30 Aug 2015

Bolt secures third sprint sweep

2:19 pm on 30 August 2015

Usain Bolt secured a sweep of the sprint golds at a world championships for the third time overnight when, aided by a U.S. disqualification, he anchored Jamaica to the 4x100 metres relay title.

The Jamaican world sprint champion Usain Bolt.

The Jamaican world sprint champion Usain Bolt. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 29-year-old, who had already won the 100 and 200 metres events in Beijing, stormed across the line in 37.36 seconds to give his country a fourth straight world title in the event.

The United States team featuring Justin Gatlin, who won silver behind Bolt in both individual sprints, botched their final handover between Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers and were disqualified after crossing the line second.

That elevated hosts China to a hugely popular silver medal in 38.01 with Canada taking the bronze in 38.13.

It was a record-extending 11th world gold for Bolt, who also won three sprint titles at the 2009 and 2013 world championships.

"I told you I was coming here and do my best as always. I was coming here to achieve gold medals and that's what I did," Bolt said.

"It's called pressure," the Jamaican added of the American disqualification. "When there's a lot of pressure to come out here and perform at your best. And we saw what happened."

Jamaica have now won the sprint relay at six straight major global championships, including the last two Olympics, but for the first 200m it did not like they were going to extend their dominance.

While Nesta Carter and former world record holder Asafa Powell did not get Jamaica off to the best of starts, the Americans were flying with Trayvon Bromell and Gatlin tearing up the track.

Nickel Ashmeade, who won bronze behind Bolt and Gatlin in the 100 metres, gained ground on Gay coming round the final bend but the Americans were looking in good shape to repeat their victory over the Jamaicans at this year's world relays.

On the final handover, however, Gay was initially unable to get the baton to Rodgers and by the time he did, the anchorman was outside the exchange zone.

Bolt already had the Jamaican baton safely in his hand and sprinted to victory down a track on which he has now won six major global championship gold medals.

"It's unfortunate," Gay said. "We tried to do the best we could, but unfortunately we didn't get the stick in the exchange zone and that's what it was."

The Jamaican women were also unstoppable.

Anchored by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce they clocked the second fastest time in history to retain their 4x100 metres relay title.

Veronica Campbell-Brown, Natasha Morrison and 200 metres silver medallist Elaine Thompson ensured Fraser-Pryce had a good lead when she took the baton and the 100 metres champion stormed across the line in 41.07 seconds.

The United States finished second in 41.68 with the early pace of the Jamaicans giving anchor Allyson Felix, the 400 metres champion in Beijing, no chance of catching Fraser-Pryce.

Trinidad and Tobago won the bronze in a national record of 42.03 ahead of Britain, whose 42.10 was also the best time ever run by the nation's top women sprinters.

Only the 40.82 recorded by the Americans to win gold at the 2012 London Olympics was faster than the Jamaican's winning time.

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