Overshadowed by Bolt mania was the performance of teammate Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who also won three sprinting events. She finished it off by breaking away from the field in the 4x100, easily beating an American squad that struggled to get the baton around — again.
Originally finishing third after a bad exchange, the Americans were later bumped up to second after France was disqualified.
Still, the Jamaicans went 6-0 in the sprints against the U.S. in Moscow. These days, the proud sprinting nation owns this rivalry.
“As a country, we should be elated,” Fraser-Pryce said.
As a nation, the Americans may be searching for some answers. Sure, the United States won an impressive 25 medals. But only six of them were gold as Russia edged them with seven, making it the first time the U.S. failed to at least tie for the gold-medal lead since the first world championships in Helsinki 30 years ago.
“Yeah, but look at how many young athletes we have on our team,” Gatlin said.
Once again, the relays caused problems for the Americans.
First, a botched exchange in the women’s race. Then, a stumble by Gatlin in the men’s competition. The night before, a shaky exchange in the women’s 4x400 final.
The absence of Allyson Felix didn’t help. The eight-time world champion tore her hamstring in the 200 final and was unavailable for either relay.
Felix did wish her team luck.
“Said we were going to do great,” Jeneba Tarmoh said.
They were off to a solid enough start, until the pass between the second and third legs. English Gardner took off too fast and Alexandria Anderson couldn’t catch up.
Gardner had to apply the brakes.
Anchor Octavious Freeman made up ground, but Fraser-Pryce was already way too far ahead.