Usain Bolt Anchors Jamaica to Relay Gold after U.S. Team Goofs-up!
Usain Bolt completed a triple gold World Championships performance, anchoring the Jamaican 4x100m relay team to victory over the disqualified U.S. in Beijing on Saturday.
Bolt, who won the 100m on Sunday and 200m on Thursday, both over American Justin Gatlin, received the baton for the final leg of the 4x100m relay and cruised to win while the U.S. fumbled its last exchange, as it did at the 2013 World Championships.
“We were talking about it,” Bolt said of the American disqualification on Eurosport, “and it’s called pressure.”
Tyson Gay‘s handoff to American anchor Mike Rodgers came too late and out of the zone. The Americans were disqualified several minutes after the race. Gay had pulled even with Rodgers in his lane before Rodgers finally got out with the baton.
“I don’t think the pressure got to me,” Rodgers told media in Beijing. “I was very cool, calm and collected.”
By contrast, Nickel Ashmeade‘s handoff to Bolt was clean, and Bolt ended up winning it for Jamaica by .41 over the U.S., before the disqualification became official. China moved up to silver and Canada bronze.
“I saw the mess after 300 meters and was happy we were not in it,” Bolt said, according to The Associated Press.
The U.S. led Jamaica early in the relay, after Gatlin’s second leg, and would have been about even with Bolt had the Gay-Rodgers exchange gone smoothly.
Gatlin did not anchor the U.S. because he is more used to running the second leg, as he did at the IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas on May 2, when the U.S. defeated a Jamaican team with Bolt anchoring.
In that meet, Rodgers was the leadoff man with Ryan Bailey anchoring for the U.S., but Bailey did not make the U.S. team for Worlds. Trayvon Bromell, the 20-year-old co-World 100m bronze medalist, was inserted into the leadoff spot with Rodgers moving to anchor.
Bolt has won 17 straight Olympic and World Championships races he’s finished, dating to the 2008 Olympics. Bolt’s only loss in that span was a false-start disqualification in the 2011 World Championships 100m.
The U.S. men haven’t won an Olympic or Worlds 4x100m relay since the 2007 World Championships, which was Bolt’s last defeat in a race he finished at an Olympics or Worlds.