Usain Bolt, Jamaica win 4 x 100 relay in world-record time; U.S. gets silver
The Jamaican flash, fresh off a world record-smashing finale at the London Games, would only say, "I've thought about it."
His more immediate plan Saturday night: "I'm going to the city to celebrate."
Before 80,000 people, the record 15th straight crowd of that size, Jamaica became the first team ever to run in the 36's -- and beat Americans Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey, who won silver in 37.04, equaling the old record that Bolt and Jamaica set at last year's world championships. Trinidad & Tobago took the bronze in 38.12.
Bolt scored triple gold -- 100, 200 and 4 x 100 -- just like he did in 2008. The only other male sprinters to do that were all from the United States: Jesse Owens (1936), Bobby-Joe Morrow (1956) and Carl Lewis (1984).
"It is always a beautiful thing to end off like this," said Bolt, who was almost even with the last U.S. runner when he got the baton for the anchor leg, then steadily pulled away down the stretch, gritting his teeth and leaning at the line to cap his perfect Summer Games. "A wonderful end to a wonderful week. What else do I need to do to prove myself as a legend?"
Said Blake: "We ran as a team and we handled the pressure petty well. Usain Bolt has been motivating me all along, and this was the best yet."
After crossing the line, Bolt pleaded with an official to let him keep the yellow baton he was clutching. Told he would be disqualified if he didn't hand it over, Bolt complied, and some nearby spectators booed. About 40 minutes later, that same official approached Bolt and returned the stick. Bolt responded with a bow of thanks and a chuckle, kissed the baton, then asked his teammates to autograph it.
For a happy change, the U.S. team didn't have any baton-passing mishaps and was proud of its 37.04, yet still frustrated. "There was energy coming out right from the blocks," said the Brooklyn-born Gatlin, the 100 bronze medalist. "Tyson came in and did a great job on the third leg. We did it and next year we're going to do even better."
U.S. women win 4 x 400: Team USA scored a runaway 3:16.87 victory over Russia in the 4 x 400 relay final. DeeDee Trotter led it off in 50.5 and Allyson Felix followed with one of the fastest relay 400s ever, a 47.8. That gave the United States a big lead and Francena McCorory's 49.39 and Sanya Richards-Ross' 49.10 anchor clinched it. Russia (3:20.23) ran a distant second with Jamaica third (3:20.95.)
The 3:16.87 clocking was the third fastest in Olympic history. "It was great running with these girls," said Felix, who will leave London with three gold medals. "I was running on adrenaline tonight."
Said Trotter: "My goal was to go out fast. We were going for some records. I'm so proud of my teammates. We're a great team." With AP