Commonwealth Games 2014: Show stopper Usain Bolt takes giant strides to win 4x100m relay final

Jamaican leads islanders to expected victory but there's a surprise relay win for England too

Glasgow

A curtain of rain enveloped Glasgow last night but this was about the final curtain call. A villain at the start of the week, Usain Bolt left Hampden Park in a tartan hat and scarf.

At one stage it looked like being a wash-out. As the rain lashed down, the main event was in danger of turning into the 4x100m freestyle but the skies above lightened and Bolt lightened the mood doing what Bolt always does.

He had to work for it, though. Taking over the baton from Nickel Ashmeade he was marginally behind the English quartet of Adam Gemili, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey, Richard Kilty and Danny Talbot but it was the ultimate mismatch, the fastest man in the world against Talbot, not even a 100m specialist.

But it was encouraging night for British sprinting with silver. All too often they have dropped the baton. On a still wet track they made it stick and there is undeniably more to come with James Dasaolu, Chijindu Ujah and Dwain Chambers, all sub-10-second runners, capable of being added to the quartet.

England took a surprise gold in the men's 4x400m, Matt Hudson-Smith, who only made the switched to the 400m over the winter, defying the Olympic gold medallists Bahamas for the win.

There was a surprise win for England in the 4x400 as they beat Bahamas to the gold There was a surprise win for England in the 4x400 as they beat Bahamas to the gold When Hudson-Smith ran in Glasgow a few weekends ago he was speechless as he dipped under 45 seconds for the first time. This time he was even faster, the reaction the same: "I'm just lost for words, it's just crazy. One minute I'm in under-20s and then in the seniors at the Commonwealth Games."

There has been a certain amount of furore that the Proclaimers will not play a role in the closing ceremony tonight so it was fitting that theirs should be the anthem to whip Bolt and the crowd into a frenzy before he raced.

He clapped, danced and gyrated as the crowd sang to the words to 500 Miles on the big screen. For Bolt, it was about a mere 100 metres and as ever his giant strides ate up the ground in front of him.

This was the gold missing from the set. The Olympic and world titles will certainly be more highly regarded but a first Commonwealth gold merely added to the legend and the adulation from an adoring Scottish public.

No one cared anymore what he might have said about their fair city. In the space of 20 seconds over two nights, it was the perfect PR campaign. Those on either side in the Scottish referendum would heed his advice in terms of a charm offensive, as he stayed long into the night posing for selfies and signing autographs.

Hudson-Smith clearly had not looked at the forecast, bedecked in sunglasses as he ran the anchor leg vacated by Martyn Rooney, who had opted against competing in the relay to focus on the European Championships. How he may came to regret that decision. Conrad Williams, in his trademark red headband, put England in the lead on the first leg. Michael Bingham, whose wife Shana Cox had earlier gone in England's women's quartet, dropped back to second in a position maintained by former decathlete Daniel Awde, who handed over to Hudson-Smith.

He appeared to show his inexperience, pelting into the lead at the halfway point, a bold move with Chris Brown on his shoulder, who had anchored the Bahamas to 4x400m Olympic gold.

Bolt and his team-mates Bolt and his team-mates But Hudson-Smith doused out the threat of the Fireman, as Brown is known, the 19-year-old somehow edging his large frame over the line for gold, a stunned expression on his face as he did so.

For what is supposed to be a fallow year for Christine Ohuruogu, she is in the midst of a busy few weeks. Next weekend she will travel to Zurich to compete in the 400m at the European Championships.

The Jamaicans, 1-25 with bookmakers for 4x400m relay victory, and Nigerians on paper were always going to be too tough to reel in and so that proved as Shana Cox, Kelly Massey, 200m specialist Anyika Onuora and Ohuruogu maintained that bronze medal placing to the finish.

It was the same order in the women's sprint relay. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce anchored home the Jamaicans to gold in a Commonwealth Games record, with Nigeria in second and the four-woman line-up with an average age of just 22 of Asha Philip, Bianca Williams, Jodie Williams and Ashleigh Nelson highlighting the improvements in English sprinting with the bronze.

Philip insisted there was "a lot more to give" while Jodie Williams added: "The Europeans – we're going there to win it".

It was a near farce at times in the women's pole vault as torrid conditions first saw it delayed and then five athletes failed to even record a single clearance. It ended up being a straight contest between Australia's Alana Boyd, who cleared 4.40m, with Wales' Sally Peake, a part-time athlete who doubles up as a physiotherapist, taking the silver medal.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West, performing in New York last week, has been the subject of controversy as rock's traditional headline slot at Glastonbury is lost once again
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living