DAEGU, South Korea, (Reuters) – Usain Bolt swept away any remaining clouds surrounding his 100m disqualification when he anchored Jamaica to a world record time of 37.04 seconds to retain the world 4×100 metres relay title yesterday.
The double Olympic sprint champion and world record holder teamed up with Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake to better the mark of 37.10 seconds the Jamaicans ran to win gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Bolt, who ran the third leg in Beijing, took over the anchor role in the absence of injured former world record holder Asafa Powell and received the baton from Blake, his successor as 100m world champion, with a commanding lead.
The 24-year-old hurtled down the straight well clear of the field with his eyes fixed on the clock before crossing the line and tossing the baton into the air in delight having helped set the only world record at the 13th world championships.
“For me, it was just to go out there fast,” Bolt told reporters. “We did just that. I am proud of my team. I am happy with myself. I enjoyed being the anchor.
“I had a little problem with my Achilles. I can’t run the bend. It was decided I would run the anchor. Yohan Blake ran a great bend. I am happy with that.”
France finished second a world championship record 1.16 seconds behind the dominant Jamaicans to win the silver medal in 38.20 with Saint Kitts and Nevis claiming bronze in 38.49.
“We could never think that anything else was within reach when you have these Carribean guys running on the same race with you,” said France’s Christophe Lemaitre, who won bronze behind Bolt in the 200 metres on Saturday.
“It is wonderful to win this silver medal, especially with the buddies from our relay team.”
The Americans, who had never previously been beaten when they had reached a world championship 4x100m final, failed to finish after their third-leg runner Darvis Patton clipped a British athlete and fell over before attempting to pass the baton to Walter Dix.
The British quartet also failed to finish.
Even without that incident, the Jamaicans always looked like winning gold after Blake’s searing third leg.
“To go out there and hand the baton to the greatest man in track and field — Usain Bolt — is a wonderful feeling,” said the 21-year-old.
Bolt arrived in Deagu in less than dominant form after coming back from the injury which ended his 2010 season and admitted on Saturday that anxiety had caused him to false start in the 100 metres final when he was defending champion.
The biggest name in athletics proved irrepressible, however, and stormed back to reclaim his 200 metres title with ease before closing the championships in record-breaking style.
“The record is a great achievement, I am happy to finsh the competition on a good note. I’m proud of myself,” he said.
“When I saw the first three legs I thought ‘anything is possible’.”