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June 29, 2017

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Usain Bolt signs off in Daegu with 4x100-meter relay world record

By Luke Phillips

DAEGU, South Korea -- Usain Bolt powered his Jamaican team to a new world record of 37.04 seconds for the men's world 4x100m relay title on Sunday, the final event of the nine-day IAAF World Championships.

Bolt, who missed out on defending his world 100-meter title after a false start saw him disqualified, rebounded to retain his 200-meter crown in an electric 19.40 seconds.

And come the relay, it could not have been better scripted for Bolt and his Jamaican sprint teammates of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater and Yohan Blake, who had gone on to win the 100m gold after Bolt was disqualified a week ago.

Carter went off like a rocket from the blocks, and smooth handovers to the dependable Frater and Blake saw Bolt in prime position for a home-stretch sprint.

Bolt again showed a determination going for the line that is said to often be missing.

Teeth clenched and eyes stuck on the trackside clock by the finish line, the 25-year-old dipped in desperation, his head pivoting to see if the record had been broken.

"For me it was just to go out there fast," said Bolt. "We did just that. I am proud of my team; I'm happy with myself.

"I enjoyed being the anchor," he said in reference to the fourth leg normally run by Asafa Powell, who missed these worlds with injury.

"I had a little problem with my Achilles; I can't run the bend. It was decided I would run the anchor.

"Yohan Blake ran a great bend — I'm happy with that."

The previous record of 37.10 seconds was set in the final of the Beijing Olympics by Carter, Frater, Bolt and Powell (who ran an 8.70 seconds for the anchor), and the Jamaican quartet were presented a check for US$100,000 for their efforts.

New addition Blake added: "We were feeling wonderful.

"We got this and knew we could do it. When Usain got the baton I could see the record come tumbling."

There was, however, disaster for the Jamaican's main rivals, the United States.

Lying in second place coming into the final bend, Darvis Patton failed to get the baton to Walter Dix after the former had made contact with Briton Harry Aikines-Aryeetey.

"I felt a knee on my arm," the Englishman admitted. "I didn't come here for this and I don't want to have to apologize to the nation.

"I am sorry to the nation and the whole team. I was in my lane but I still have to say sorry to the American guy."

France, with 200m bronze medalist Christophe Lemaitre running the second leg, took silver (38.20 seconds) and Saint Kitts and Nevis bronze (38.49).

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