Bolt leaves his imprint with victory in relay

Bolt leaves his imprint with victory in relay

Briton Mo Farah wins 5000M gold

One word descri­bed Usain Bolt’s race to his third gold of London 2012 perfectly – scintillating. 

Jamaica's Usain Bolt crosses the finish line ahead of United States' Ryan Bailey in the men's 4 x 100-meter relay during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2012. Jamaica set a new world record with a time of 36.84 seconds. AP

Despite victories in the 100M and 200M under his belt, the Jamaican sprint king was in no mood to relax as the final track programme of the Olympic Games unfolded on Saturday night.

Anchoring the team of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake, Bolt ran a final leg marked by supreme control and authority to leave his imprint firmly on the championships with a world record – the fourth in athletics here, after men’s 800M, women’s 4x100M relay and women’s 20Km walk.

On a night highlighted by Mo Farah’s triumph in the 5000 – completing the distance double – and a huge surprise of a verdict in javelin called Keshorn Walcott, Bolt applied the finishing touches in his inimitable style.

The Americans -- with Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey in their line-up -- had been expected to challenge the Jamaicans but that challenge lasted till the baton came to the big hands of Bolt.

Carter and Frater were doing the catch-up job but Blake, running against Gay, handed the baton to Bolt almost on par with Bailey. But in just a few strides, Bolt wrested control and thundered down the straight and flew past the finish line in 36.84, smashing their own record of 37.04 set in Daegu last year. The Americans equalled the old record but they were well beaten.

“The team came out and gave it their all,” said Bolt, who imitated Farah’s ‘Mo-Bot’ celebration – slamming both his hands on his head -- after glancing at the trackside timer . “I knew a world record was possible. It is always a beautiful feeling to end off like this. We did the same last year and it was a wonderful feeling,” said Bolt, who later orchestrated another packed crowd to a Mexican wave from the victory podium.

His only moment of anger came when an official initially refused to give him the baton to keep as a souvenir. “I wanted the baton because I wanted everyone to sign it but they said they needed it again. It was a ‘ruule’,” said the Jamaican.

The relay gold was Bolt’s sixth gold medal at the Olympic Games – he had triumphed in the same three events in Beijing 2008 – becoming the second athlete to do the triple double after Ray Ewry. The American won the standing triple jump, standing long jump and standing high jump (all discontinued events now) in 1900 and 1904.

Asked about International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge’s remarks that he was yet to become a legend, Bolt shot back. “When you meet him next, ask him what more should do I do to become a legend.”

Farah’s burst of speed in the last lap decided the 5000M as he outwitted Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia and Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya. In a slow race, the Briton timed 13:41.66 to become the seventh man to win the 5000-10000 double.

“There is no way to describe it. You imagine being an Olympic champion once and it happens twice. Often, we don’t get it right but we got this one right,” said the Somalia-born Farah. “My wife is going to have twins. So once I have gone one medal, you can’t leave the other one out,” he joked.

Walcott, who had won the world junior title in Barcelona last month, sprang a surprise in the javelin-field that included the likes of two-time champion Andreas Thorkildsen. The Norwegian couldn’t find his rhythm and Walcott struck with a throw of 84.58. It was Trinidad’s first track and field gold since 1976 when Hasely Crawford won the 100M.

World champion Mariya Savinova of Russia timed her sprint to a nicety to win the women’s 800M gold in 1:56.19. South Afrian Caster Semenya misjudged the pace and had to settle for silver in 1:57.23.

Russia had more joy in the high jump pit as world champion Anna Chicherova underlined her status with a winning clearance at 2.05 metres. Troubled by a back injury caused by mishap during her gym work, Chicherova couldn’t control her emotions after the win. “I had a very difficult time with the injuries but lot of people supported me and helped me,” she said. “I told myself I don’t have the right to lose and must fight till the very end. My tears were not for the cameras.”

Results:  Men: 5000M: Mo Farah (Great Britain) 13:41.66, 1; Dejen Gebremeskel (Ethiopia) 13:41.98, 2; Thomas Pkemei Longosiwa (Kenya) 13:42.36, 3. Javelin throw: Keshorn Walcott (Trinidad &Tobago) 84.58 metres, 1; Oleksandr Pyatnytsya (Ukraine) 84.51, 2; Antti Ruuskanen 84.12, 3.

4x100M relay: Jamaica (Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Yohan Blake, Usain Bolt) 36.84 seconds (World record. Old: 37.04, Jamaica), 1; USA 37.04, 2; Trinidad & Tobago 38.12, 3. Women: 800M: Mariya Savinova (Russia) 1:56.19, 1; Caster Semenya (South Africa) 1:57.23, 2; Ekaterina Poistogova (Russia) 1:57.53, 3.

High jump: Anna Chicherova (Russia) 2.05 metres, 1; Brigetta Barrett (USA) 2.03, 2; Svetlana Shkolina (Russia) 2.03. 3.

4x400M relay: United States (DeeDee Trotter, Allyson Felix, Francena McCorory, Sanya Richards-Ross) 3:16.87, 1; Russia 3:20.23, 2; Jamaica 3:20.95, 3.

20km walk: Elena Lashmanova (Russia) 1:25:02 (World record. Old; 1:25:08, Vera Sokolova) 1; Olga Kaniskina (Russia) 1:25:09, 2; Shenjie Qieyang (China) 1:25:16, 3. 

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