Jamaica smash relay record
Usain Bolt cemented his place in Olympic folklore by claiming a second three-gold medal haul in successive Games as Jamaica stormed to a world record-breaking 4x100m relay victory at the Olympic Stadium last night.
It was the perfect send-off to a track and field programme at the Olympic Stadium dominated by Bolt, who became the first athlete in history to successfully defend his Olympic 100 and 200m titles earlier last week.
His part in the podium-topping relay team means he has now replicated his treble gold showing in the Beijing Games in 2008.
The quartet of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, double Olympic sprint silver medallist Yohan Blake and Bolt scorched to 36.84sec, beating their previous record of 37.04sec set in the 2011 worlds in Daegu.
The United States claimed silver in a national record of 37.04sec, with Trinidad and Tobago taking bronze in 38.12sec after Canada were disqualified.
“He’s a living legend,” Lamine Diack, head of athletics’ world governing body the IAAF, said in reference to the Jamaican sprinter.
“He’s a young man who’s brought a great deal to our sport. He’s an extraordinary talent. He’s excellent for our sport. We’re delighted we have him and we support him all the way.”
The US made up for that defeat in the women’s 4x400m final as they won their fifth straight women’s gold medal on the distance, destroying the field to win by more than three seconds.
The strong US team, including individual 400m champion Sanya Richards-Ross and 200m winner Allyson Felix, won in 3min 16.87sec. Russia took silver in 3:20.23 with Jamaica (3:20.95) winning bronze.
Britain’s Mo Farah clinched an Olympic long distance double, storming to a pulsating victory in the 5,000m just one week after his triumph in the 10,000m.
The Somalia-born runner timed his kick to perfection to cross in 13min 41.66, fighting off Ethiopia’s Dejen Gebreskel, who took silver in 13:41.98, and Kenya’s Thomas Longosiwa, who claimed bronze (13:42.36).
Farah is only the seventh man to achieve the 5,000m-10,000m double, adding his name to an illustrious list of runners which includes Czech Emil Zatopek, Finland’s Lasse Viren, Ethiopian Miruts Yifter and Kenenisa Bekele.
“I’m just amazed - two gold medals, who would have thought that?” said the 29-year-old, who moved to Britain at the age of eight after being born in Somalia and spending some years in Djibouti.
“I got great support from the crowd. It means a lot to me and those two medals are obviously for my two girls who are coming,” he said of the twins his wife is expecting.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Keshorn Walcott won the men’s Olympic javelin title to become at 19 the youngest winner of the gold medal.
Walcott threw a national record of 84.58 metres while Oleksandr Pyatnytsya of Ukraine took silver (84.51) and Finland’s Antti Ruuskanen the bronze (84.12).
Walcott gave his country their first athletics Olympic medal ever outside the sprint events.
Russian world champion Mariya Savinova held off a fast-finishing Caster Semenya of South Africa to win the 800 metres title.
Savinova, who was winning a fifth successive major title, made the decisive break coming round the bend and while the young South African came from fifth to second she had given herself too much to do.
Savinova timed 1min 56.19sec to Semenya’s 1:57.23 while another Russian Ekaterina Poistogova took bronze.