x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Lightning strikes again for Bolt

In one whirlwind week, Usain Bolt turned the biggest disappointment of his career into another golden show capped by a world record even he did not think was within him.

After taking the baton from Yohan Blake, left, Usain Bolt, centre, simply ran away from Walter Dix, right, and all other challengers.
After taking the baton from Yohan Blake, left, Usain Bolt, centre, simply ran away from Walter Dix, right, and all other challengers.

DAEGU, South Korea // In one whirlwind week, Usain Bolt turned the biggest disappointment of his career into another golden show capped by a world record even he did not think was within him.

After opening with a false start in the men's 100 metres final last Sunday, Bolt again produced the amazing in his closing race of the World Championships - anchoring Jamaica to a world record in the men's 4x100m relay Sunday.

Fittingly, Jamaica's yellow, green and black flag was the last one rising into the night over Daegu Stadium, and Bolt spread his giant arms wide to soak in the moment.

"For me, it was just to go out there fast," Bolt said.

"We did just that."

One day after winning gold in the 200m, Bolt was devastating down the home stretch of the relay and threw his yellow-clad chest across the line for a time of 37.04secs - the only world record in nine days of competition.

There was no more of the performance anxiety that pushed him into a false start in the 100m, only a sheer release of power as he coasted down the stretch for an overwhelming win over France and St Kitts and Nevis.

The United States were out of it by the last changeover, but no one could have got close to a Jamaican team anchored by Bolt.

Ahead of the race, Bolt was already slapping the "JAM" on his bib in pride, and in a season where he was far from his best, he came through with a world record.

He got all the help he needed from his three teammates - a lightning start from Nesta Carter and a good handover to Michael Frater before Jamaica's golden duo took up the running.

Yohan Blake, the 100m champion in Bolt's absence, powered through the final bend, with Bolt already getting his giant stride going before he took the baton.

Without the injured Asafa Powell, Bolt anchored the team for the first time in a major competition since he took the world by storm at the Beijing Olympics three years ago.

Running with the determination of a record beater, he gritted his teeth over the final metres, crossed the line and threw the glittering purple baton high into the air once he realised the team's three-year-old record of 37.10 was gone.

All through the year, Bolt had said that times were not his priority and he never came close to his record best - until yesterday.

Seconds later, the showman took over again.

He started dancing to the delight of the crowd of 45,000 at Daegu Stadium, which had to wait until the last second to finally see a world record.

But the nightmare continued for the United States. They ran a world-leading time in the heats but then failed to complete the final as Darvis Patton collided with Britain's anchor, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, as he came in to make the final change to Walter Dix.

Patton sprawled to the track, tried unavailingly to get to his feet, and watched despairingly as the rest of the field set off on the final leg.

Great Britain failed to finish the race. Trinidad and Tobago, who beat Jamaica in the heat, were also inconvenienced, finishing sixth.

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