Jamaica’s sprint relay team, anchored by the peerless Usain Bolt, delivered the first sub-37 seconds clocking in history en route to another World record. Trinidadian teenager Keshorn Walcott pulled off a stunning upset in the men’s javelin on the final day of track and field at the London Olympics here.
Bolt, with 100 and 200 metres gold already under his belt, dismissed American Ryan Bailey on the final leg to propel Jamaica across the line in 36.84 seconds and lower their own World record of 37.04 established in Daegu last year, CMC reports.
The time produced Saturday was Jamaica’s third world record run in four years after having clocked 37.10 at the Beijing Olympics.
Walcott had earlier provided the upset of the day when he outshone far more experienced rivals with a tremendous throw of 84.58 metres.
For Trinidad and Tobago, it was only their second ever Olympic gold medal behind the legendary Hasely Crawford, who captured the 100m at the 1976 Montreal Games.
The twin-island also managed bronze in the men’s sprint relay, albeit it in fortuitous circumstances while Jamaica’s women took bronze in the 4x400m relay, on a successful night for the Caribbean.
However, it was the exhilarating men’s sprint relay which took precedence as Jamaica again left their indelible mark.
Running out of lane six and fielding the same team in the same order as in Daegu last year, Jamaica were off to a fast start as Nesta Carter beat American Trell Kimmons to the first change.
However, Justin Gatlin proved a little too much for Michael Frater on the backstretch but double sprint silver medallist Yohan Blake blew by Tyson Gay on the turn to send Bolt on his way level with Bailey.
The last 80 metres was a no-contest as Bolt stepped away from the young American with ease to celebrate his third gold medal of the Games.
“It’s always a beautiful feeling to end off like this. The team came out and gave it their all. I knew the world record was possible,” an elated Bolt said later.
Carter added: “We got a lot of practice this year so I was expecting a fast time and 36.84 is a fast time.”
Blake, who was second to Bolt in both sprints, joined in the celebration.
“We ran as a team and handled the pressure very well. For me, two silver and a gold, is a wonderful feeling,” he beamed.
The US ran a national record 37.04 for silver while Trinidad and Tobago’s team of Keston Bledman, Marc Burns, Emmanuel Callender and Richard Thompson took bronze in 38.12 after Canada were disqualified for a lane violation.
Walcott, meanwhile, became the first athlete in 60 years from the Western Hemisphere to win gold in an Olympic javelin event and the first in 40 years to win a medal.
His winning mark came as early as his second attempt, having opened with 83.51m. He threw 80.64m on his fourth attempt before fouling the third and fifth throws and passing the last one.
“Going into the Olympics my goal was to get a personal best, I wasn’t thinking about winning, I just wanted to get in and enjoy myself,” said the 19-year-old who also dominated the World Junior Games in Barcelona last month.
“(It has) not caught up to me yet so I have not yet realised what I have done.”
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Pyatnytsya took silver with a throw of 84.51 while Finland’s Antti Ruuskanen captured bronze with 84.12.
Jamaica were also in the limelight through their women's distance relay team of Christine Day, Rosemarie Whyte, Shericka Williams and Novlene Williams-Mills, running a season-best three minutes, 20.95 seconds for bronze behind winners US (3:16.87) and silver medallists Russia (3:20.23).
Day described the bronze “as one of my greatest moments” but added: “It was my worst days of competing in terms of nerves”.
At the end of track and field segment with only the men’s marathon Sunday, the Caribbean has 18 medals overall - seven gold, four silver and seven bronze - the best ever medal haul at an Olympiad.