British quartet snatch shock victory as they storm to world title but Bolt’s final race ends in agony as he collapses to ground with muscle injury in last ever appearance
GREAT BRITAIN stormed to a brilliant 4×100 metres gold medal as Usain Bolt ended his final race on the deck after suffering an injury.
The British quartet shocked their rivals with a stunning performance to romp to victory but Bolt’s hopes of a final gold were ended as he looked to have suffered a hamstring injury on the last leg.
CJ Ujah, Adam Gemili, Danny Talbot and Nathaneel Mitchell-Blake wrote their names in the rich history of British athletics as they saw off their much more lauded rivals to be crowned world champions.
Bolt was hoping to bring the curtain down on his brilliant career in fitting style with a 20th major title of his career.
But instead he was laid flat out in agony as Mitchell-Blake held off the challenge of American sprint star Christian Coleman to take a brilliant gold.
A stunned 60,000 crowd inside the London Stadium suddenly switched from gasps at watching Bolt fall to roars of triumph as Britain romped home.
Their time of 34.47 was blisteringly quick, and 0.05secs ahead of the Americans who had boasted the first two in the 100m final in Coleman and Gatlin in their ranks.
And with Jamaica’s hopes hitting the deck with their stricken hero it was Japan who raced home to snatch the bronze.
Britain were given a brilliant start by Ujah who ran a storming first leg to hand over to Gemili in the lead.
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The Londoner who was left out controversially by selectors for the individual sprints took up the challenge as he blazed down the back straight chased by world champ Gatlin.
The changeover to Talbot was excellent and the bend specialist didn’t disappoint as America and Jamaica realised they were already playing catch-up.
Mitchell Blake took the baton three metres up from America with Jamaica further adrift and the pressure was on to hold off the challenges of rising star Coleman and the fearsome Bolt.
The Jamaican strained every sinew to claw his way back, and his body gave up on him halfway down the home straight, collapsing to the floor with an apparent hamstring injury.
But Mitchell-Blake refused to buckle in the final stages, holding his form to hit the line as the home crowd went wild with celebration.
The emotion of becoming world champions was even hard for the British stars to deal with after they milked to glory with a 15 minute lap of honour.
Ujah said: “I am proud of these guys and those behind the scenes. It is crazy to do this in London. I can’t even talk right now.”
And second leg man Gemili added: “We are World champs! To run it with Danny Talbot after such disappointment in London 2012, it is so special to come back.
“Thank you to everyone. It’s crazy. Honestly a dream and a reality tonight. Wow!”
Mitchell-Blake, who was in the relay set-up for the first time and finished fourth in the 200m on Thursday, said; “I wasn’t even sure at the end. I could see Coleman but wasn’t sure what was going on. I gave it my all and I dipped.
“Once the scoreboard showed we’d won, the feeling, the emotion.. I’m still trying to register that we’re world champions.”
Third leg man Talbot added: “We’ve worked so hard for this – we wanted the gold so much, we knew we could do it, and we have.
“Like Adam said, we’ve been involved for a while and 2012 didn’t just go away. Guys come in and guys come out , and it’s just a massive team effort.
“We’ve always said we win as a team and we lose as a team, and tonight we win as a team, and it’s not just us four, it’s everyone who’s been involved with us.”