Usain Bolt was the dominant force in sprinting during the late 2000s and early 2010s as he broke records and won medals for fun to become a global sporting icon.
Bolt, along with another of Jamaica’s sprinting stars, Yohan Blake was part of a 4x100m relay team that produced arguably the greatest race the world has ever seen.
The 4x100m relay is often billed as the centre piece of any athletics championship as it requires both tremendous speed and tight team work in order to get the baton around the track. The hardest part of the race is the handovers and the fact that all four members of the relay team has to perform to their best in order to win the race.
In the 2012 London Olympics, two of the world’s best sprinting nations, the United States and Jamaica lined up as they battled for Olympic gold.
The Americans were represented by a strong team of Trell Kimmons, Justin Gatlin, Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey and they were up against the Jamaican quartet of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Blake and Bolt. The two teams went on to produce a great spectacle for the fans.
The first three legs of the race were extremely close as neither team managed to gain any big lead. As the race approached the last leg, the Americans had the narrowest of leads, but the Jamaicans had the world record holder Bolt on the anchor leg.
Blake handed over to Bolt whilst Gay handed over to Bailey for the US. A monumental finish was required in order for Jamaica to clinch the gold medal and of course, Bolt produced the goods.
He ran one of the fastest 100 metres ever to secure the gold medal for his country, and with it smashing the world record after registering 36.84 seconds.
The previous world record stood at 37.04 seconds whilst the Olympic record was slightly slower at 37.10 seconds. Both were convincingly smashed by the amazing performance of the Jamaican team.
America’s quartet were close and pushed the Jamaicans all the way as they matched the previous world record of 37.04 seconds but that was not enough as Bolt and co. cemented themselves in history.
Fans reacted to the Jamaican team’s stellar display.
One fan said: “Blake received the baton at 19.1, gave it to bolt at 28.1. He ran 9 sec. Bolt received at 29.1, finished at 36.84, he ran 100m at 8.74!”
Another added: “Can we all take a moment to appreciate Yohan Blake who made up so much ground in the 3rd leg. That is probably the best 3rd leg run I’ve ever seen. INSANE!!!”
And a third said: “Blake to Bolt… The two fastest humans ever handing the baton to one another… Spectacular!”
More than 10 years on from that special night, the world record still stands as no teams have managed to get close to breaking the record.