Usain Bolt, Jamaica Win Men's 2012 Olympic 4x100-Meter-Relay Gold Medal
Jamaica continued its fantastic run on the track in London, as the men's 4x100-meter relay team comprised of 100-meter and 200-meter champion Usain Bolt, 100-meter and 200-meter runner-up Yohan Blake, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater took the gold medal in the Olympics' premier relay race—and did it in world-record time.
The Jamaicans finished in 36.84 seconds, demolishing the previous world record by 0.2 seconds.
It should come as no surprise that Jamaica fared well, as it took gold in this event in Beijing and set a world record with a time of 37.04 at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, last year. No country has as much sprinting talent as Jamaica, and it was certainly on display on Saturday.
Jamaica entered the race as a heavy favorite, but there were several other talented teams in the field as well. When Jamaica's entire unit runs its race, however, it is unbelievably difficult for other teams to keep up.
Veteran Asafa Powell was unable to run in the race because of a groin injury, but the younger Jamaicans were able to pick up the slack. Powell wasn't a part of the relay team's world-record effort back in 2011, but most expected him to handle one of the legs in London. He was the anchor in Beijing and ended up finishing off Jamaica's golden performance four years ago.
Powell is now nearly 30 years old, however, and is certainly nearing the end of his sprinting career.
In his absence, though, many of Jamaica's younger stars received opportunities to shine, and with Bolt and Blake doing much of the heavy lifting, the Jamaicans did a fantastic job.
Speed isn't everything when it comes to a relay, so there was certainly some danger that Jamaica could miss the podium if catastrophe struck.
There have been countless highly touted teams in the past which have botched baton handoffs, crashed into other teams, accidentally left their lanes or done other things to eliminate themselves from contention.
Jamaica executed well throughout, however, and ended up with a fine result.
When you consider the fact that Jamaica is a small island nation with a population of less than 3 million, it is certainly incredible to think that the Jamaican team has as much depth as it does. Jamaica can go about six deep in terms of quality sprinters, though, and that was apparent on Saturday.
Bolt and Blake in particular could have flamed out in the relay and still considered the London Games to be a success, but their respective performances on Saturday served as icing on the cake.
I'm sure that they both love the individual accolades, but watching them celebrate a medal with their teammates was something special.
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