The Big Two men of Racers Track Club — Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake — turned on the afterburners to help power Jamaica to victory and a fantastic world record in the men’s 4×100 metres relay to bring down the curtain on the Athletics programme in the Olympic Stadium at the Games of the XXX Olympiad in London Saturday evening. The wining time of 36.84 seconds marked the first time any team anywhere was running the event faster than 37 seconds. Second was the USA in 37.04 seconds, equalling Jamaica’s old world record. Trinidad took the bronze medal in 38.12 after Canada was disqualified for running on the line.
Nesta Carter blasted off the first leg for Jamaica running in lane 6, just inside the USA in lane 7. Michael Frater held his own on the backstretch, receiving and delivering the baton flawlessly. Yohan Blake received the stick on the third leg with a slight deficit to the USA, but ran down Tyson Gay to hand over marginally ahead of the USA. In spite of his slow takeover of the stick, there was never any doubt that the big man Usain Bolt would take it home safely. This he did with his usual panache to give Jamaica its fourth gold medal at these Games to end up with twelve medals overall and place them third on the Athletics medal table, ahead of 200 other participating countries.
This was the third world record broken at these Games. It was also the third time at an Olympic Games that Jamaica was winning a relay in world record time. The first time was the 4×400 metres in Helsinki in 1952; the second was the 4×100 in Beijing in 2008.
The victory gave Bolt his third gold medal at these Olympics — the second consecutive time he was accomplishing this feat. Happily, he was eventually allowed to take home the winning baton as a souvenir — just a tiny memento of the many happy moments he will certainly take home from London. But not nearly as many as he left us with.