Olympics Rio 2016: Usain Bolt wins ‘triple triple’ as Jamaica triumph in 4x100m relay
Usain Bolt anchored Jamaica to 4x100m relay glory to secure the ‘triple triple’ and bring the curtain down on an illustrious Olympic career in Rio.
Asafa Powell, Yohan Blake and Nickel Ashmeade were the supporting cast as Jamaica triumphed in 37.27 seconds – leaving Bolt with a perfect copybook of nine gold medals across three Games.
"I live for these moments. It came true and I’m proud of myself."
Bolt’s farewell was almost upstaged by Japan, who held off the United States to claim a stunning silver in an Asian record of 37.60s.
Incredibly, the American quartet of Mike Rogers, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Trayvon Bromell – who finished third in 37.62s – were then disqualified for a changeover violation as Canada were promoted into bronze and Great Britain up to fifth.
Jamaica’s changeovers were far from perfect, but the baton eventually made it around to Bolt, who had to fend off unlikely competition from the Japanese to clinch a third Olympic sprint treble.
Bolt burst onto the scene with three golds – and three world records – in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay in Beijing, before repeating his medal hauls in London and finally Rio.
He joins an exclusive group of athletes to boast nine Olympic gold medals, with the membership containing gymnastics star Larisa Latynina, Finnish long-distance ace Paavo Nurmi, American swimmer Mark Spitz and versatile speedster Carl Lewis. Only Michael Phelps (23) has more.
"I told the guys if it [the triple triple] didn’t come true then I’d beat them up," Bolt joked afterwards.
Barring a sudden change of heart, the 29-year-old will retire after the World Championships in London next summer.
"Guess what? I’m encouraging him to go back for 2020," added Blake half-playfully.