Usain Bolt anchors Jamaica to relay victory as United States blow it

Usain Bolt anchored Jamaica to 4x100m relay glory as the United States blew their chance of victory with a botched final changeover at a deafening Bird’s Nest stadium.

The quartet of Nesta Carter, Asafa Powell, Nickel Asheade and Bolt looked tentative passing the baton, but they were gifted victory when US duo Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers made a complete hash of their transition.

The victory secured Bolt’s third gold of the World Championships after his triumphs in the 100m and 200m in Beijing.

The all-time great carried Jamaica home in 37.36 seconds, with United States initially left celebrating a silver medal. However, upon review, the American foursome of Trayvon Bromell, Justin Gatlin, Gay and Rodgers were later disqualified after their disastrous mix-up in the home straight was deemed illegal.
There was a huge roar as the news filtered through to the home crowd, with sprint outsiders China (38.01s) promoted into second and Canada (38.13s) bumped up to bronze.

In somewhat predictable fashion, Great Britain’s team of Richard Kilty, Danny Talbot, James Ellington and Chijindu Ujah failed to complete the race as the baton plague returned to haunt them.

Tyson Gay of the U.S. (2ndL) reacts after being disqualified next to his teammates Justlin Gatlin (L), Mike Rodgers (2ndR) and Trayvon Bromell in the men's 4 x 100 metres relay final during the 15th IAAF Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, C
Tyson Gay of the U.S. (2ndL) reacts after being disqualified next to his teammates Justlin Gatlin (L), Mike Rodgers (2ndR) and Trayvon Bromell in the men’s 4 x 100 metres relay final during the 15th IAAF Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, C – Reuters

Talk bubbled before the race that Jamaica could threaten their world record of 36.84s, but that mark was never under threat after they began with two awkward handovers.

However, the race did complete a clean-sweep for Bolt in his duel with Gatlin – hyped in the build-up as the battle for the soul of athletics – although the twice-banned American had earlier put his team-mates in a commanding position with a lightning leg down the back straight.

Despite coming into the IAAF World Championships with his form in question, Bolt collected his third gold in Beijing following his momentous sprint double. His world gold haul now stands at a staggering 11 medals – a total he could yet add to, should he decide to compete in London 2017.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica looks up after running the anchor leg to win the men's 4 x 100 metres relay final at the 15th IAAF Championships at the National Stadium in Beijing, China August 29, 2015.