Usain Bolt equalled the record for the number of world athletics championship gold medals on Sunday when he anchored the Jamaican 4x100m relay team to victory at the 2013 edition in Moscow.


It was the Jamaican’s eighth world gold medal after winning the 100m and 200m at the Berlin worlds in 2009, the 200m in Daegu in 2011, the 100m and 200m in Moscow this week, as well as golds as part of the winning Jamaican 4x100m relay squads in 2009, 2011 and now 2013.

It means Bolt joins American women’s 200m specialist Allyson Felix, and retired US track stars Carl Lewis and Michael Johnson who, including relays, have all won eight world championship gold medals.

Bolt moves to the top of the all-time world championships medals table with eight golds and two silvers, edging Lewis’ eight golds, one silver and one bronze.

The quartet of individual 100m bronze medallist Nesta Carter, Kemar Bailey-Cole, Nickel Ashmeade and Bolt clocked 37.36sec in the race at a packed Luzhniki Stadium.

It capped another remarkable week for Bolt, who first reclaimed his world 100m title in Moscow in emphatic style, clocking a season’s best 9.77sec in heavy rain.

He then powered to a third successive world 200m title, destroying the field to finish in 19.66sec.

The relay, however, was far from plain sailing in the battle with traditional rivals the United States and Britain.

The US claimed silver in 37.56sec and Canada the bronze (37.92). Britain initially took third but were disqualified for “changing outside the sector in the second baton exchange”.

Starting in lane four, Carter ran the first leg but was pegged back by British teenager Adam Gemili on his outside.

A sharp opening leg from American Charles Silmon allowed Mike Rodgers to explode into his second leg, drawing level with Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Cole.

Bailey-Cole’s baton passover to Ashmeade, fifth in the 100m final, went as planned and the latter did well to claw back some of the metres lost.

Then came disaster for the US, as Rakieem Salaam fluffed his handover to anchorman Justin Gatlin, the 100m silver medallist’s right foot straying five times into the Jamaican lane as he struggled to take control of the baton.

That error handed Bolt, with a smooth handover from Ashmeade, just the space he needed to unfold his towering frame into an explosive final leg.

There was no easing up from the Jamaican sprint legend, teeth gritted, arms and legs pumping as he strove for the finish line with a savage dip.

A little earlier on Sunday, Jamaica regained the women’s 4×100 metres relay title in Moscow.

The Jamaicans timed a championship record 41.29 seconds to take gold while France crossed in second place (42.73sec) and defending champions the US in third (42.75sec).

The United States, however, were elevated to silver with France being disqualified for exchanging the baton outside the zone, and Britain were awarded the bronze.

The Jamaicans’ victory means Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce becomes the first woman sprinter to win the individual events (100m/200m) and the 4x100m relay at a world championships.

On Thursday, the 26-year-old had become only the third woman to do the individual double.

Fraser-Pryce sped down the track – with Usain Bolt watching and mouthing ‘go on, go on’ from the athletes’ call room where he was waiting to be called for his relay final.

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