Usain Bolt equalled the record for the number of world golds won when he anchored the Jamaican 4×100-metres relay team to victory at the World Athletics Championships yesterday.
It was the Jamaican’s eighth world gold medal after winning the 100 and 200m at the Berlin worlds in 2009, the 200m in Daegu in 2011, the 100 and 200m in Moscow this week, as well as golds as part of the winning Jamaican 4x100m relay squads in both 2009, 2011 and now 2013.
It means Bolt has joined American women’s 200m specialist Allyson Felix, and retired US track stars Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson who, including relays, have all won eight world championship gold medals.
The quartet of individual 100m bronze medallist Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nickel Ashmeade and Bolt clocked 37.36sec in the race at a packed Luzhniki Stadium.
It capped another remarkable week for Bolt, who first reclaimed his world 100m title in Moscow in emphatic style, clocking a season’s best 9.77sec in heavy rain. He then powered to a third successive world 200m title, destroying the field to finish in 19.66sec.
The relay, however, was far from plain sailing for the US, as Rakieem Salaam fluffed his handover to anchorman Justin Gatlin, the 100m silver medallist’s right foot straying five times into the Jamaican lane as he struggled to take control of the baton.
That error handed Bolt, who had a smooth handover from Ashmeade, the space he needed to unfold his towering frame into an explosive final leg.
The US had to settle for silver while Britain took bronze in 37.56 and 37.80sec respectively.But the time fell short of the world record of 36.84sec set at the London Olympics final.
The Jamaican women added to the celebrations with a championship record 41.29 to take gold in the 400m relay while France won silver (42.73) and defending champions the US bronze (42.75).
The Jamaicans’ victory meant Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce became the first woman sprinter to win both the individual sprint events and the relay at a world championships.