Botched U.S. handoff allows Bolt, Jamaica to win gold in 4x100 relay

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Botched U.S. handoff allows Bolt, Jamaica to win gold in 4x100 relay
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For Usain Bolt, it was another 4x100 relay victory over the United States and another gold medal at the world championships in Beijing.

For the Americans, it was a missed opportunity that ended up being a complete and total disaster.

Bolt claimed his third gold at the worlds on Saturday, running his customary anchor leg to lead Jamaica to a winning time of 37.36 seconds. The 100- and 200-meter champion was headed for a surprising silver medal as the U.S. appeared to have built up enough of a lead going into the fourth and final leg, but a botched handoff of the baton between Tyson Gay and Mike Rodgers cost the Americans dearly as Bolt gained ground and cruised to victory.

It got worse for the U.S. While Trayvon Bromell, Justin Gatlin, Gay and Rodgers were jogging around the Bird's Nest track to celebrate their silver medal, they were informed that Rodgers was ruled to have stepped out of his lane. The infraction disqualified the Americans, moving China up to second and Canada to third.

On paper, the U.S. looked to have the advantage over the Jamaicans with all four Americans having reached the 100 final six days earlier. Jamaica had just two finalists in Bolt and Asafa Powell.

The conclusion of the decathlon brought much better news to the U.S. as Olympic champion Ashton Eaton used up every ounce of energy left to win gold and set a world record.

To set the mark, Eaton needed to run 4 minutes, 18.32 seconds in the 1500, the 10th and final event, and he was about five seconds behind that pace going into the final lap. But Eaton dug deep to find a finishing kick that brought him in at 4:17.52 for a new decathlon standard of 9045 points.

Allyson Felix was denied her second gold of the meet in the women's 4x100 relay. The 400 champion ran the second leg for the U.S., but Jamaica, with 100 champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce running the anchor, easily won in a championships-record time of 41.07.