London - Usain Bolt cemented his place in
Olympic folklore by claiming a second three-gold medal haul in
successive Games as Jamaica stormed to a world record-breaking 4x100m
relay victory here Saturday.
It was the perfect send-off to a
track and field programme at the Olympic Stadium dominated by Bolt, who
became the first athlete in history to successfully defend his Olympic
100 and 200m titles earlier this week.
His part in the podium-topping relay team means he has now replicated his treble gold showing in the Beijing Games in 2008.
quartet of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, double Olympic sprint silver
medallist Yohan Blake and Bolt scorched to 36.84sec, beating their
previous record of 37.04sec set in the 2011 worlds in Daegu.
United States claimed silver in a national record of 37.04sec, with
Trinidad and Tobago taking bronze in 38.12sec after Canada were
Missing usual anchor man Asafa Powell through
injury, the baton was passed from Carter to Jamaican team captain Frater
and on to Blake with the ease of accustomed practitioners of the relay.
Blake set a blistering pace around the bend, the crowd on their feet as Bolt positioned himself and set off.
the baton in his left hand just before the limit of the changeover
area, Bolt swiftly transferred the yellow baton to his right hand.
US team's anchor man, Ryan Bailey, was neck-and-neck with Bolt, but the
Jamaican dipped his head and pushed through his drive phase.
After 20 metres, the head came up as he reached terminal velocity, Bailey by that stage trailing in his towering wake.
flew up the home stretch and flung himself savagely across the line,
which he later kissed in celebration, quickly enveloped by his
team-mates to the cheers from an adoring public.
The London Games are Bolt's fourth global championship since 2008 and his record is startling.
has won seven titles in the eight individual events in which he has
competed, his one blip coming when he was disqualified from the Daegu
world championship 100m final last year after a false start.
also the world record holder in both the 100 and 200m, was in addition
part of the Jamaican relay team that won four golds in that time.
"He's a living legend," Lamine Diack, head of athletics' world governing body the IAAF, said shortly before the relay.
a young man who's brought a great deal to our sport. He's an
extraordinary talent. He's excellent for our sport. We're delighted we
have him and we support him all the way."
Jamaica set a new world record (AP Photo)