confirmed he will still compete at the Athens Olympics.

Niklas Holm, a competitor in the star class which begins on Saturday, said he was "shocked and saddened" by the accident.

"I feel great sorrow that the Olympics should have developed in this way for me," said the 23-year-old.

"It should have been a great experience but they changed dramatically in just a second. But I am 100 percent clear in my mind that I should sail."

Holm said he had been driving within the speed limit in a lane reserved for Olympic traffic when the man stepped in front of his car.

"We were driving at 50 km/h (31 mph) and the lane was free. There was a lot of traffic in the inner lanes and there were no indications of any pedestrian crossings.

"Suddenly we heard a big bang and the windscreen was cracked. I did not even see him and I was not even close to the brakes."

There was confusion over the identity of the dead man.

Neither Holm nor his sailing teammate Claus Olesen, who was also in the car, were injured.

Holm was held by police overnight after the incident but Danish Olympic team spokesman Morten Molholm Hansen said public prosecutors had concluded there was no case to answer.

"We consider it an unintentional accident," Molholm Hansen told CNN.

"We have checked with our embassy and they say the police have released him. There are no conditions and that's a sign of no guilt. The attorney is obliged to make charges but there are no signs of guilt."


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