Bolt seals 'double treble' as Jamaica smash relay record

Briton Mo Farah swept to a brilliant distance double

Usain Bolt fittingly brought the Olympic track and field programme to a spectacular end on Saturday when he anchored Jamaica to a world record in the 4x100 metres relay to complete his extraordinary 'double treble'.

Despite helping Jamaica to a stunning 36.84-seconds victory over the United States, however, the 100m and 200m champion had to share top billing as Briton Mo Farah was swept to a brilliant distance double by the stadium's deafening rolling wall of sound.

Farah became the seventh man to complete the double after a dominant display earned him the 5,000 metres title to go alongside the 10,000 he won a week ago, the first ever distance gold medal won by a Briton.

"Mo is a distance-running great, and arguably the best British runner of all time," said London 2012 head Sebastian Coe, also a double Olympic gold medalist, over 1,500.

Bolt, who in Beijing won 100, 200m and 4x100 relay golds all in world-record time, repeated his sweep as Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake set him up for a showdown with American Ryan Bailey that turned into a mismatch despite the US matching the previous world record of 37.04.

There was more Caribbean gold from an unexpected source as 19-year-old Keshorn Walcott won the men's javelin for Trinidad and Tobago having been surprised to even make the final, the first Olympic throwing gold ever to go to the region.

Russian Mariya Savinova won the women's 800 metres, her compatriot Anna Chicherova took the women's high jump with a leap of 2.05 metres and the United States delivered a crushing victory in the women's 4x400m relay to earn a third gold for Allyson Felix.

There was a fourth athletics world record too, though not on the track that had helped the relay teams and David Rudisha in the 800m to set their marks.

Russian Yelena Lashmanova overhauled compatriot Olga Kaniskina in a thrilling final few metres to win the women's 20-km walk in one hour 25 minutes two seconds, taking six seconds of the record set by another Russian, Vera Sokolova, last year.

That completed a walk double and a four-gold day for Russia after Sergey Kirdyapkin won the 50km event in an Olympic record three hours 35 minutes 59 seconds and Australian Jared Talent claimed a second successive silver.

Bolt might be the biggest draw of the Olympics but most of the 80,000 lucky enough to have tickets on Saturday were there for the "Mo Show".


The hugely popular Somalia-born Farah has developed from a mid-pack also-ran into the world's best long-distance runner in the last two years and was bidding to become the seventh man to complete the double.

After looking tired in his heats there were doubts whether he could carry it off but, buoyed by the extraordinary crowd noise, surely the loudest 13 minutes of this or possibly any other Olympics, he was on top of his game throughout.

A slow race worked in his favour and when the pace was cranked up in the later laps he controlled proceedings from the front and was uncatchable on a 52.94-second last lap.

"It's just unbelievable. Two gold medals, who would have thought that?" said the 29-year-old Farah.

"I had a lot of confidence going into the race. In the heat I didn't feel so good. I knew I just had to hold on. The crowd were amazing, they made an unbelievable noise."

American Brigetta Barrett, who got silver in the high jump competition going on at the same time, attested to that.

"The crowd was phenomenal," she said. "I had to cover my ears a couple of times. I could not think."

The appearance of Bolt cranked it up again following the organisers' decision to finish with the 4x100m relay instead of the traditional 4x400 finale.

The United States led at halfway after Tyson Gay put on the burners but 100 and 200 individual silver medallist Blake brought Jamaica back on to their shoulder.

Bolt, who ran the third leg in Beijing, collected cleanly and roared clear as Jamaica broke the 37-second barrier for the first time.

"It's always a beautiful feeling to end off like this," said Bolt. "The team came out and gave their all and I knew the world record was possible."

The US equalled the previous record, with Trinidad and Tobago getting bronze after Canada were disqualified.

That completed a great night for the Trinidadians following Walcott's remarkable victory a month after he became world junior champion.

Walcott triumphed with an 84.58 metre personal best throw to become the youngest winner of javelin gold. Ukraine's Oleksandr Pyatnytsya won silver with a 84.51 effort and Antti Ruuskanen kept up Finland's tradition in the event with bronze.

"I just went out there to relax and enjoy it and it worked for me," said Walcott.

It was a night to remember too for Felix, so often the bridesmaid but three times atop the podium in London.

Having won the 200 metres individual title and run in the 4x100m team that smashed a 27-year-old world record on Friday, she ran the second leg of the long relay as the US finished miles clear of Russia in three minutes, 16.87 seconds.

Although the men's marathon on the streets of London completes the athletics programme on Sunday, Bolt and Farah had the last word in the stadium as the crowd stayed late to see their heroes receive their medals and be interviewed.

Showmen to the end, they remounted the podium and enacted each other's trademark poses - Farah stretching out in a "lightning Bolt" and the Jamaican reciprocating with Farah's head-patting "Mobot".

The 80,000 crowd then streamed into the night laughing, smiling and uplifted by a day they will never forget at the end of a nine-day athletics festival that may never be matched.

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