Usain Bolt leads Jamaica to 4x100m relay Gold in Moscow
Usain Bolt won his third Gold medal of the IAAF World Championships in Moscow when he guided his Jamaican 4x100m relay team to victory in the final event of the championships.
The win cemented his place as the most successful athlete ever in the history of the World Championships. Bolt had earlier won the 100m and 200m sprint events as well.
Jamaica won the relay in a time of 37.36 seconds, followed by the United States and Canada. The USA team looked like they were going to cause an upset as they led going into the final changeover.
But Rakieem Salaam’s handover to Justin Gatlin on the final bend wasn’t smooth enough and put Gatlin off balance. By the time he recovered, Bolt had received the baton from Nickel Ashmeade and had begun pulling away from the pack.
Great Britain had finished third in the race, but were later disqualified, which bumped the Canadian team up onto the podium. An appeal was lodged against the British team’s second changeover, and following a review, the officials decided to strip the team of its Bronze medal.
Bolt’s latest win put him on level pegging with Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis and Allyson Felix (all from the United States) with a record-equalling 8 World Championship Gold medals.
It also tied him with Lewis and Felix for the most number of medals overall, but by virtue of a better haul, Bolt now sits in front. The 26-year old Jamaican has a total of 8 Golds and 2 Silvers, while Lewis and Felix have 8 Golds, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze.
This was also the second time that Bolt had secured the sprint treble (100m, 200m, 4x100m) in World Championships and fifth time overall (he also did so at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics).
“It is just great,” Bolt said of the comparison with the other greats. “I’ll continue dominating. I’ll continue to work hard. For me, my aim is to continue into the greatness thing.”
“I wasn’t really worried about Justin. I knew if he got the baton in front of me, I could catch him,” Bolt said. “So it was just going out there to run as fast as possible.” added Bolt.
Gatlin paid tribute to Bolt’s success, saying, “To be able to rise to the occasion when an entire stadium full of people are either rooting for you or want to see you fail and you’re able to hold it together, that takes talent.”