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Bolt helps Jamaica smash world relay record

  • Story Highlights
  • Usain Bolt wins his third gold medal to help Jamaica win men's sprint relay
  • But Jamaican women drop the baton in women's relay which is won by Russia
  • Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba wins women's 5000m gold, following 10,000m triumph
  • Bryan Clay of U.S. wins gold in men's decathlon
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(CNN) -- Sprint king Usain Bolt won his third gold medal of the Games as he helped Jamaica win the men's 4x100 meter relay gold medal, shattering the world record in the process.

Bolt (second right) celebrates with his team-mates after Jamaica's superb sprint relay victory.

Bolt, already the Olympic champion and new world record holder in both the 100 and 200 meters, ran the third leg as Jamaica powered home in a time of 37.10 seconds, nearly a full second ahead of Trinidad and Tobago, for whom Richard Thompson was adding to his individual 100m silver medal.

The Japanese team finished strongly to claim a surprise bronze.

The Jamaican team of Nesta Carter, Michael Frater, Bolt and Asafa Powell -- who stormed home in the anchor leg -- eclipsed the old relay mark of 37.40 seconds set by the United States at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and tied by the U.S. at the world championships a year later.

"Three world records, three gold medals," said 22-year-old Bolt, whose gold medal haul is one short of what Carl Lewis achieved in Los Angeles in 1984.

The United States had failed to reach the final when they dropped the baton during qualifying on Thursday, the same fate which befell defending champions Great Britain.

With Jamaica claiming all the men's sprint golds, through Bolt, and the women's 100 meters and 200 meters, through Shelly-Ann Fraser and Veronica Campbell-Brown, a victory in the women's 4x100m relay would have completed a clean sweep of the sprint titles.

However, the hot favorites dropped their baton on the second changeover, allowing Russia to come away to claim a surprise victory in 42.31 seconds.

The Russian quartet, who qualified fastest for the final in a national record of 41.49 seconds, saw off Belgium, with Nigeria picking up bronze.

Elsewhere in the Birds Nest stadium, Ethiopia's Tirunesh Dibaba produced another astonishingly fast final lap to win the women's 5000m gold for the first long-distance running double in 28 years.

Dibaba, 23, who last week won the 10,000m crown, finished the 12-and-a-half lap race in 15 minutes, 41.40 seconds, more than 1:30 off her own world record pace.

Turkey's Ethiopian-born Elvan Abeylegesse claimed silver in 15:42.74, with defending Olympic and world champion Meseret Defar of Ethiopia finishing in the bronze medal position in 15:44.12.

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Dibaba's double is a landmark for women runners and the first since male compatriot Miruts Yifter's feat over the same events at the 1980 Moscow Games.

"I am very happy," said Dibaba. "I like Beijing very much. I will remember the Beijing Games forever because I won two gold medals here. It was quite slow out there. I tried to accelerate three laps before the finish. It's a big achievement for me. When I came from my country, I didn't think I'd win both titles. I just thought I'd be a good competitor in both events."

Maurren Maggi landed Brazilian women their first ever Olympic track and field medal when she won the long jump with a best effort of 7.04 meters. The 32-year-old took gold ahead of defending champion Tatiana Lebedeva of Russia by just a single centimeter.

Nigerian Blessing Okagbare -- who was only competing because Ukrainian finalist Lyudmila Blonska was thrown out for doping -- was third with a best leap of 6.91m.

Maggi, who served a two year drugs ban in 2003, delivered on her first jump and Lebedeva, who was also finished second in the triple jump, no jumped on her next four attempts before going agonizingly close on her final attempt.

Meanwhile, Steve Hooker won the gold medal in the men's pole vault, to claim Australia's first in track and field at the Games.

Hooker cleared 5.90 meters on his third attempt, immediately after world indoor champion Yevgeniy Lukyanenko of Russia had failed at his last attempt on the same height and took silver at 5.85m.

Hooker cleared 5.96m after clinching the gold medal, beating the Olympic record by one centimeter. Denys Yurchenko of Ukraine cleared 5.70m and was still eligible at greater heights but withdrew with an injury and settled for bronze.

American Bryan Clay completed his decathlon victory on Friday, capturing gold in the two-day, 10-discipline event with 8,791 points after claiming the silver in 2004 in Athens.

Andrey Krauchanka of Belarus, the world indoor runner-up, finished second with 8,551 points with Cuba's Leonel Suarez third on 8,527 and Russia's Alexander Pogorelov fourth on 8,328 points.

Injury-hampered reigning world and Olympic champion Roman Sebrle of the Czech Republic finished sixth on 8,241 points, weeping and pounding his fist on the track after the concluding the final 1,500m race.

Alex Schwazer of Italy won the men's 50 km walk to deny Russia a clean sweep of the Olympic walk titles.


The 23-year-old double world medalist broke the 20-year-old Olympic record as he timed three hours, 37 minutes and nine seconds to take gold ahead of 20km bronze medalist Jared Tallent of Australia, who had a personal best of 3:39.27.

Russia's 2004 silver medalist Denis Nizhegorodov won the bronze.

All About Usain BoltOlympic GamesJamaicaShelly-Ann Fraser

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