By Sherrylyn A. Toppin in London | Sun, August 12, 2012 - 12:03 AM
LONDON – In what could be his final Olympic appearance, Usain Bolt brought the house down at the London 2012 Olympic Games, anchoring the Jamaica 4x100-metre relay team to a stunning new world record of 36.84 seconds.
It was the first time a relay quartet had ever broken the 37-second barrier.
Jamaica held the previous world record of 37.04 seconds set last year in Daegu, done by the same unit. With Asafa Powell pulling up lame in the final of the men’s 100 metres, there was no need for any changes.
Jamaica had also set the Olympic record of 37.10 four years ago in Beijing, with Bolt on the third leg handing off to Powell.
Jamaica finished with four medals each of gold, silver and bronze.
“It is a beautiful feeling to end off like this. We did it last year in the World Championships – for me it is a wonderful feeling,” Bolt said. “The team came out and gave their all. I knew a world record was possible.”
He stated again that he wasn’t sure about competing four years down the line in Rio.
“This was my goal. I’ve done that, so right now I’m going to sit down and think about it. But I’m going to the city tonight to celebrate.”
Nesta Carter said they had practised a lot and he expected a fast time, while Michael Frater said it was “an awesome feeling”.
“We ran as a team and we handled the pressure pretty well,” Yohan Blake added.
The United States were second in a national record 37.04 and Trinidad and Tobago got bronze with 38.12 after Canada were disqualified for a lane infringement. The Canadians cried when the result was announced as they had already started celebrating.
Jamaica also took bronze in the women’s 4x400-metre relay in a time of 3 minutes 20.95 seconds. Gold went to the United States (3:16.87) and silver to Russia (3:20.23), all season’s best times.
But 19-year-old Keshorn Walcott of Trinidad and Tobago got more than he expected when he snatched gold in the men’s javelin with a national record of 84.58 metres on his second attempt, just seven centimetres better than silver medallist Oleksandr Pyatnytska of the Ukraine. Antti Ruuskanen of Finland was third with 84.12.
“I’m surprised I even made the final. I just went out there to relax and enjoy it and it worked for me,” said the young man who was crowned world junior champion last month.
“It means everything to me. This is what it’s all about. I just train my hardest and try to enjoy every time I come out.”
Still there were some anxious moments in the final round.
“My heart was beating really fast going into the last throw. I knew these guys were experienced, but I’m so happy now. Personal best was my target and just making the final was the best I had hoped for,” Walcott said.
It was Trinidad and Tobago’s first Olympic gold medal since Hasley Crawford won the 100 metres in 1976.
In the other finals decided last night, Mariya Savinova led a Russian one-three in the women’s 800 metres in 1:56.19, while Ekaterina Poistogova was third in 1:57.53. South Africa’s Caster Semenya ran from the back of the pack to take silver in 1:57.23.
Russian athletes won gold in both of the race walking events which were held earlier in the day, as well as the women’s high jump.
Elena Lashmanova set a new world record of 1 hour 25.02 minutes in the women’s 20km walk and Sergey Kirdyapkin clocked an Olympic record of 3:35.59 in the men’s 50km event.
World champion Anna Chicherova of Russia moved up two places on the podium to take gold in the women’s high at 2.05 metres. American Brigetta Barrett took silver at 2.03m on her second attempt, the same as Russia’s Svetlana Shkolina did it in three.
Briton Mo Farah also started the men’s 5 000 metres at the back, but ended at the front, winning his second Olympic gold medal and the fourth for the hosts in track and field.
With 600 metres to go, Farah moved from fifth to take the lead, but he kept looking around. With 300 metres to go, his trademark kick cut in, and when it appeared that he would be passed he held off all comers to win in 13:41.66.
Silver went to Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia in 13:41.91 and Thomas Longosiwa of Kenya took bronze in 13:42.36.
- Editor's Choice
- Carl Harper commented on WHAT MATTERS MOST: Behaviour is shaped by the majority
- Dale Harris commented on Two off to play in England
- Jack Husbands commented on Not afraid to flog!
- Jalisa Skeete commented on Barbados' supercentenarian Sisnett is dead
- Frank Husbands commented on Guyanese charged for entering Barbados illegally